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  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★★

    I'm tempted to rate this thrill-ride monster-movie higher just because the multiple quotes from Apocalypse Now, and all those sneaky pleasures, are critical and ironic rather than reverential, but ultimately, it's still just a monster movie, however much it wants to be a Miyakazi, or a Bong Joon-ho.

    Still, there's more intelligence and conscience here than we usually get from big-budget Hollywood genre exercises.

  • Logan

    Logan

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Because this film comes from Hollywood, and because former indie director Mangold is a sell-out, there's some hypocritical handwringing about murder and violence in this franchise-ending (?) tale of redemption and death, with even more invitations and opportunities for us to look in awe upon all the believable gore, slashings, stabbings, and decapitations, and cheer on the war cries of a beast-like group of multi-culti, but murderous, children.

    Thanks to the detailed and committed character work from, and rapport between,…

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  • Her

    Her

    I can't imagine anyone who reads sci-fi more than casually, or even someone who's seen a decent number of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, and especially anyone who's read Richard Powers' prescient and emotionally rich Galatea 2.2, or perhaps a reasonably informed average user of modern computers, to do anything but scoff and laugh at Spike Jonez's superficial attempt to speculate about artificially intelligent agents in, what? The near future? An alternate universe? Inside his head? Every time someone…

  • La Cienaga

    La Cienaga

    ★★★★★

    I can't think of a more accomplished, incisive and illuminating director of actors than Lucrecia Martel, particularly in the naturalistic style she's fond of, and there's no better observer and skewerer of a particular set of social mores. This is my Argentina, every frame of this movie says, and instead of being off-putting or condescending, as the tone of most American directors out of Hollywood would take of their societies, the feel here is intimate and painful — the terror of true self-awareness. That this was her first feature still astonishes me. The Chekhov comparisons are not hyperbole.