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Archive | March, 2018

Isle of Dogs Review

26 Mar

Wes Anderson is a very consistent filmmaker, but this is unfortunately one of his weaker efforts because he makes a structural miscalculation that renders the film inert for large portions of its runtime. Namely, his continued focus on the subtitled humans gets old after a few scenes, and aside from a hilarious sushi preparation sequence, those entire sections of the film feel dull and largely pointless. I get why they’re part of the script, but I have a huge problem with the execution of the themes and the ways in which the human storylines undercut the character development of the dogs. Anderson could’ve easily said everything he wanted to say, political or otherwise, without resorting to using the humans as mere dispensers rather than natural embodiments or expressions of certain ideas. Gerwig’s character in particular is a grating mess, and the film’s third act completely loses any of the tightness, emotional resonance, or childish wonder that Anderson brought to some of his other films.

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The Top 25 Films of 2017

12 Mar

For some reason I thought I posted this a while back, but it looks like I didn’t. So here are my top 25 films of 2017, several months late.

25. The Babysitter

24. I, Tonya

23. Thelma

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Black Panther Review

3 Mar

It’s almost impressive how Marvel can take a lineup of superheroes, each different than the other in terms of backstory, motivation, and powers, and render them all so bland and forgettable that they’re virtually indistinguishable. T’Challa is the latest victim of the formula, his character reduced to a bunch of thematic generalizations and halfhearted motivations while being played with the conviction of a slab of cardboard. These films simply aren’t imaginative anymore, nor do they have a structure that can avoid cheapening the vision of whatever directors they nab. Coogler is one of the more promising young directors in the business, but even he can’t prevent the political subject matter here from feeling like a collective throwaway line. Does a superhero film need to be political? Absolutely not. But if it’s going to try, then it needs to be judged on how successfully it engages with those topics beyond the surface. There’s a difference between whether a film’s socially relevant—which of course this is—and how good a film is at being socially relevant.

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