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  • Saw III

    Saw III

    On one hand, I think Whannell’s script for this one hits the perfect balance of dumbass moral posturing, soap opera convolution and utterly ridiculous horror setpieces, culminating in what’s probably the franchise’s most bloated (and thus most entertaining) final montage. On the other, the rest of the movie is bloated too, which is less delightful, and for all the bragging Darren’s been doing on Twitter about shooting this on 35mm, this looks like horseshit and I think in a theatrical setting it would actually give me a headache.

  • Two-Lane Blacktop

    Two-Lane Blacktop

    “...and then they die.”

    A folksinger and a Beach Boy come together to mourn the end of a “free” car culture (an end personified by Warren Oates, in slick goofball mode as a man defined solely by the car he drove off the lot). Maybe a bit of irony in casting a Wilson brother against the commercialization of hot rod culture, but I’ll leave the unpacking of that to 60’s-70’s countercultural critics. Functionally a cryptic, existential flip side to the…

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  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    “First, I think that every judge should be required to spend time in prison before sentencing other people there so that he might become aware of the degrading antihuman conditions that persist not only in Cook County Jail but in the prisons generally of this country. I feel more compassion for you, sit, than I do any hostility. I feel that you are a man who has had too much power over the lives of too many people for too many…

  • Too Old to Die Young

    Too Old to Die Young

    Refn doubling down on everything that makes him so divisive - if The Neon Demon went "beyond feminist," this thing goes even further, with the white-hot searing rage against those who exploit women that might be explosive in a picture with a reasonable runtime stretched out into lengthy neon tableaux with basically no regard for pace. So... catnip for us Refnomaniacs fed up with toxic masculinity and terrified at the creeping resurgence of fascism, a slow drip of fury unfurled as…