Favorite films

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  • Jack-O

  • Pumpkinhead

    ★★★

  • The Blob

    ★★★

  • Low: You May Need a Murderer

    ★★½

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  • The Big Sleep

    The Big Sleep

    ★★

    Relocating Philip Marlowe from 1940s Los Angeles to 1970s London is such a patently terrible idea that it’s no wonder no one involved in this seems to make much of an effort. But some contributions seem actively intent on dragging it down even further, most notably the tacky TV movie aesthetics and Candy Clark’s embarrassing, absolutely ridiculous take on Camilla (née Carmen) Sternwood. Awful.

  • Mad God

    Mad God

    ★★★½

    Many years in the making, Mad God is the stop-motion passion project of special effects legend Phil Tippett, best known for his pioneering work on Star WarsRoboCopJurassic Park, and others.

    Tippett cites Karel Zeman’s revered collage aesthetic as a primary inspiration, but I see a lot more of the Quay brothers in Mad God, or at least the grotesque brand of Street of Crocodiles worship seen in Adam Jones’s early Tool videos. While Tippett’s film shares the Quays’ tactile grime and indifference to lucid narrative, it…

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  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★½

    When I see a new film of almost universal acclaim, sometimes I go out of my way to read the negative reviews to get a little distance from the zeitgeist. In the case of The Florida Project’s negative reviews, I saw a few patterns:

    • the expected backlash against the critical consensus
    • the frustration of viewers who prefer more traditional narratives
    • locals objecting to the portrayal of Florida
    • accusations of poverty porn

    One flavor of that last…

  • The Others

    The Others

    ★★

    Remember when Nirvana exploded and every major label scrambled to sign any band they could find that was even remotely similar? Well, if The Sixth Sense is Nirvana (and given how quickly M Night Shyamalan squandered whatever goodwill his breakout hit engendered, I hesitate to draw the comparison), then The Others is Bush.

    The themes, tone, essential plot points, and even the color palette are all lifted directly. To its credit, this is not immediately apparent, and the way the…