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LATEST REVIEWS
MISS YOU ALWAYS
"Something in the way of finding the one."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""Missing a person" probably doesn't have the same double meaning in Mandarin as it does in English, which may mean that whoever came up with the English-language title for this Taiwanese film may have made the most clever contribution. It's a movie that looks like a romantic comedy but seldom actually delivers on that promise, pairing a game cast and a potentially fun situation but neglecting the spark that would let it really take off." (more)
LONG SHOT
"Bedfellows Make Strange Politics"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Whether you like “Long Shot” or not will depend to a large degree on exactly how much thought you are planning to give it, either while watching it or afterwards. On the one hand, it is a breezy and brash romantic comedy and look at it simply on that level, it does work thanks to a number of very funny scenes and the offbeat chemistry generated by its two leads. On the other hand, if one sits down and analyzes the politics driving the narrative—sexual and otherwise—to any degree, large parts of it begin to come across as either willfully inane or borderline creepy. The end result is a work that contains enough charm and wit to sort of warrant a recommendation but only with the caveat that some of the elements on display are really not going to play well with some audience members." (more)
GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR
"A bit of a fixer-upper, and haunted on that."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 21: Horror movies aren't the only place where viewers can spot big missed opportunities, but because something either scares a person or it doesn't, they can seem like bigger misjudgments there. Such is the case with "Girl on the Third Floor", where it seems like there are a few opportunities that, if they don't pull the entire film together, are still perhaps a bit more unique or less random than well-executed haunted home improvement." (more)
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: THE STORY OF WAX TRAX! RECORDS
"That place someone else really liked to go."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 21: "Industrial Accident" tests the limits of how far a documentary can get on large reserves of affection for its subjects, and it's no small distance, especially when the viewer shares it, or at least has the sort of overlapping fandom that can at least get them a head start. Without that, it can quickly become a string of different people asserting that they loved something more or less the same way, losing track of just exactly why it was so beloved." (more)
ASAKO I & II
"Some people are always looking to recapture first love."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "From what was said after the screening of "Asako I & II" that I attended, the film Ryusuke Hamaguchi made is rather different from Tomoka Shibasaki's novel, maintaining the basic concept but apparently giving the title character a more sympathetic characterization and otherwise moving things around. To whatever extent that's true, it seems to work out well; the movie version may occasionally be frustrating but only when meant to be, and it uses its concept of two apparently identical lovers to cover a lot of romantic ground without losing a sense of intimacy." (more)
WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY
"Odd but nonetheless intriguing."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "This genuinely peculiar little movie that does its best to correct the long-held and deliberately created impression that Emily Dickinson was a reclusive spinster is not just an acquired taste but also kind of a hard sell, and filmmaker Madeleine Olnek tends to concern herself less with opening this sort of highly-targeted movie to a broad audience than with the act of setting the record straight. It sometimes makes for the sort of movie where sometimes only one person in the room is laughing at a joke, but that one person is enjoying it." (more)
LITTLE WOODS
"Tough going in a supposed boomtown."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""Little Woods" is the sort of decent independent film that catches your eye more for the star who has been doing bigger things lately than anything else a preview or description can hook you with, and that's while sometimes that sort of movie will surprise you, this one basically does what it says on the label. It's the kind of straightforward, probably-authentic sort of rural lament that the rest of the country could probably do with seeing a little more often, and that's okay. It never becomes an exceptionally tense thriller or knife-twisting drama, but it tells stories that don't necessarily get their due fairly well." (more)
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
"No, Robert Iger didn't pay me to like this movie."
4 stars
Lybarger says... "If there’s a good way to sum up the differences between DC’s superheroes and Marvel’s, it might be that DC stalwart Batman’s pain and reason for being is that he has lost his family to crime. In Marvel’s case, many of their characters suffer BECAUSE of their families." (more)
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
"A Supposedly Fun Thing Part II"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Although “Avengers: Endgame” is far from my favorite of the 22 entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that have been released so far, it does contain the one moment that I have been looking forward to in the entire run of the increasingly expansive franchise. During the massive scrum that makes up a good chunk of the last hour, one character—it hardly matters who—approaches another one and makes the standard declaration of how the second person killed their loved ones and ruined their life and yadda yadda yadda before preparing to destroy them. The second person—they shall also remain nameless but I suppose that figuring out this person will not be much of a chore—looks at the first person, furrows their brow (at least as much as they can) and remarks “I don’t even know who you are?” Yes, the MCU has finally gotten so vast and so overloaded with characters, each with their own detailed backstory and array of powers/abilities, that even the other people in the story have begun to lose track of who everyone is and how they relate to everyone else. Yes. it is clearly meant to be a funny line but as someone who has felt increasingly lost at sea as the franchise has pursued a bigger-is-better aesthetic to absurd extremes, this was perhaps the one moment in the entire series that seemed to be speaking for me. This is not to say that the film is terrible by any means but unless you are in the mood for three solid hours of relentless fan service dedicated to convincing you that the countless hours you have spent watching all the earlier films (not to mention all the TV shows and additional ephemera) have not been in vain, you may come away from this hymn to big-screen excess yearning for, of all things, a little than what has been provided here." (more)
GLASS (2019)
"A weird capper to a weird trilogy."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "When last we saw the almost-invulnerable hero David Dunn (Bruce Willis), he was sitting in a diner at the end of 2016’s "Split," in a surprise appearance that linked the movie with David’s own movie, 2000’s "Unbreakable." Both those films were written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who returns to wrap up the trilogy with "Glass."" (more)

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