He hates himself, and he loves himself, a very tense situation.

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  • Memories of Murder

    Memories of Murder


    Howard Hawks famously said that a good movie is "three great scenes, no bad ones." More literally, he probably meant "only three showy scenes," and it's sound logic, of which Memories of Murder can be viewed as confirmation. The film is languorous, the direction is subdued, far from showy, excepting those "three [roughly] scenes." Yet riveting throughout. Bong Joon-ho expertly utilizes the rule of thirds, visual balance, and placing the camera at just the right angle to strikingly capture all…

  • War of the Worlds

    War of the Worlds


    I was going to watch Playtime, but because I am and always will be trash I watched this instead. Anyway, War of the Worlds might also be trash—but of the highest order. It treats the customarily prominent wholesome, Spielbergian family drama as little more than a enervating necessity, mocking it at just about every step, and oscillates modes and tones wildly throughout. Its portrait of the alien invasion is genuinely, distressingly apocalyptic (all those expressionistic long-shots of landscapes soaked in…

Recent reviews

  • The Innkeepers

    The Innkeepers


    The House of the Devil was a pleasant surprise when I watched it last year, and The Innkeepers does retain some of the strengths of Ti West's previous horror endeavor. The film eases its way into events, initially emphasizing the banter and friendship between its two primary protagonists for the first 30-40 minutes before ramping up the creepiness. Between the 35 mm, 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and the quaint Yankee Pedlar Inn setting, there are occasionally some nice images. And the…

  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape


    Given the eye-catching title and its stylization, I expected something on the bombastic end of things. Instead, sex, lies, and videotape (I appreciate the oxford comma) is a curiously unerotic exploration of sex (and lies and videotape). Characters are modestly clothed, the performances are restrained, the photography absent of sultry saturated colors, and the direction (with one notable exception) absent of swooning effects. Instead, the film has a more probing, analytical tone (it's funnily described by Dave Kehr as having…

Popular reviews

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi


    The structure is laughably bloated—for one thing, how many goddamn climaxes does this movie have? Paired with a whopping 152 minute running time, the perceived length of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is unendurable. It's a shame; otherwise this probably would've been entertaining enough, perhaps even something greater. I applaud Rian Johnson's relative experimentation within the Star Wars sequels formula and much of the criticism directed towards this (particularly those who accuse this of "disrespecting Star Wars" or anything that…

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


    Alright, since I find myself to be on the side of those who rather like Rogue One, I'll start with the film's downsides and progress to the positives and overall thoughts:

    - Awful, clumsy exposition—the flashback cold open and the unfortunate combination of frenetic crosscutting across the galaxy (which, incidentally destroys any sense of galaxy scale) amongst an unwieldy amount of characters renders the story needlessly convoluted and is uncomfortably reminiscent of the mismanaged excesses of the nadirs of prestige…