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  • The Last Witness

    The Last Witness

    ★★★★

    I've met Park Chan-wook three times in my life: At a signing for Oldboy at Tower Records in Soho, then at the NYFF premiere of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and once again at a Q&A for Thirst at the same festival. Only at the last event did I get to ask him whom his favorite inspirations were: He said Kim Ki-young and Yasuzo Masumura—which led me to binge on the latter’s works.

    But now, having watched The Last Witness, it's…

  • Vada Chennai

    Vada Chennai

    ★★★★

    Usually quite skeptical of highly-rated Indian films as they often tend to be structurally overrated due to their local voting bases, a trend that’s especially common in South Indian (namely Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam) cinema. However, director Vetrimaran's Interrogation was my 7th favorite film of 2016, a darkly comic satire on corruption that's as brutal as it is mocking. So, it was with some level of excitement and trepidation that I chose to jump into Vada Chennai, which currently sits…

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  • Burn After Reading

    Burn After Reading

    ★★★

    LIFE AS FICTION Burn After Reading is a bit of a mystery: On one hand, the plot is put together in a way that’s almost too perfect, too clean to be the work of two brothers who just won an Oscar for directing. Things are forced and coincidental to the point where the audience loses the need to think. I know that’s generally considered a negative, but let’s face it: The boys just finished No Country for Old Men

  • Murder Mystery

    Murder Mystery

    ★★½

    We need Adeel Akhtar in more comedic roles.

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  • Prometheus

    Prometheus

    ★★★½

    LIFE AS FICTION Michael Fassbender is the best android ever: This, sadly, is the one true takeaway from Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe. If forced to admit another, it would be that the elder Scott brother has now further cemented himself as arguably the single most overrated director working today. For him, style over substance has become par for course, and while that isn’t a bad thing, it’s consistently kept him from being great since 1982. His…

  • Punch

    Punch

    ★★★½

    LIFE AS FICTION Punch is not a blockbuster. It's about a poor high school kid growing up with a disabled father hellbent on dancing at a cabaret. It's about mothers and being an outsider in a closed off world. It's about fathers and sons and teachers and students. Most importantly, it's about knowing that one cannot separate all these, that in the evermore complicated world we live in, everything converges at once, and we must learn to find solace…