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  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★

    They've been doing night construction outside my apartment building downtown. It's such a cacophony of sounds — modulating drills, long bass drones, the phantom warble of hydraulics. A magical and nightmarish music, lulling me to sleep. It makes me dream of electric sheep. It conjures memories of Blade Runner.

    Denis Villeneuve has some memories of Blade Runner, too. He's done a lot to follow its tone, its weight and import, its stunning imagery. On this last count he occasionally succeeds…

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    ★★★★★

    Whatever else Deckard may be, he is composed of the twinned snakes of domestic abuse and state violence, sexually assaulting Rachel in his apartment after murdering Zhora. It almost doesn't matter if Deckard is synthetic or not, because either way his algorithms of being are about centering himself as the depressive, moody protagonist who 'reluctantly' doles out the dehumanizing violence of the state in both his personal and professional spheres.

    "I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you…

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  • When Marnie Was There

    When Marnie Was There

    ★★★★★

    I saw When Marnie Was There this morning. By evening I was on my way to the theater to see it again. That's a first for me.

    It wasn't just that my local cinema provided both dubbed and subtitled screenings. Sure, I wanted to see both versions. But more than that, I wanted to return to the world of this movie because it stirred some deep nerve cluster that connected my childhood to my adulthood. That's a quality that I've…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    ★★½

    This Mass Effect reskin of The Avengers has moments of genuine humor and poignancy, and a few characters who show a spark of personality. At one point the angry raccoon starts crying and it would have taken a harder heart than mine not to well up a little.

    In the early part of the film there's also a lot of really stunning outer-space imagery, like an orbiting mining station built out of the colossal skull of some elder god. But…