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  • Ash Is Purest White

    Ash Is Purest White

    ★★★★★

    NZIFF 2018: Film #10

    While I'm not sure if, from one viewing during a weekend stacked with films, I was in the best frame of mind to appreciate everything Jia had to say with Ash is Purest White, it certainly helps to view it in the context of the work that preceded it, and in doing so I feel fairly comfortable stating that I find this to be his finest film. Continuing his career-long obsession with the changing face of…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    NZIFF 2018: Film #8

    Reverend Toller can no longer pray. The long shadow of alienation and depression has descended upon him and he feels coldly disconnected from most of those around him. Make no mistake, Toller is not rejecting, or even really questioning, his faith in God. But his faith in humanity is being tried, slowly and wearily. As he states in his many diary entries, which are often infused with a mixture of self-pity and self-loathing, he can no…

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  • 28 Days Later

    28 Days Later

    ★★★½

    Really torn on this one. On the one hand, the narrative takes an absolute cliff dive in the third act, but on the other hand, the use of digital and its aesthetic in big budget horror is almost revolutionary here, and much of the most visually impressive stuff is in that final section. On balance, it gets a thumbs up from me, but if it were more carefully crafted, thematically consistent, and less schlocky, it could have been a 21st century landmark.

  • The Haunting of Hill House

    The Haunting of Hill House

    ★★★

    What a crushing disappointment. Despite evincing near unanimous praise here on Letterboxd and from the majority of major TV critics, Mike Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House is a tonally uneven, heavily padded mess that alternates between being stolidly boring and creepily thrilling. The first four episodes are for the most part a chore to get through, with mostly telegraphed and inconsequential scares, and lengthy portions of backstory that are not especially engrossing.

    Then, from episodes 5 through 8 the…

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  • The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

    The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

    ½

    Having just sat through what is almost certainly one of the most disgusting films ever made, and arguing with one person defending it, I have mulled over The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) for much longer than it deserves. My conclusion is very simple: it is a gigantic and messy gore wank.

    About as delightful as having a chunk of dry shit stuck to the hairs on the crack of your ass, this film is an inexorable 91-minute slog through…

  • Pink Floyd: The Wall

    Pink Floyd: The Wall

    ★★★★★

    So ya
    Thought ya
    Might like to read a review.
    To feel the warm thrill of confusion,
    That Adam Cook glow.
    Tell me is something eluding you, sunshine?
    Is this not what you expected to read?
    If you want to feel emotions this film will arise,
    You'll just have to claw your way through Geldof's eyes.