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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★★

    My first Lonergan film, so maybe the discrepancy between my reaction and that of many of my peers just comes down to the fact that they've already seen him do this better. But this was a total neutron bomb extinction level event for my tear ducts and my glasses are still covered in salty smears as I type this.

    Helpfully, this sort of narrative is so common in indie film that everything Lonergan does right (and all the cliches he…

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    ★★½

    Well, my love affair with Harry Potter didn't last long. Another overstuffed exposition fest, this one so full of incident they don't actually have time to attend classes. If Hogwarts had an ombudsman they would never ever stop waving red flags.

    Newell's direction feels particularly uninspired, even compared to Columbus, and while he commits largely the same sins they feel much more serious the fourth time around. We've spent nearly 8 hours in the wizarding world by the time this…

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  • Repulsion

    Repulsion

    ★★★★½

    The first hour or so makes up such a perfect anxiety nightmare that it bummed me out when it went a more typical (albeit eventful) route of "her madness is making her KILL!" The Polanski that made me squirm during mundane scenes in Rosemary's Baby purely through the power of his mise-en-scene is multiplied by five here, to the point where it got too much for me and I had to pause the movie to go do chores. Polanski's famous…

  • Heart of a Dog

    Heart of a Dog

    ★★★★½

    The unexpected recipe of eulogy, cute animal videos and surveillance culture dread synthesized into the finest cinematic representation of the act of remembering I have ever experienced.

    I don't know nothing about nothing, so it wouldn't surprise me if this is philosophically facile or a misrepresentation of Buddhist beliefs or even Just Plain Dumb, but there is such an emotional immediacy that I never once worried about any of that. I have no spirituality to speak of, no real personal…