BlacKkKlansman

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More political manifesto than feature film.

B

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Allied

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Perhaps if you get rid of the first 45 minutes, and introduce them in chunks via flashbacks later on, or just allude to them verbally, this movie could have really been memorable. Because the latter half does possess suspense, although it is never magnified in the way a picture with this much talent on and off screen should. I think it might be because Max (Brad Pitt) and Marianne (Marion Cotillard) are so busy chasing down Nazis at the start, instead of the film crafting their romance. Seeing a couple together because they say they are in love is quite different from recognizing love between them from their interactions, gazes, gestures, etc. Ultimately, this is what prevents the film from landing the gut punch it so clearly aims for during its climax.

C

Eighth Grade

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There came a moment in Eighth Grade that I found myself particularly bored. Having had time to think about it, I now know why said moment bored me so. The sequence in question features Kayla (Elsie Fisher) listening to her dad’s confessions, telling her what a great kid she is, how he is not afraid for her future, how much she loves her.

I realized it all felt too repetitive for me because I have been on the receiving end of those talks before, my mom phrasing truths in the slightly awkward and adorable way parents confront their children. To watch a movie that feels so lived in is rare indeed.

B+

Mission Impossible: Fallout

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A thousand years from now, when the scavengers that roam the earth start collecting the video records of humanity that we call cinema, there will be a shrine. Upon this shrine will be, right next to Mad Max: Fury Road, Mission Impossible:Fallout. A testament to the ferocity of Tom Cruise, this breathtaking action spectacle will remind the future denizens of the earth that the end of the world was indeed a tragedy, and that the countless sequels and remakes that litter the streets were a good price to pay, if in the end it meant a film as thrilling as this one could see the light of day.

A+

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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“Maybe if you had tried harder this would not have happened”, says Peter (Jason Segel) to his ex-girlfriend, still oblivious to personal responsibility.

“I tried”, replies the titular Sarah (Kristen Bell), and proceeds to explain all the different ways she tried to keep their relationship afloat that he never knew about.

Up until that point the audience only thought of Sarah as the evil, cheating woman; now, her ex-partner is put under the spotlight, and he is found lacking.
By acknowledging that the death of love is rarely the fault of only one person, this heartfelt comedy lodges itself in the memory as a rare of its kind.

B+

 

Small Crimes

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“Can a person truly change?” might be this generation’s “can a person go back to their mother’s womb?”. Impossible both in theory and practice, but maybe the workings of the soul do not concern itself with matters of this material plane. Perhaps a genuine transformation of the self requires supernatural elements, so ingrained in our nature are our bad habits that the only thing that can save us must require superhuman effort.

B+

Revolutionary Road

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Soon after my confession of faith, I started to believe that a heart filled with the love of Jesus was enough to keep at bay the empty hopelessness. I’m sure this stemmed from the fact that my conversion occurred during circumstances that had devastated multiple areas of my life. Surely there would be no going back to such dark nights of the soul, now that God loved me?

While I still cling to the belief that there is nothing on Earth like the redeeming power of the cross, I am now unsure whether or not the empty hopelessness can be avoided, regardless of one’s faith.

Revolutionary Road is an extremely disquieting film, burrowing deep into your skin with images of the futility of existence. There are several shots throughout the picture with depressing implications, conveying in a few seconds the disenchantments of a lifetime. And above all, that empty hopelessness that hovers above everyday affairs. I have felt myself despairing, my prayers of little comfort to the aching of my soul. Throughout all, I love Jesus, and I trust Him; His love is persistent and odd-defying. However, I receive no hope from it.

God forbid I end up like the characters of this film, although now I believe everything is possible.

A-

Unfriended: Dark Web

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Chilling from start to finish, Unfriended: Dark Web succeeds more as a reminder of the unparalleled brutality of humans than as a full blown horror flick. The self-imposed constraints of this new genre limit the type and amount of scares that can pop up on the screen, but it opens an entire new avenue for exploration. In this case its the dark underbelly of the internet, a part of the web which is still a mystery for all of those who just use to browse Facebook and laugh at memes. We should definitely be paying more attention.

B