Review: “Pig”

“Pig” is not quite the movie I—and I think many others—expected it would be. Not that I necessarily had specific expectations for a film with such a bizarre premise: a forager (played by an exceedingly scruffy Nicolas Cage) travels from his isolated woodland existence to the city of Portland on a quest to recover his […]

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Review: “Summertime”

The most memorable part of director Carlos López Estrada’s great 2018 debut film “Blindspotting” is its climax. Facing down the white police officer who he witnessed use lethal force on a Black man, Daveed Diggs’ Collin launches into a freestyle rap, in which he expresses his feelings on the relationship between the police and Black […]

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Review: “Censor”

Censorship has played a role in film almost ever since the medium was invented. It takes different shapes and goes to varying extremes depending on the country and the time period. In Hollywood, for instance, the Production Code established to regulate content after the advent of the talking picture at the end of the 1920s […]

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Review: “Zola”

“Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” Those words, attached to four selfies of herself with a white blonde woman, were posted on Twitter by Aziah “Zola” King in October 2015, kicking off a thread of 148 tweets detailing a […]

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Review: “Werewolves Within”

“Werewolves Within” isn’t like any video game adaptation I’ve ever seen. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that it was based on a video game until delving into its production after watching it. The 2016 VR game from Red Storm Entertainment and Ubisoft is set in a medieval town, where the user has to figure […]

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Review: “Gaia”

Like the best horror movies, “Gaia” is filled with imagery that is simultaneously horrifying and morbidly beautiful; disgusting, but impossible to tear your gaze from. I’m thinking primarily of a scene relatively early in director Jaco Bouwer’s feature film debut where the protagonist, a forest ranger named Gabi (Monique Rockman), finds a body slumped at […]

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Review: “Undine”

Writer/director Christian Petzold’s “Undine” opens with a conversation, the kind of conversation that most viewers will immediately recognize, and the kind that the titular protagonist (played by Paula Beer) clearly dreads. Undine is sitting across from her boyfriend, Johannes (Jacob Matschenz), at an outdoor café, and he is breaking up with her. He’s met someone […]

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Review: “Best Summer Ever”

Plot-wise, there isn’t much that is new about the musical “Best Summer Ever,” directed by Michael Parks Randa and Lauren Smitelli. The story involves two teens who meet at a dance summer camp and fall in love before going their separate ways. Tony (Ricky Wilson Jr.) is supposedly going home to New York, where he […]

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Review: “Identifying Features”

All we know of Jesús is his face. It’s his face that opens “Identifying Features,” the debut film from director Fernanda Valadez, at first blurry and far away, but walking ever closer to us. The image fades, as a voiceover informs us that Jesús left his Mexican town with a friend weeks ago, in search […]

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Kino Lorber Mini Reviews

In January I had the opportunity to catch up on some of Kino Lorber’s 2020 releases in time for awards season, and wow, some of these films really knocked me out. A few of these were among the best films I watched from last year, so I wanted to take the opportunity to briefly review […]

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