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  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★

    Emotion dispensed in favour of technical prowess. With its lack of close-ups and that nearly everything is shot from a distance - an unnecessary detachment is created between the viewer and the film's subjects, separating us from their experience but allowing us to admire "aesthetic brilliance". Alfonso Cuáron is like an impressive cinematographer painstakingly trying to visually recreate images from his childhood rather than reliving them. He simplifies issues of class (the division between Cleo and Cuáron's mother is broken…

  • The Cabin in the Woods

    The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★½

    The meta concept here is nothing more than shallow window dressing with the illusion of clever subversion. The biggest takeaway I get, other than it's self-consciously playing on tropes that have already been mocked ad-nauseam, is that Whedon is intending this to be a commentary on horror audiences (as the people in the control room become desensitised to their job of supervising deaths they are responsible for) and how studios cynically create horror films now (the control room purposely makes…

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  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place

    Ingenious premise is negated through bombastic gestures that are all completely contradictory to the idea of silence - the abundance of hackneyed jump scares is the most obvious one (Krasinski even uses the "fake jump scare" technique, if you needed more proof of laziness and tropes galore), accompanied by deafening sound cues, and the setup/release of these scenes come too early to ever mount tension successfully; however, the consistently droning and distracting score, full of blaring horns, may be even…

  • Moulin Rouge!

    Moulin Rouge!

    ½

    Luhrmann does Luhrmann - but this time, a messier blender of mismatched musical choices, covered dreadfully and tonally jumpy in abrupt cross-cutting with one another. Typical oppressive technical freneticism with Luhrmann's distaste for any comprehensible spatial composition shown by his stylistic forte in cluttering the screen beyond visual repair, rapid-fire pacing through the film's plot points and barrage of exposition in the first act, his pantomime direction - consistently getting the most histrionic actors to perform soapy melodrama screeched at…