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  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold

    Dora and the Lost City of Gold

    ★½

    A lot of the elements are good and likable, but I cannot give this bare-bones storytelling a pass. Bobin's successful joke ratio is compromised by joke-delivery pathways dependent on flesh-and-blood characters. Not even a fake, slapstick "special talk" scene between parents and a child in a bad comedy would play out this nonsensically (as it does in this film).

  • The Komsomol - Sponsor of Electrification

    The Komsomol - Sponsor of Electrification

    ★★★★

    Vertov is a flaneur; Shub seems to be the one Soviet filmmaker who really understands the heavy burden dealt to her. Vertov's device is an idle eye and anthropomorphized, Shub's materialism are the implements and industrial footage laid at her feet (through her own ingenuity). Her contemporaries looked to the future, made sort of airy proto-prog, but Shub reproduces simply Shostokovich.

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  • Mortuary

    Mortuary

    As a series of disparate musings on industrial decay, structural rot, civic mismanagement, teenage agency, death, loss, family, all these as self-fulfilling prophecy, and a genre morality ideated through finessed genre tropes and personal philosophy, this is very disparate, but so much as to be the survey and the total, untempered internalization of the filmmaker's carefully bred artistic personality (that is, "aesthetic personality") that it is. Hooper has always been something of a "shaggy dog" filmmaker, even when putting forth…

  • Poltergeist

    Poltergeist

    ★★★★½

    100% Hooper. Spielberg would never make this awkward, slow, imagistic, bogged-down-by-images (and pauses, and rhythmic digressions) a film. The story and script are nonsense, this is merely an experiment in narrative storytelling. Spielberg's pretense of narrative through an emotive frivolity is undone by Hooper's seriousness with everything that pinpoints the unnaturalness in supposedly presubscribed relationships. Imagine Poltergeist without the kidnapping, its inciting incident, and you would be close to Hooper's original conception of Poltergeist: a family lives next to a…