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  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★½

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

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: Death Comes Unexpectedly
    Near Algodones: Death is Inevitable, But Sometimes There's Grace
    Meal Ticket: Death is Inevitable, There's No Grace
    All Gold Canyon: Sometimes You Can Escape Death
    The Gal Who Got Rattled: Sometimes You Can't
    The Mortal Remains: Sometimes You're Already Dead

  • Harper

    Harper

    ★★

    Honestly would teach an entire class using this movie's frankly embarrassing direction in a film school. There's actually a really interesting history here of studio-produced movies and what Hollywood has always coined as "excessive obviousness." But where that acted as a value in the Classical Hollywood era of 70-minute fillers where it helped to modulate an economy of narrative, this is a 2 hour slog where obviousness is now meant to be some sort of marker of "style."

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  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★

    For years, Hollywood and the surrounding Culture Wars have asked a question: Do Critics Matter? It's a frankly boring question, but the main anxiety has developed out of a growing disconnect between Rotten Tomatoes Favorites and the American Box Office. But Disney and their expanding intellectual properties have put a new spin on this story: critics don't matter, but studios deliberately position / design films to harness their words in order to enter The Cultural Conversation. Their movies are no…

  • Good Time

    Good Time

    ★★★★

    A green Sprite bottle, given almost a mythical introduction in a frenetic monologue, slips out of the hand of a character and roles into a puddle of water. The camera, finally imparted from its intense close-ups to a God's eye long shot, lingers just for a second as it rolls into a puddle where it could be misconceived as trash. An object of everyday life that has been signified with narrative agency (A MacGuffin up there with the Arc of…