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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    When was the last time an American indie wrestled itself to the ground theologically in the austere chamber piece style of the European masters?

    Stunningly scripted, composed and performed, First Reformed meditatively locks into a groove of stately delirium, as despair and desolation encroach upon a priest firm in his faith, but losing in religion as a cog in the environmentally uncaring machine of the megachurches. As he starts to pull away from his flock and into himself, a shot…

  • The Strangers: Prey at Night

    The Strangers: Prey at Night

    ★★½

    Death by power ballad in a bloody Ramones shirt. Yeah, this has got something going for it beyond the conveyor belt horror you're expecting.

    The adult actors add weight to perfunctory dialogue and all grown up Bailee Madison makes for a solid scream queen.

    Adrian Johnston contributes maybe the best John Carpenter knock-off score of the ongoing recent glut, and I found myself transfixed by the hot neon, smoke-filled, split diopter vintage slasher cinematography—that I was delighted to discover during…

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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★½

    #NotMyFranchise #BringBackGeorge #MoreEnglishAccents

    My heart sank as early as the opening crawl, inaccurately describing how The First Order had dealt The Resistance a lethal blow (last I checked, who had their Starkiller base obliterated along with an incalculable amount of weapons and manpower?), and is now in orbit above their secret base in the midst of an evacuation (hello, insultingly lazy Empire Strikes Back re-tread! The first of many, 'cause you know, xeroxing A New Hope worked out so well…

  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle

    Kingsman: The Golden Circle

    ½

    In place of rapey anal jokes (unless you count the title), we've got an extended fingering gag!

    They may dress like it, but none of the characters or the makers of this repellant trash have any class or clue about acting like a gentleman.

    For a second time, Matthew Vaughn tries to sell us on the idea of Colin Firth's Harry Hart being a firm believer of "manners maketh man", but these are empty words, for this even fouler-mouthed sequel's…