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The 300 Week 40: THIS IS GAGA!

Why howdy, partner, and welcome back to The 300, a rootin' tootin' feature on my wild attempt to watch 300 movies in theaters in the year 2018. I’ll be watching new releases, classics, hidden gems, and festival films to experience the...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Roma

Thinking about the opening shot of Roma brings tears to my eyes. The centerpiece film at the 2018 New York Film Festival is a masterful display of Alfonso Cuaron’s craft, and how the magic of filmmaking can situate the mind in a speci...

 
 
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NYFF Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Like Hail, Caesar!, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a movie about movies. Hail, Caesar! took the tropes of the old-fashioned studio pictures and turned them into an interconnected backlot pastiche of cinematic styles. You had composites of ...

 
 
 
 
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Fantasia 2018 Review: Five Fingers for Marseilles

Five self-appointed protectors watch over the railroad town of Marseilles. They ride through rolling parries, the rock faces of mountains filling the background. The iconography of the American western is alive and well through the South Af...

 
 
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Fantasia 2018 Review: Tigers Are Not Afraid

A mythic force is spiriting people away in a rundown Mexican town, leaving droves of abandoned children to cluster together and wander the streets themselves. This force is responsible for the disappearance of 10-year-old Estrella's (Paola ...

 
 
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Fantasia 2018 Review: Tokyo Vampire Hotel

Tokyo Vampire Hotel has a scene in which a legless Geisha vampire who feeds people to the hotel through her vagina laughs maniacally as a fountain of blood streams from an open wound into her mouth and heavy metal music pulses and pounds in...

 
 
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Fantasia 2018 Review: Rokuroku: The Promise of the Witch

Let's get this out of the way right now: If you're a little girl alone in a creepy hotel at night, whatever you do, don't enter room 666. Age shouldn't even matter. Just don't do it. Parents need to teach their children some common sense. I...

 
 
 
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Fantasia 2018 Review: Chained for Life

Chained for Life wastes no time introducing its main topic. A quote crawls the screen expressing that actors have to be beautiful, because being beautiful allows them to play anything. Soon, we see our beautiful actress, Mabel (Jess Weixler...

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Pass Over releases on Amazon Prime

Academy Award nominee and Honorary Oscar winner Spike Lee’s filmed-play adaptation of newcomer Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over is set to release on April 20th by Amazon Studios. The play or the play within a film (in this case) p...

 
 
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Review: Last Flag Flying

Richard Linklater's movies tend to work best when they feel like hanging out. There's a breeziness to the language as people walk, talk, and spend time with one another that resembles genuine conversation. The Before trilogy best exemplifie...

 
 
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Review: The Square

The Square, the latest film from Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund, reveals its entire thesis in its opening scenes. Anne, an art journalist (Elizabeth Moss), interviews Christian, an art museum curator (Claes Bang). She quotes a bi...

 
 
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Review: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

All happy families are the same; each unhappy family is only sort of the same, and will eventually wind up in their own movie or book. Take the Meyerowitzes in Noah Baumbach's latest movie. This sophisticated clan of New Yorkers reminded of...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Thelma

Each critic has their own process. Some take notes while watching a film and others will rush home to type up their thoughts immediately after a showing. Others still don't write anything for a while, preferring to mull it all over in their...

 
 
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NYAFF Capsule Review: Mon Mon Mon Monsters

Giddens Ko’s You Are the Apple of My Eye remains one of the best films I’ve seen at the New York Asian Film Festival. Café. Waiting. Love, which he wrote but did not direct, is another film I enjoyed immensely. So when I ...

 
 
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The 2017 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) starts today

It's that time of year again. One of the best film festivals in the city is about to get underway. The New York Asian Film Festival kicks off tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The annual showcase of Asian cinema runs from June ...

 
 
Review: The B-Side photo

Review: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography

The B-Side is an atypical Errol Morris documentary. He doesn't use the Interrotron at all, his tool that allows interviewees to stare directly into the camera. Instead, the camera's just off to the side. The score is delicate rather than a ...

 
 
Review: Abacus photo

Review: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Steve James may be incapable of directing a bad documentary. His films includes Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and Life Itself. With Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, James continues his record as one of America's most reliable non-fiction...

 
 
Review: The Circle photo

Review: The Circle

The Circle is the paranoid techno-dystopian thriller of 2006 released in 2017 and based on a Dave Eggers novel published in 2013. The film's concerns about technology and social media are so dated and quaint, like the stuff an older relativ...

 
 
Review: Gilbert photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Gilbert

Before sitting down to watch Gilbert, I was afraid the documentary would take away from Gilbert Gottfried's mystique. I always loved his impersonations and appearances on Howard Stern, and his dirty jokes have such craft behind them, elevat...

 
 
Review: Shadowman photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Shadowman

There's a familiar narrative about the self-destructive artist, or maybe it's one that we want to see borne out in real life and in narratives about artists as characters. The brilliant artist is ignored but persists in their craft, achieve...

 
 
 
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Tribeca Capsule Review: Mr. Long

Juzo Itami's Tampopo was a quirky blend of western tropes and epicurean delight. SABU's Mr. Long is sort of like a nihilistic Tampopo. We follow a skilled assassin from Taiwan named Long (a brooding Chen Chang) who gets waylaid after a botc...

 
 
Review: The Reagan Show photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: The Reagan Show

Given how the Republican Party speaks of Ronald Reagan, he feels more like some cowboy legend than an American president. This speaks to Reagan's image consciousness as a politician, with a carefully cultivated persona that fed into the ide...

 
 
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Tribeca Capsule Review: The Departure

Almost everyone could benefit from a little bit of therapy, especially therapists themselves. I often wonder what sorts of anxieties therapists have to deal with after they've finished dealing with clients for the day. Empathy and patience ...

 
 
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Tribeca Capsule Review: Abundant Acreage Available

Like so many other underrated actresses, Amy Ryan is always good in whatever she's in. She's also so versatile when she's on screen, able to excel in oddball comedy as well as subtle character dramas. In Angus MacLachlan's Abundant Acreage ...

 
 
Review: Flames photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Flames

Flames offers an intriguing premise. Part documentary and part art movie, co-directors Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell document their relationship as it falls apart. We start with the two of them in the best part of any relationship, w...

 
 
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Review: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

There are so many possibilities in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, the directorial debut of indie comics artist Dash Shaw. There's the image of an entire high school building adrift on the ocean and sinking. Think Lord of the Fl...

 
 
Review: Your Name photo

Review: Your Name

Makoto Shinkai's Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film of all-time, and it hasn't even come out in the United States yet. It beat Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away; give it a few more months and Your Name may beat Spirited Away as the h...

 
 
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Review: My Scientology Movie

Louis Theroux won me over many years ago with the show Weird Weekends. In each episode, Theroux embedded himself in a subculture and use his extreme mild-mannered niceness to disarm his subjects. He'd hang out with porn stars, demolition dr...

 
 
Review: We Are the Flesh photo

Review: We Are the Flesh

Reviewing We Are the Flesh from writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter is tricky. On the one hand, it's a deeply flawed film aimed at a limited audience. It's transgressive in the extreme, sexually explicit bordering on pornographic, nonsens...

 
 
NYFF Review: Toni Erdmann photo

Review: Toni Erdmann

There's no way Toni Erdmann could ever live up to its hype. Reviews from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival touted the German film as a 162-minute screwball comedy masterpiece, packed with high emotional stakes and major lau...

 
 
Review: I, Daniel Blake photo

Review: I, Daniel Blake

Bureaucracies make great villains. Faceless and absurd, they operate in such nefarious ways and are perfect machines for dehumanization. Bureaucracies are reliably inefficient, needlessly hierarchical, ruthlessly procedure-obsessed, and alw...

 
 




Reviews   filter by...

Blessed Are the Children"Won't someone think of the children?"

 

Halloween"You can teach an old slasher new tricks"

 

Castlevania (Season 2)"Let us go out this night for exposition"

 

Wild Rose (London Film Festival)"Country music, without the Western"

 

Johnny Gruesome"A GWAR T-shirt come to life"

 

First Man"Spaceman says everybody look down"

 

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween"It'll make you cry like an anime fan on prom night"

 

Apostle"This is not The Raid 3"

 

Daredevil (Season 3)"Angsty, but self-aware"

 

Titans (Season 1)"A show that wants to take your lunch money"

 

NYFF Roma"Alfonso Cuaron has made one of the best movies of the decade"

 

NYFF The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"Them Coen brothers made a buncha rootin' tootin' western subgenre homages, yessir, if that be yer tonic"

 

A Star is Born"That's how you get tinnitus"

 

Private Life"Netflix does indie drama"

 

Bad Times at the El Royale"Good times with bad people"

 

Venom"This is what it was like before the MCU"

 

Wobble Palace"A bit wobbly"

 

Death Kiss"Bronsonsploitation"

 

Molly"A shaky apocalypse"

 

Free Solo""I hope you have your sh*ttin pants on""

 

Smallfoot"There's a Freaks reference in this film"

 

The Old Man and the Gun"Wine, dine, holy crap he's 89"

 

Little Italy"As good as deep dish pizza"

 
 
 
 
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