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  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★★★

    Part of the issue with the marketing term "elevated horror" is that it understandably sets up a critical expectation and standard that the films then have a hard time delivering on, partly due to genre conventions that are not so easily transcended without then alienating the people less concerned with being elevated. I've seen a number of reviews that essentially ask "sure it's technically assured, but what does it MEAN?", not in a "I didn't understand the plot" sense, but…

  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★★

    I've seen a whole gamut of films referenced in reviews for Sorry to Bother You, and it brought to mind a few that I hadn't seen referenced, but it doesn't play as pastiche or derivative. Despite its dystopian satire, and dark fantasy elements, it's got a big goofy heart, an appealing aesthetic, and engaging music/ sound design. There's a number of really fun performances, and while Tessa Thompson is underutilized, and disappointingly played into the woman as reward trope, she still brings a lot to the movie. It's a remarkable debut film, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Boots Riley.

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  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    ★★★★

    Nancy: "Why do we always expect metal ships?"
    Jack: "I've never expected metal ships"

    The original Invasion of the Body Snatchers came out two years before I was born, and was one of the earliest horror / science fiction films I remember seeing. It was in regular rotation on late-night Creature Feature TV, and I probably saw it at least a half-dozen times by the time I saw Philip Kaufman's remake in 1978. Aside from a couple of key scenes,…

  • Only Lovers Left Alive

    Only Lovers Left Alive

    ★★★★

    "I just feel like all the sand is at the bottom of the hour glass or something." – Adam (Tom Hiddleston)

    Midnight. Left the theatre I've been going to for almost a half-century, and walked the brick sidewalks and alleys I would know by sense of smell alone, feeling like a centuries-old vampire.