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  • Her Smell

    Her Smell

    ★★

    40

    Being harsh on Her Smell, but Alex Ross Perry can take the heat. After the one/two punch of The Color Wheel and Listen Up Phillip, which categorize the white man's rage and self-fallibility as sardonic landscapes, often brutally so, it's been strange to watch him either attempt retreads (ie: Golden Exits) or slip into stylistic parody. I've soured on Queen of Earth, which as *great* as Elizabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston are in it, falls short of his Polanski…

  • Leave No Trace

    Leave No Trace

    ★★★★

    73

    Often painstakingly elemental, and a recognition of a father/daughter relationship that has hit its limit of productivity. The initial set-up is mysterious, elusive, and in hindsight, the last time these two characters ever were satisfied - Will having everything he wanted, and Tom having everything she thought she needed. And yet the world is so much more, so far beyond the artifice we create for ourselves. Debra Granik directs with grace and compassion, and she often refuses the easy…

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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

    15

    Disney/Lucasfilm Headquarters. Int. Day.

    Rian Johnson: Oh, hey, JJ!

    JJ Abrams: Hi Rian, how's it going?

    RJ: Great! I just wanted to say that really enjoyed my time making The Last Jedi. It was so exciting to craft a personal film with Disney money. And everyone at Lucasfilm approved it right away because Episode 7 left me with a bunch of mystery-box ideas and set-up that wasn't going to lead anywhere. Who directed that one again?

    JJ: Me. I…

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ½

    1

    "How many times do we need to teach you this lesson, old man?"

    Abominable. Chickenshit exploitation of queerness and public persona, in addition to being formally inept. Every single element of this movie is subpar, lacking in nuance and a solid foundation of existence. All of the reaction shots are gold - everyone is lost: in geography, character motivation, respect of authenticity or even some semblance of cinematic coherence. Nothing is even remotely aware of its functionality. The film…