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"Classic-style and classic-quality horror."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 19: Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski haven’t made a whole lot of movies as part of the Astron-6 collective, and I haven’t reviewed all of them, but it still feels like I’ve written something about how wasteful it is that they didn’t seem to trust their very real talent, using parody as a crutch. While "The Void" does not have an A-6 title card on it, it was done by many of the same people, but it’s a straight horror movie, and it’s a terrific one, distilling what made the 1980s horror they clearly love great and presenting it as something that doesn’t feel dated or silly at all." (more)
"Worthy story, unimpressive focus."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""The Zookeeper’s Wife" is not quite the movie it looked like, thankfully, although that might not be saying too much. I was fearing "Holocaust rescue but with cute animals to offset the horror", and it falls well short of that. Unfortunately, it’s still something that seems sanitized enough that the moments where it does get properly ugly come off as something the filmmakers can’t handle." (more)
"Where getting away with it is more interesting than whodunit."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Like Agatha Christie’s "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" and "Murder on the Orient Express", Keigo Higashino’s novel "The Devotion of Suspect X" made the jump from being one entry in a detective series to being a definitive piece of genre work, the sort whose story is immediately memorable even though a lot of mysteries can run together, although few mysteries of that sort are as memorable for their characterization as they are for the puzzles. This Chinese film is the third time the story has hit the screen - there are Japanese and Korean versions, with an Indian television series coming and an American film in development - and while I haven’t seen the others to rate this one in relation to them, it’s a quality mystery, worth a trip to whatever theater in your city shows Chinese movies." (more)
SILENCE (2016)
"High mass from the American pope of cinema."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... ""Silence" is very likely the most Catholic movie Martin Scorsese has ever made, which makes it very Catholic indeed — mega-Catholic, über-Catholic. It’s a real high mass of a film, done with high craft in the highest seriousness." (more)
"Too much freedom's not good for the head."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 19: I like where writer/director Sarah Adina Smith’s head is at with "Buster’s Mal Heart", and I think I’d like the actual movie more if she’d played it something closer to straight, rather than getting cute with narrative gimmicks, black comedy, and other diversions. The central driver of what’s going on with its main character is something that merits a lot of thought and consideration, and making a puzzle out of it tends to deny it that." (more)
"Lost In Translation"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Considering the way that Paramount Pictures was going out of the way to try to avoid showing “Ghost in the Shell” to critics in advance, one might have expected some kind of all-out disaster in the making—even “Monster Trucks,” a film that they had so little confidence in that they took an enormous tax write-off on it months before it even arrived in theaters, was screened for the press before it was unleashed on the public and tanked. Unfortunately, the film isn’t even interesting enough to be the kind of misconceived monstrosity whose missteps might have at least been of some mild interest to film maudit buffs. This is just a terrible and terribly done bore that will annoy genre fans and neophytes in equal measure." (more)
"Watch carefully, because this is the good stuff."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 19: “Look closely” can be an empty or obligatory thing to say when explaining why a film is particularly good, especially when, on the surface, it seems like just another crime story that makes its mark with heightened cruelty and violence. Trite as those words may seem, they apply to "Hounds of Love", and not just because they let you admire the precise work that filmmaker Ben Young and the cast and crew put in, but because looking closely can become a means of survival." (more)
"Another good artsy vamp flick."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Milo (Eric Ruffin), the African-American teenager whose struggles animate 'The Transfiguration,' is enamored of vampire movies. He has a stash of them on videotape in his bedroom closet, and he prefers the “realistic” ones — like George Romero’s 'Martin' or Tomas Alfredson’s 'Let the Right One In.'" (more)
"Needs peer review."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Charlie McDowell's "The One I Love" was a nifty little indie fantasy, albeit one that hand-waved viewers past the details of its high concept with such force that the breeze could knock a person over. His follow-up occupies the same sort of space but never quite manages the same thrill of mystery as his previous film; it winds up specifying too much and too little of what’s going on, not quite marooning a hard-working cast between these poles but only seldom letting them and the ideas that their characters are wrestling with display their full potential." (more)
"To The Oneder"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Terrence Malick is a filmmaker who has provided me with some of the most stunning and transporting moments that I have ever experienced in a movie theater, both as a critic and as an ordinary audience member. “Badlands” (1973), loosely inspired by the 1958 killing spree of Charles Starkweather, remains one of the most powerful and unforgettable debuts from any director and his 1978 followup “Days of Heaven” found him taking a standard narrative of love, jealousy and betrayal and transforming it into a stunning, one-of-a-kind example of pure visual poetry. After taking a 20-year sabbatical from the world of film that helped to solidify his legend, he returned with his cinematic genius undiminished with a sprawling adaptation of James Jones’ World War II novel “The Thin Red Line” (1998) and “The New World” (2005), his myth-deflating take on the story of Pocahontas and her relationship with the newcomers who settled her lands and helped to destroy her people while making her in a historical symbol in the process before culminating with “The Tree of Life” (2011), an astonishing and deeply personal work in which he combined elements taken from his own life growing up in Texas in the 1950s, themes that had been exploring throughout his entire career (ranging from parent-child conflicts to man’s continued search for grace and deliverance in a world where such things seem to have passed us by) and moments of pure audacity (such as taking a break in the early going to literally travel back to the beginning of time to bear witness to the creation of the universe up to the period when dinosaurs roamed the land) into a work that is not only Malick’s masterpiece to date but one of the finest films to emerge in this new century." (more)

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