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  • SuperFly

    SuperFly

    This remake manages to be overstuffed and undercooked all at once. Tse's script adds a bunch of unnecessary complications to the premise, diluting the meaning of Priest's search for freedom and even cheapening it in some respects (why does he have to betray his mentor?). Dialogue and characterizations are really weak: if you thought the female characters were underserved in the original film, it gets worse here. Direction is slick but hollow, allowing the performances to frequently veer into cartoonishness,…

  • Super Fly

    Super Fly

    If SWEET SWEETBACK represents the radical/experimental end of the blaxploitation spectrum and SHAFT represents the commercial/subtly subversive end, the original SUPERFLY lies somewhere in the middle. It's surprisingly raw in technical terms for a studio release, particularly the photography, but the rough edges add to the verisimilitude. Storyline and characterizations are minimalist but the dialogue still has bite over 45 years later, particularly the philosophical exchanges that Priest and his partner have about whether or not allow themselves to be…

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  • mother!

    mother!

    The multiplex filmgoing event of the year for me: it was a rare thrill to see something this wild, willfully weird and confrontational in a general audience setting at the local mall. Aronofsky uses all the tools of modern Hollywood filmmaking and the language of horror cinema to assault the audience and he does so with a sure, steady hand from start to finish. Maybe gets a bit literal with his metaphors at the very end but his work is…

  • My Bloody Valentine

    My Bloody Valentine

    The sturdiest of all classic-era slashers, with a well-constructed script that keeps the mystery going up to the final moments and an effective blend of suspense and drama. The adult characters are a nice break from the typical teenage protagonists, the romantic triangle subplot is better-drawn than usual and the mining town setting gives it a believable, lived-in blue collar vibe. The direction is also strong, with a convincingly creepy atmosphere and a strong final half-hour that culminates in one…