Favorite films

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  • The Power of the Dog

    ★★★★½

  • The Beast of War

    ★★★

  • Only the Animals

    ★★★★

  • Castle in the Sky

    ★★★★½

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  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★★½

    For Jane Campion this is a spectacular return to her directorial duties for a feature film after more than a decade on hiatus. Adapted from a book of the same name, the slow-burn western captures a brooding rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch), through sheer presence, dismantling the mental fitness of his sister-in-law (Kirsten Dunst), who he is suspicious of, and threatening to remove her son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) from her care. Dunst is adequate as a distressed newcomer to an unfamiliar environment but…

  • The Beast of War

    The Beast of War

    ★★★

    A lost Russian tank manned by a dysfunctional crew in Afghanistan that's being hunted by native mujahideen fighters certainly makes the premise memorable. However, it's undone by uneven plotting, spotty characterizations, and hamfisted motivations from the commander (the story is aiming for a depiction similar to that of Colonel Nicholas from The Bridge on the River Kwai but it doesn't commit to it) as well as the tank driver resulting in their actions probably flying in the face of Soviet…

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  • The Beguiled

    The Beguiled

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    My issue with the story is the rapidity in the escalation of various emotions - John McBurney falling for Edwina, John's threats against the ladies with the gun, and John's dissolution of his friendship with Amy during his outburst - results in the actions being outlandish. If this was John's true nature the movie intended to depict then the movie fails to provide sufficient depth to his character for a viewer to mediate on what he is capable of during…

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★

    It takes a while to reveal the rationale behind Fern's transient lifestyle but when it does unfold there's a definite intrigue in wanting to know where she goes next. This is heightened by visually arresting backdrops such as the desert scrublands of Nevada, assailing waves of the Pacific Coast, and a wondrous last shot featuring the mountains of the flat Black Rock Desert towering over the clouds all interspersed with numerous beautiful stills of dusk under various colours. The film…