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Movie Review: Vampariah (2016)

Mahal (Kelly Lou Dennis, “Three Tutus and a Gun”) is an aswang, an ancient race of vampires derived from Philippine folklore. But that aspect of her being is deeply repressed, and her role in present-day San Francisco is to be a member of an elite vampire-hunter squad. Mahal’s mission is to track down and kill…

Movie Review: Lady Bird (2017)

For her fun fictionalized memoir of sorts, Greta Gerwig has painted a coming-of-age tale almost entirely in shades of grey. Lady Bird is the writer/director’s gentle, through passionately prickly look at the haze that lies just beyond adolescence, with Saoirse Ronan (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) playing Christine, the also titular protagonist who must navigate the…

Movie Review: Mudbound (2017)

Set in post World War II Mississippi, Mudbound — based on Hillary Jordan’s Bellwether Prize-winning novel — tells the story of Henry and Laura McAllan, a white farming family, and Hap and Florence Jackson, the black sharecroppers who live on and work their land. Both families have — among other similarities and commonalities — relatives…

Movie Review: The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Coen Brothers. Paul Thomas Anderson. Quentin Tarantino. When you think of great American directors who defined the first decade of the new millennium, these are a few of the usual suspects. When we reflect upon the current decade, it would be unwise to neglect the rise of an unusual directorial talent: James Franco. No…

Movie Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The digital age is slickly skewered on the sharp blade of a knife that cuts a clean swath of revenge through a wealthy family’s existence in sick satirist Yorgos Lanthimos’ genre-blurring The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lanthimos buries his satirical observations deep and then brushes away select portions of the surface to reveal grim…

Movie Review: Una (2016)

In Una, the powerful screen adaptation of David Harrower’s play “Blackbird” about the sexual abuse of a thirteen-year-old girl, Australian director Benedict Andrews does what has become increasingly uncommon in modern cinema — he makes us think. While it may be uncomfortable to look outside of the reassuring categories of victim and victimizer, Andrews asks…

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