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  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★★

    It’s always daunting to start watching a movie that’s so highly acclaimed, but I’m happy to report that Knives Out totally delivered. A whodunit that seemingly presents the answer not thirty minutes in, but then reveals that the “answer” is but a gift-wrapped banana on top of a pile of rugs. It’s been a pleasure watching Rian Johnson pull on those rugs and getting surprised every time. It’s a bit of a shame that the giant ensemble cast gets sidelined…

  • Death at an Old Mansion

    Death at an Old Mansion

    ★★★½

    Calm and yet disquieting, Death at an Old Mansion is not your typical detective story. Serviceable as the detective character is, he’s no Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot — there are no noticeable quips, one-liners, or any attempt from the movie to present him as iconic. There’s an ensemble of different characters, but they aren’t given much screen time nor function to the plot. There’s no ‘aha!’ moment, no rush of adrenaline — but it’s all these differences that make…

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    I’ve finally decided to use ratings. If anything, this film deserves my honest praise.

    Parallels from The Handmaiden to Call Me by Your Name can immediately be made, but I think Portrait of a Lady on Fire deserves its own recognition and genre in which it is recognized — one which utilizes silence (a dearth of an overarching score) as a way to convey raw emotion. Céline Sciamma is a revelation, a filmmaker who strikes the perfect balance between poetry and profanity.…

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    ★★½

    This second installment of the Sherlock Holmes series is pretty uninteresting. Performances across the board are great, including Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce and Ida Lupino, but the story is just so uninteresting. Why? Well, the majority of the film is dedicated to a ‘false’ case that Moriarty cooked up to work on the real, far less engaging and well-written criminal masterplan. Not much of Holmes solving the case through wit and deduction, either, which really drops the mark.

    Hey, but at least the final fight scene is worth the watch.