• The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★★

    A book of thanes among men.

    Given that I've been a Macbeth fangirl for a while, so enticed and accustomed to the witches, the rulers, the bloodshed and the cauldron through which the gore of greed bubbles, I'd like to call for this to be christened by the Macbethian Seal of Approval. Rather than reinvent the rickety wheel or insert Coenisms, this brings the adroit of the new and places it in coil with what imbued such a quick brush…

  • The House

    The House

    ★★★★

    Pride and joy for all the prettiest dolls. Stop motion, a medium that demands texture, in full swing modernist/concrete parable unfolding from dark bargains that don’t sacrifice the grain of the images. Anthologies will fall apart if none of the parties are shooting for equal artistic goals, but this is hit-for-hit in gaining food for Kafka thought from a common source, that being the arcane qualities hidden deep inside chic pretenses. Everybody involved should be proud.

  • Too Many Cooks

    Too Many Cooks

    ★★★★

    Complete bastardization of media churned out for family assembly, Daytime Emmy goreification in 110% Resnick-approved dead horse stale jokes. Nothing comes quite close to how this feels at least 45 minutes long the first time you watch it. So freaky that it seems to bend space and time. My favorite part of watching this was Daisy’s annoyance with how repetitious the song was but basically forgetting it was there once the last three minutes started happening, nothing prepares you for how much this spins off the kitchen sink.

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★★

    When you watch art, you expect art. Not something that begs you to notice how many other pieces of art it shoves into itself. Everyone knows that movies are popular and a lot of people have seen the same things, and nostalgia is the wrong mood to pursue. Nostalgia implies the evocation of a specific time, place, pain, warmth, miracle, regret. Nostalgia is about conjuring back up the spots in your memory that you haven’t touched, not the act of…

  • My Neighbors the Yamadas

    My Neighbors the Yamadas

    ★★★★

    The aura of family in pastel, marine kingdoms, the marvel in living under one roof with the stars and cities ahead of you. If anything separated Takahata from the Ghibli flock, it would be his rendering of earthly delights and emotional comforts in abstract, open passages. We know the happiness of the Yamadas as the butterflies in their stomachs through the worst and the best of themselves, history and turbulence in the shape of creatures of the wild or ships long since ditching the Milky Way. Some feelings are too good to be complicated by words. The poetry forms itself.

  • From Up on Poppy Hill

    From Up on Poppy Hill

    ★★★★

    Ghibli channeling its typical motifs (the delectability of living life, peace through errands, inner comfort, XXX-detail food imagery) in a format that seems to make a dare by choosing not to be bizarre. The paranormal and capricious are totally discarded notions, instead poeticizing the material and social. Ghosts are not the concerns of the youth as much as immediate societal controversies, ethical concepts outlined by mortal wisdom (and lack thereof), essentially the studio perching itself in a plane of existence…

  • The House in Between

    The House in Between

    ★★

    To give context, I would consider myself a believer. I don’t believe we’re alone in the world, I totally buy the existence of ghosts, demons, anything that the human populace does not truly understand. If anybody would give some paranormal investigators with nothing but a Gravitas budget and a dream some leeway, it would be me. However, this is *confidently* just a record of people who can’t believe a ball rolled. There is Amityville and then there is The Baseball That Rolled Down The Staircase. The specter barrel is large and we’ve effectively reached the bottom of it.

  • Kemper

    Kemper

    Fires way beyond Ed Kemper himself (it sensationalizes him so much that it’s essentially not even the same case/killer/place/method/anything) and deliberately skirts around what made Kemper so notorious. He was almost 7 feet and 160 pounds of muscle, so dexterous and physically domineering that if he told you he’d pull your head off (which he did), you’d believe him. He was immensely misogynistic and paradoxically halfway self-aware, halfway self-critical of his desire to abuse and murder women. More than anything,…

  • The Gore Gore Girls

    The Gore Gore Girls

    ★★★½

    A collision of pasty death and pretty bruises. One of Herschell's most gummy, icky gore statements for the fact that while his usual love of the jelly textures in fake guts and syrupy fluids was exclusively a minor touch-based fetish, it's austered into an unfiltered perversion of the human body. Not many other sickos would think of (or want) Death-by-Buttock-Hammering, but Lewis did and so now it exists, along with genuinely disgusting areola-snipping shots that made my chest hurt. The man's fetish truly was his own ugly imagination.

  • Jibril

    Jibril

    ★★★★

    Disharmony in the arms of your Arab blood, German housing, and your jejune Prince Charming. Romantic without dodging the point that our deepest relationships with others go hand in hand with the deep relationships with ourselves and that playing the role of an adult in an ignorant world is draining when you can't love yourself as a safety net. You live for your kids, but you *can* live for yourself too. The modern study for forking cultures and desires. I…

  • Mr. Thank You

    Mr. Thank You

    ★★★★

    Fitting with the tendency of Western voices to conflate all East Asian artists with each other, I've heard Shimizu uttered in the same instance as Ozu and Kurosawa, but this proves Shimizu's style as something much more clement than both. Ozu is encumbered, Kurosawa is valiant. It's refreshing to see an artist whose vision is that of heartful mountain mint, the inherent goodness in people that drives them to pursue charity, open their arms, extend kindnesses and courtesies that we…

  • Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance

    Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance

    ★★★★

    Where the folk song of slaughter welcomed the vogue of an unsheathed and distinctly feminine blade, the love song of vengeance opens softly ajar doors to the espionage Toshiya only merely hinted at earlier. Militia vs. Institution, painted red in thought rather than texture. The absence of gore in this right off the nape of Part 1’s ending is deafening, but it’s clear that the violence of Yuki’s story is fatigued enough by authority that it’s left all in the…