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  • Gemini

    Gemini

    ★★★

    Discussed with Gabe Anderson on the latest podcast. This is a slight movie that's basically Fincher-lite, and it gets away with a lot because the Keegan DeWitt score is so dreamy and I can't wait to drive around LA at night with it. But as Gabe and I get into, there should be more movies that really take their time setting up their friendships/relationships before diving into the mystery. Katz makes the first 30 minutes here count very well, and that is worth applause.

  • Western

    Western

    ★★★½

    Discussed briefly with former LAist editor Carman Tse in the latest podcast from AFI Fest. When you make your metaphor so obvious you put it as your title, it basically gives you free range to actually interrogate its meaning instead of just leave it surface level. Thankfully, Griesbach deft hand does exactly that. Not sure she has as slight as hand as Ade when it comes to making the handheld-vérité stuff work—I kept waiting to be surprised by a composition—but its very interesting textures nonetheless.

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  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★

    For years, Hollywood and the surrounding Culture Wars have asked a question: Do Critics Matter? It's a frankly boring question, but the main anxiety has developed out of a growing disconnect between Rotten Tomatoes Favorites and the American Box Office. But Disney and their expanding intellectual properties have put a new spin on this story: critics don't matter, but studios deliberately position / design films to harness their words in order to enter The Cultural Conversation. Their movies are no…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★½

    Edgar Wright would have never fit the 70s New Wave: he belongs at Warners in the 30s. Baby Driver colors inside the lines, but this is a stark contrast from other recent Hollywood films praised being "different enough." He wants the image on screen to matter more than the cultural conversation that occurs afterwards. He's rather cast a David Byrne than a emotive performance (perhaps to a slight detriment when the gears change). He wants to create tone and rhythm…