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  • John Wick

    John Wick

    ★★

    Missed this during release and the end-of-year hype it earned amongst certain quarters, so it's a bit of a trip to finally get around to it without the benefit of its original context - termite certificates and all. Can't say I regret it, though, because I swear I've played every frame of this in too many Ubisoft and Square Enix games this decade and one may as well see John Wick for what it is without having to vie with…

  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★★★

    The freest film ever made.

    (Extended cut, first viewing)

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  • Knight of Cups

    Knight of Cups

    ★★★★½

    So simple, and yet it almost totally eluded me on last viewing: Malick's main musical motifs here - Grieg's "Ases dod," Kilar's "Exodus," Part's "Silouan's Song" and Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia" - all naturally build to ecstatic resolutions through repetition and release; undulating waves of emotion that emerge not so much as a climaxes but as walls of sheer catharsis. Encountering each of these pieces in the context of a late Malick work invites eager anticipation - who couldn't after the…

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★½

    Since Looper and Breaking Bad, I have struggled to put my finger on a deep sense of dissatisfaction inherent within Johnson's compositions involving actors, which are simultaneously brisk, clean, and efficient, and yet bereft of texture, detail, or a lively perspective. They are actually pretty blandly imagined; organized according to the most basic and brutish principals of dividing space between a face and whatever else happens to be around or behind it.

    In a similar sense, Johnson's facility with said…