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  • Avatar

    Avatar

    ★★★★½

    Returning to Avatar as a more enlightened grown up was a very different experience than it was seeing this for the first time (slash first three times) in theaters as a wide-eyed 8th grader. Taking part in the sci-fi sensation that swept the nation and toppled James Cameron’s own previous box office record remains one of my favorite cinematic experiences to date. In the intervening years, my love for this film was too strong, so I shrugged off notions of…

  • Batman Begins

    Batman Begins

    ★★★★

    I have a sincere affection for Nolan’s first foray into Gotham City. His choice to build up Bruce Wayne as a character is one that pays dividends for the rest of the series and makes Christian Bale’s first “I’m Batman,” land like a leather-clad punch to the gut. The choice of Ra’s Al Ghul is also a bold choice for a villain—one yet to be featured as a live action foe for Batman.

    Chris Nolan’s realistic take on the Caped…

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  • 21 Bridges

    21 Bridges

    ★★★½

    Starts out as copaganda, then takes a hard right turn into ACAB. Consider this the official launch of my Put Stephan James in Everything campaign.

  • The Intern

    The Intern

    ★★★★½

    Okay, I was not prepared for how much I would love The Intern. Nancy Meyers, you are a magician.

    This movie is good. Like, really good. I loved it. I’m not super schooled in Nancy Meyers (I watched The Holiday with friends in high school and probably saw The Parent Trap as a kid?), but this makes me want to watch her other movies pronto. There are definitely some unfortunate elements. Most notably, I’m pretty sure the only POC with…

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  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★½

    As a kid growing up in suburban Ohio, I’m an absolute sucker for wistful, nostalgic Hollywood fantasies, and Tarantino delivers that good good. As a rememberance of days gone by, it’s stylish, deftly crafted, and handsomely shot. But, as a meditation on fading careers and the Hollywood life, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood really shines.

    Casting two actors who have long achieved icon status certainly doesn’t hurt the film as it meanders on. And, what a meander. I…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Even better the second time.

    Bong’s clarity of vision is pristine. I sort of missed it the first time, but a rewatch (and hearing a lot of smarter people discuss it) helped elucidate his message. The ending is even more powerful.

    The writing and editing towards the end of the film are also extraordinary. Cross-cutting between the Kims, the Ohs, and the Parks brings everything into focus in a way that is completely unambiguous without being pedantic.

    And, like, I…