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  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    ★★★★★

    The problem with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is that I can't really talk about it without talking about my dad. I've started this review in my head several times over trying to figure out how to talk around the subject, but I don't think it's going to be possible. So, you can look at the score and bail now, confident that you know I love this film (and I do love this film), or if you like,…

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  • Day of Anger

    Day of Anger

    ★★★★

    "The weapon that's going to kill me hasn't been invented yet."

    For some time after Clint Eastwood departed Europe to pursue his career in Hollywood, Lee Van Cleef stayed behind in Italy to make more Spaghetti Western features, trading in on the fame he garnered with his two iconic collaborations working under Sergio Leone. Perhaps the most interesting thing about how Day of Anger utilises Cleef is the way it plays on his performances in both For a Few Dollars…

  • Mamma Mia!

    Mamma Mia!

    ★★★

    Baffling. Genuinely, baffling. Theatrical director Phyllida Lloyd takes the stage production of Mamma Mia and turns it into basically a stage production filmed on location. One in which every performance is played right to the back seats, and the songs are boisterous and loud. Without that live energy, none of this makes any sense. The singing comes off as, at best, unmotivated. And what would be a big feel good ending when sat amongst a crowd in a theatre just…

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  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★★

    Compared to a lot of the more recent mainstream Korean exports, Minari is an entirely different beast. About as far away as one can get from the more splattery thrills of Bong Joon-ho or Park Chan-wook, Lee Isaac Chung's semi-autobiographical feature offers a more humanist and elegaic tenderness. If pushed to sum up Minari in one word, I might even opt for "pretty". And yet, is it even fair to compare it to these other films? It's true that the…

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

    Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

    ★★★★

    A NOTE: I haven't tagged this as spoilers, because I've tried to be oblique in terms of actual plot details. But I do discuss End of Evangelion in relation to the show, and specifically the show's original finale. Again, I've tried not to spoil anything specific, but your mileage may vary...

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    It's very sad to me that, upon finishing End of Evangelion, I had to actively resist the impulse to go straight on my phone and google "End of…