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  • God's Own Country

    God's Own Country

    ★★★

    I seem to be alone in thinking this gay romance is nothing special and not primarily because the story dynamics of the couple's relationship was derivative and weak. I didn't find the relationship convincincing, first of all, and thought that the central issue of Johnny's alcoholism and the origins of his drinking got short shrift because of a sexy Romanian, who was used like a tool to make Johnny "a better person."

    That's not how it works in life, and…

  • [REC]

    [REC]

    I checked out about halfway through, just after a scene in which a character so clearly maneuvers himself awkwardly into getting grabbed by a zombie that one could describe it as suicide.

    The sound design is the most impressive aspect of this hyperbolic and obnoxious found-footage horror film, but they and all the shaky visuals and over-directed performances barely serve as a distraction from realizing there is nothing. whatsoever. going on.

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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.