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  • The Wicker Man

    The Wicker Man

    ★★★★★

    Well, I guess I have a new favorite musical.

    This film simply works on every level. I expected great atmosphere and cult horror, but what I did not expect was such a thematically rich experience. The surface level interpretation of Christianity vs. Paganism is interesting enough, but there are so many different ways that you can read into this script.

    Is it about groupthink? Probably, yes. Is it about authoritarianism being maintained through charisma and a veneer of ingrained traditions…

  • The Ghost of Yotsuya

    The Ghost of Yotsuya

    ★★★★½

    I was definitely hooked by the premise and the poster, but I did not expect it to be this awesome. It's a tale of two halves, with 30 minutes of buildup doing a ton of work to make you completely despise lemon culminating in 45 minutes straight of relentlessly insane surreal horror. The buildup was absolutely necessary in making the climax so immensely satisfying within the utter chaos that was unfolding on screen. I also did not know that the…

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  • The Babysitter

    The Babysitter

    ★★

    Cult of Personality #25 - Samara Weaving

    I didn't hate it. I probably would've liked this a lot when I was like 14. Ultimately, in its desperate to attempt to be fun and outrageous, it succeeded in being at least mildly entertaining throughout, but it was also pretty consistently annoying. I sighed more than I laughed, both at the often awful script and at the directing/editing choices by "McG" and company. The snappy editing style can really work when used…

  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    ★★★★½

    Cult of Personality #24 - Mark Hamill

    I could watch/listen to Mark Hamill's Joker for hours. The Joker doesn't even get that much screen time in this movie, but as soon as he shows up- it becomes Hamill's movie. As much as I admire Heath Ledger's performance, this version of the Joker is always going to be the best. He is absolutely evil, but you can't help but root for him to get away from ol' Batsy due to his…

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  • To Sleep with Anger

    To Sleep with Anger

    ★★★★

    Never have I seen a film that embodies the term "magical realism" with so much subtle grace. It's not necessarily surreal, but it can easily be read in way that isn't fully confined to reality. At the same time the themes and characters are extraordinarily true to life in a way that is sometimes touching and sometimes painful to watch. The lead into the closing credits is possibly my favorite moment in the film, and that song which plays during…

  • Uptown Girls

    Uptown Girls

    ★★★½

    Cult of Personality #23 - Mary Shelton

    Uptown Girls is touching and heartfelt story about a sisterly relationship between Brittany Murphy and a young Dakota Fanning brought to you by the cinematographer of numerous Scorcese and Fassbinder films, the editor of Scarface, and the director of Remember the Titans. All of these connections surprised me, but what doesn't surprise me is that the writers' room was full of women, seeing that it is such a genuine depiction of chosen sisterhood.…