Martin Yenko

Martin Yenko

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  • Shrill Cries of Summer

    Shrill Cries of Summer

    ★★★★½

    Mines the fears of social bonds, unfamiliar culture and religion, and the centers of a dark murder mystery for a 100-minute hellish, hallucinogenic head trip that blurs reality as the runtime blows by.

    Decidedly leans less on strong personalities (it especially affects Satoko and Rika's involvement in the plot) and animesque cliches, but the more down-to-earth portrayals, played surprisingly well by a relatively unknown cast, still make the main cast likable, and the grounded nature actually mixes well with both…

  • The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

    The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

    ★★★★

    The most beautiful flowers should never be the ones being trampled.

    Sensitive, compassionate, and lip-bitingly sad.

    1312.

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  • Spiral: From the Book of Saw

    Spiral: From the Book of Saw

    ★★★★

    A symbol of change... evolution... progress.

    Somehow, a taut and exhilarating standalone thriller in the Saw franchise was possible after the series had run its course in the mid-'00s, who knew? YMMV for those who can stand its adherence to genre tropes and the suspension of disbelief that comes with it, but as a sucker for mass-market paperback mysteries in the vein of what Spiral tries to do, this was a solid alley-oop.

    This really leaned into the procedural elements…

  • The Way He Looks

    The Way He Looks

    ★★★★

    A film that perfectly encapsulates the turmoils of adolescent rebellion and its numerous facets within romance, friendship, and family in a meaningful manner through the tasteful framing of a conventional high-school coming-of-age story.

    People change, and that's ok, as long as we are all happy; we don't have to stay in the boxes society has put us in, for the path of life is wide open.

    Also, hand-holding is very epic and is much more powerful than a middle finger. Homophobes be gone.