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  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★½

    Wes Anderson’s films are all effectively stop-motion animation, and part of what I find off-putting about most of his live-action work is the resulting reverse-uncanny-valley effect. I had been over his schtick for years by the time Fantastic Mr. Fox came out and made me realize that the world of proper animation is where Anderson belongs. Isle of Dogs is a welcome return to that place.

  • A Bay of Blood

    A Bay of Blood

    ★★★

    This stylish proto-slasher is stupider and trashier than the more highly regarded gothic works of Bava’s horror ouevre, and more enjoyable for it. A Bay of Blood is a must-see for anyone interested in how giallo films paved the way for slashers, especially since Friday the 13th borrowed from it liberally.

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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…