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  • Truth or Dare

    Truth or Dare

    ★★½

    It's like the producers at Blumhouse watched It Follows and said, "that's pretty cool, but what if we made a dumbed-down antisocial version for dipshits with the most toxic possible message?"

    Credit where it's due, some of the setpieces like the liquorstumbling roofwalk are gripping and well-executed but the hardwiring of truth/dare challenge to one-dimensional character trait (gay! alcoholic! suicidal! pre-med!) is hamfisted and might even be morally troubling if it weren't so stupid. And that ending! If it were…

  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★★

    #52FilmsByPOC 2018 pt. 24.

    I always do it to myself. Any movie I anticipate this much will inevitably fail to live up to my expectations. One thing I can critique it for fairly is first film bloat: it's like Boots threw in every idea he's had for a movie in the last 12 years and couldn't possibly tie everything together. He sets up dozens of ideas that never pay off, subplots that go nowhere, unfired Chekhov's guns. I get the…

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  • The First Purge

    The First Purge

    ★★★★½

    #52FilmsByPOC 2018 pt. 20.

    Attention filmmakers: I don't give a fuck. I'll take all the bad dialogue, bad acting, hackneyed storytelling and lopsided editing you can throw at me, as long as you give me something I can feel. This movie is ANGRY--at white supremacy and out-of-control capitalism, at the institutions that support them, at the lengths those institutions will go to uphold it while simultaneously denying it exists. It's a primal scream of a film, and I felt every…

  • The Toolbox Murders

    The Toolbox Murders

    ★★★★★

    The film that opened my eyes to Tobe Hooper's brilliance was neither The Texas Chain Saw Massacre nor Poltergeist (though I had previously seen both) but rather Toolbox Murders. I was 18 years old, living with my parents and unemployed, having withdrawn from college after a disastrous first semester. It was the beginning of a four-year spiral of depression, isolation and substance abuse: the darkest period of my life thus far.

    I rented Toolbox Murders from my local Hollywood Video…