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  • Computer Chess

    Computer Chess

    ★★★★½

    The ingenuity of Andrew Bujalski's beguilingly brilliant Computer Chess—a mumblecore masterpiece focused on a early 1980s computer programming competition entirely set in a drab middlebrow motel—is that every facet of this stuttering film hints at the untapped creative hotbed of innovative potentiality that thrives in the nascent stage of underdevelopment.

    Its awkward ensemble of characters timidly pontificate in ways that sound misleadingly scatterbrained and slapdash. As they ramble on about everything from computer sentience, to the ineluctable rate of technological…

  • Woman on the Beach

    Woman on the Beach

    ★★★★

    Hong Sang-Soo's films are so personal they almost feel voyeuristic. Sloppy and casual on the surface, his dawdling plots tend to end up deceptively layered and complex: almost always traipsing into the quicksand of regret and self-loathing. His male leads (obvious autobiographical ciphers for himself) repeatedly devolve into bitter reveries—revisionary explorations of paths not taken, decisions not made, loves not consummated.

    The moments in which these mistakes transpire are the meat of his movies, and always occur within the realm…

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  • Schizopolis

    Schizopolis

    ★★★★

    Schizopolis is a riotous Möbius strip of deranged word games, goofy doppelgängers, esoteric quips, metaphysical raillery, and tongue-in-cheek jabs at professional malaise.

    An anarcho-punk provocation of visual, verbal, and textual semiotics—replete with comic set pieces predicated upon logorrhea and aphasia—Soderbergh is working on an onanistic plane here: parenthetically playing with himself in every sense of the phrase.

    The concepts on display evoke the interests of late-career James Joyce—it is an erudite / gasbag / bloated piece of high concept art…

  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    The United States vs. Billie Holiday

    ★★½

    Like 2019’s award winning Judy, The United States vs. Billie Holiday plays like a Made For TV melodrama elevated to undeserving heights by a commanding central performance.

    The primary difference—Renée Zellweger was a veritable veteran when she helmed that picture, whereas this is Andra Day’s first role with any meat on its bones.

    And it is a truly impressive performance Day that puts in here, dominating this sloppily directed film. That said, given her roots are primarily in music, I’m…

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  • The Prom

    The Prom

    ★★★★

    On a serious note, it is quite shitty that James Corden was cast for this role. We need more authentic representation. But it is also kind of shitty that so many people are so easily willing to toss an entire movie (which is made by thousands of people and entails thousands upon thousands of decisions) under a proverbial bus because of one shitty decision by the small minority up top (the casting director / producers / studio / possibly director).…

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★★

    Fu#!. As a once broke touring musician, this film hit hard. Really hard.

    And the sound design is straight up impeccable.