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  • Taipei Exchanges

    Taipei Exchanges

    ★★

    Taipei Exchanges stars one of Taiwan's most promising and popular young actresses, Lunmei Kwai, who I like quite a bit, but it's painful to see her in such a manufactured and saccharin product. Taipei Exchanges has the narrative structure and impact of a pop music promotional video. Everything is so shiny and polished nothing sticks. Everything floats by meaninglessly, accompanied by what sounds like schmaltzy canned piano doodling from someone trained in writing jingles for laundry detergent commercials. In between…

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★

    Monsters are good but the people parts are terrible. The Apocalypse Now allusions are fun. The film is directed well, for the most part, but these blockbuster type things are dumbed down/camped up to the point of me asking myself why I bother. And honestly, even though I can admit some of it is well staged, fighting is not something I like watching, between humans or monsters. It makes no sense. The film starts with a typically stupid gun fight, sword fight, fisticuffs thing. I should have bailed immediately, but I like monsters.

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  • Our Little Sister

    Our Little Sister

    ★★★★★

    I applaud Koreeda for exploring "nice". It's got to be one of the greater challenges a filmmaker faces.

  • The Wailing

    The Wailing

    ★★★★½

    First of all, Hong-jin Na is the man; this is an amazing film and may be one of the best horrors of the last ten years--which may be saying more about the genre than the film, but I don't watch a lot of horror so my opinion is flawed.

    I think I can do this without spoiling.

    If you don't know what style underpants Japanese and Korean men wear, or which side of the road they drive on, you might…