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  • Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back

    Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back

    ★★★★

    I significantly prefer this to the original film. It's funnier, weirder, and with more interesting characters than the first. Part of this is I think Hark is more sincerely interested in the thematic possibilities of the story particularly with regards to its Buddhist origin. There's also Hark's Gilliam like glee with the animation and fantasy. He's just really good at making fight scenes both dramatically and for comedy. It really highlights what a great director can do against a good one.

  • The Hero of the Dardanelles

    The Hero of the Dardanelles

    ★★★½

    This is the sequel to a film I've never seen and only around a third of the film survives, yet in spite of those potential negatives Rolfe's film has a lot of emotional components to it that simply could not have been captured in any other era. A lot of this is the documentary element of the film featuring the real training of real soldiers alongside the narrative elements (which are cheerily propagandist and not as compelling). What, for me,…

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  • Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    ½

    If this isn't the worst film nominated for best picture it comes pretty close considering how it offends all senses and sensibility. This is just an incompetently made film with stuff out of focus and a shaky cam that makes Greengrass look sober. I can't think of anything that should do worse for the reputation of amateur productions then this. Though the worst aspect of the film is how it renders an object of romance the poor. I honestly thought…

  • Get Out

    Get Out

    ★★★★

    There's so much to talk about here that I'm not sure where to begin and certainly leave stuff out either through forgetfulness or not wanting to punish people with a tome of my awful writing. Just that Peele is able to throw in a split second visual gag about Bing being the search engine of evil or that Jesse Owens being talented is the origin of the plot shows a subtle genius that I love. Though probably the thing that…