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  • The Night Comes for Us

    The Night Comes for Us

    ★★★

    Thought this was a bit overhyped. The action is good, but seems to rely on the punctuation of gruesome violence done to the body far too often to the point of desensitization. If getting shot repeatedly, tearing off your own finger, or getting stabbed in the throat is merely a temporary pause, is any of this really that grisly?

    Beyond the violence is nothing else, no real redemption. The main character turning their back on violence, on their past, is really just a spurring on to more of it, and their wide spread smile reveals they're full aware.

  • Operation Mekong

    Operation Mekong

    ★★★

    Ridiculous and nationalistic to a fault, the film suffers for its first half from seemingly perfect Chinese anti-narcotics forces (in the English subs their code names are all Greek gods,) armed to the teeth and without a strand of characterization to split between them. They never really become human (the end of the film spends more time eulogizing the dog member of the squad than anyone else) but the situations become harrier and more exciting as a result.

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  • Animal World

    Animal World

    ★★½

    short version: this is an ok adaptation of kaiji, the manga franchise about an unlucky gambler. it makes understandable (but unnecessary) changes that strip away the compelling nature of kaiji, the character, and shows a lack of faith in the ultimately superior source material.

    cool boat set, though.

    long version: Let me tell you about Kaiji.

    To set-up, in the movie Kaiji has been renamed Kai-si. Kai-si works a humiliating job as a clown at an arcade, barely able to…

  • The Deserted City

    The Deserted City

    A film about glances and stares, from people whose love can't seem to penetrate the hearts of others. They just drift slowly down the water, waiting for the world to end.

    Also a film about memory and how even when we can see the past in a new, clear light, it can't change the feelings we or others felt along the way.