• Tongues Untied

    Tongues Untied

    ★★★½

    it is easier to be furious than to be yearning. easier to crucify myself in you than to take on the threatening universe of whiteness by admitting we are worth wanting each other.

    devoid of the fetishistic white gaze of paris is burning and more emotionally charged than blue - a confessional that explores the costs of double consciousness in gay Black life. pioneering and avant garde, marlon t. riggs and essex hemphill illustrate their experiences with evocative cadence and…

  • Virtuosity

    Virtuosity

    ★★★½

    lionizes the perspective of a rogue black cop, convicted after avenging the murder of his family. parker’s racial identity and experience in prison informs how he perceives ‘freedom’, while his profession characterizes the cognitive dissonance in his fight against the white supremacy of counterrevolutionary serial killers, but not that of the police state that simultaneously employs, hunts, and enslaves him.

    beyond the spotty pseudoscience exposition and poor costuming of the beginning, this is enveloped with a fun level of sci-fi…

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★½

    dwells in the palpable awkwardness of family functions, skirting around the social cues of caustic relatives and careerist expectations. perusing that during a funeral is hard enough without your frustrating ex and the groomer paying your tuition being present. 

    this explores the power dynamics of sexual tension, boundary crossing and false etiquette with a language of claustrophobia and feverish lensing, all in the space of an hour. the enemy of my enemy is my scorned lover.

  • Robots

    Robots

    ★★★

    in a robot world, automation is slavery. the film exemplifies this with a corporation holding monopolies and price gouging on their fatphobic ‘upgrades’ while phasing out production on cheap alternatives like replacement parts. this results in a morbid reality where commoners become increasingly willing to steal each other’s limbs for their own functionality. anyone who can’t afford these premiums is subject to state sponsored murder by way of ‘street sweepers’, wherein their bodies are later repurposed at an industrial plant…

  • The Empty Man

    The Empty Man

    ★½

    we can't indict the cosmos.

    overlong, exhaustingly white. navigates nihilism through the lens of a scientology-esque cult. stephen root’s monologue gets across the ethos of the film better than the redundant usage of scenes. my mistake for thinking a recent horror ‘man’ movie wouldn’t suck. you're better off watching a kiyoshi kurosawa joint.

  • The Assassin

    The Assassin

    ★★★½

    an obfuscated mood piece that alienates with political intrigue and silence to invest you in its stronger aspects - ellipses of grounded violence and beautiful landscapes.

    at times effective, soporific at others. the dynamic between assassin and nun priestess is most interesting. naturally shu qi, who plays the protagonist, offers the best performance through her stoic intensity and quiet disavowal of a life others have made for her.

  • Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

    Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

    ★★★½

    fits considering i been playing ghosts of tsushima recently; great game.

    'daigoro. your mother should be waiting for you at the river styx. are you ready?'

    brimming with the nihilism and paranoia of a world where everyone is out to get you, this opens with a kinetic fight scene that sets the tone for the second chapter. couple this with choreographed skirmishes steeped in dramatic tension and blood splatter, it’s clear why most of the action of the shogun assassin

  • Education

    Education

    ★★★½

    this boy really poured out a whole bowl of weetabix just to eat a spoonful and dip like a busy white man. and realistically this should have ended as soon as he barked at his mom, cus she would have killed him. his aspiration for going to space also made me realize the lack of space movies with a black lead.

    the women's performances here are strong across the board and having only heard her english accents, it was wild…

  • Let Your Heart Be Light

    Let Your Heart Be Light

    ★★★

    companionship is the warmth of a star.

  • The Polar Express

    The Polar Express

    ★★★

    needed to be transported away from this lonely mundanity. but also, anyone offput by the uncanny valley in this movie a bitch.

    enigmatic hobo of christmas past to pressed-for-time train conductor, tom hanks has multiple roles here and they’re all great considering how spirited the voice acting is.

    the back and forth between the black girl (hero girl) and main character (hero boy) was an interesting motif on the power of choosing to trust someone over your own uncertainty. her…

  • Miss Juneteenth

    Miss Juneteenth

    ★★★½

    well tread, predictable, engaging. essentially a tyler perry movie, complete with the sauve lightskin hustler (this man was finna cry over $4) and darkskin executive vying for the lead as archetypal love interests. by contrast however, this seems to have an intimate care for the community and characters it's portraying, devoid of the gratuitous abuse and antiblackness present in those films. nicole beharie carries this, the intensity of her performance residing in her eyes and the chemistry with alexis chikaeze,…

  • The Day of Destruction

    The Day of Destruction

    ★★

    lethargic pace and a familiar tone to the director's past work. the opening credits are energetic, yet everything that follows has a soporific pace, especially without characters to care about. a clear product of the covid era, this spiritualizes the ramifications of the virus into an issue of shinto exorcists versus demon hosts, as city life continues around the residents of an isolated monastery. polemic pain that would've worked better as subtext is wailed in bad on the nose monologues,…