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  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★

    I have two conflicting thoughts about Nomadland I have been trying to reconcile since the credits rolled and director/writer/editor/producer Chloé Zhao's name flashed on the screen. For her part, Zhao is incredible. Though it is only her third feature, it is confident and fully realized in the way you would expect the highly touted follow up to The Rider to be. But my appreciation for Zhao's contributions are not either of the aforementioned thoughts. Her work is beyond reproach and…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★½

    The American echo of Steve McQueen's Small Axe which eschews the medium bending elements, instead dispensing its depictions of police on black community violence and the resulting political animosity in one traditional two hour package. The production design is handsome and the performances, particularly Kaluuya's, give personality and depth to the real life characters. Not unlike McQueen's films, I feel the visual outpaces the writing, particularly with respect to how the film conveys information. I also am a bit half…

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  • Everybody Wants Some!!

    Everybody Wants Some!!

    ★★★★

    Just before pressing play, Jake and I discussed Hail, Caesar! and Burn After Reading, two Coen brothers comedies that seem almost victimized by the greatness of their creators' overall output. In this case, that means it's not as visually beautiful as Dazed and Confused, not as tight as Tape, not as wild and interesting as Waking Life. But what it is is a tremendously funny comedy driven by great character writing. Linklater's direction is sneakily great, peppering miniscule gestures into…

  • Whisper of the Heart

    Whisper of the Heart

    ★★★

    Another minor rendition on Kiki's Delivery Service, but in this case an interesting look at creativity like Miyazaki's masterpiece. Good, not incredible.

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  • Tenet

    Tenet

    Christopher Nolan is here to save cinema as we know it the only way he knows how, and in a way only his most fanatical devotees could love - an expensive looking, action-stuffed James Bond pastiche with funky video game mechanics. This movie has exactly two modes: ceaseless exposition and loud, convoluted setpieces, yet no matter how didactically it explains its physics to you, the mechanics never come close to making sense. It's horribly apropos that a third of the…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★★½

    Full review here!

    Finally, someone made a history of Hollywood picture for acerbic word nerds. David Fincher's Mank, if it is a sign of the quality of the director's forthcoming partnership with Netflix, gives an astonishingly optimistic outlook for the future. Brilliantly cut and shot, this is the best film of the year. It is a remarkable technical achievement that in a just world would compete for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Lead Actor, Cinematography and most crucially Sound Mixing and…