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  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★½

    Kore-eda has long been a modern master of humanist cinema, carrying the torch lit by Satyajit Ray over sixty years ago. SHOPLIFTERS vaults to the front of his filmography, expressing the joys and plights of the human condition through a ragtag family of outsiders living under the radar in the middle of Tokyo. The writer/director once again showcases his ability to create empathetic, believable characters of all ages living through extraordinary circumstances, and in this case, relationships that pull strangers…

  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★½

    An intriguing slow boil that becomes less and less compelling the longer it goes on. I mostly chalk this up to our main character Jongsu, whose efforts to solve the mysteries at the center of the film seem to involve expending as little energy as humanly possible. Haemi, the object of his affections and obsessions, is far more beguiling and a character I'd have loved to spend 2.5 hours with, but of course her elusiveness is a big driver of…

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  • Jamie Marks Is Dead

    Jamie Marks Is Dead

    ★★

    A lot of time and energy was spent carefully and thoroughly crafting a look, a mood, and an atmosphere of dread. Locked off widescreen compositions, drained of color, with lots of teenagers with pasty white (or gray) skin filling the frame. If only the same care was given to character development. I noticed several instances where someone would ask a question or make a statement only to be told never mind, or it's not important. This seems to justify leaving…

  • Thelma

    Thelma

    ★★

    A shallow shell of a character, the Thelma at the center of THELMA doesn't know what's going on and neither do we. There's lots of tropes thrown at us: religious fervor (oh she's like a Salem Witch), frustrated lesbian who doesn't want to admit she's a lesbian, outsider teenage angst, mysterious dark family history, X Men style superhero who doesn't know she's a superhero... all just napkin sketches that, seemingly by design, never resolve into anything coherent.

    Eili Harboe tries…