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  • Heavy Traffic

    Heavy Traffic

    ★★½

    Probably the most Bakshi film I've seen, which means that you've got this awesome mix of urban grit with jazzy alt-comics character models and a singularly feverish ambition to re-invent the language of animation itself. This one also has some really great music, too--pretty much wall-to-wall songs, including a sublime recurring cover of "Scarborough Fair" performed by Sérgio Mendes and Brasil '66--and Bakshi's attempt to capture the vibrancy, beauty, and terror of '70s NYC results in a deeply evocative film…

  • Batman Ninja

    Batman Ninja

    ★★★★

    I watched this because I heard the animation was amazing, and it didn't disappoint: probably the best and more innovative use of that "3D polygons, but cel-shaded to look like traditional animation" thing that's been gaining traction in anime and some corners of American animated television. It's gorgeous and ornate and has some truly surprising stylistic flourishes that evoke the kind of fluid, multi-media instability that Masaaki Yuasa has been up to in the past decade or so. But even…

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  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★★½

    As the rare American film not only to float a viciously satirical premise but to actually follow that satirical mode all the way to its end credits, Sorry to Bother You is noteworthy; as a film crammed to the brim with a consistently inventive aesthetic--especially with costuming and mis en scène, which overflow with righteous anger and barbed metaphors--Sorry to Bother You is pristine; as a satire able to maintain not just its political messaging but also consistently hilarious dialogue…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★

    This movie is about space exploration and the search for extra-terrestrial life, so you know I'm there. But also, it's about daddy issues--which at first I was like, "Ehh, I dunno, my dad's alright" but then the movie went, "Oh, we meant your heavenly daddy, too," and then I was back onboard. I kind of wish this movie was weirder than it is (it doesn't have to be 2001, but when you're making a movie about the Meaning of Life,…