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Gerry (Casey Affleck) and Gerry (Matt Damon)

I don’t think I’ve ever described my relationship with a film as “we’ve been through thick and thin”, but if I had to, it’s this one. Yes, all ten of you readers, this is the one. Not my favorite movie, but the one I am so strangely attracted to. Not everyone will love it like I do—not everyone will love it in general. But I do love Gerry—and I always will.

Gerry is about two friends, both named Gerry, who go out for a hike on a wilderness trail. Within hours, they realize that they are hopelessly lost—and have both forgotten to bring food and water. As the heat and dehydration continues to wear them down, they attempt to distract themselves and each other with meaningless talk and old jokes, but they soon realize they probably will not be able to make it out. …


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Arvin Russell (Tom Holland)

Antonio Campos is a director that likes to challenge himself. Whether it be portraying sociopathy without resorting to “RRRR HAVE SEX STAB PEOPLE” or creating a biopic based off one of the only on-air suicides in history—of which he didn’t have access to the original footage. So he once again challenges himself with keeping track of multiple main characters in The Devil All the Time, which proves to be tough, but satisfying to watch when done right.

Not every character in this movie is fleshed out well, but all of them are superbly performed. This is a movie with a lot of career bests—Tom Holland, Eliza Scanlen, Sebastian Stan, and especially Jason Clarke. All of these characters drift in and out of the story. The movie starts as though it’s setting up one character to be the protagonist, then shifts, then shifts again. …


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The Protagonist (John David Washington)

It’s become cool to hate on Christopher Nolan. It sucks that that’s the case — yeah, obviously I think that there are filmmakers that deserve the title of “Doctor Professor Epic Movie Person” over him, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’s bad. But some of the criticisms levied against him do have value — and the ones I agree with have never seemed more apparent than in the divisive, jaw-dropping Tenet.

For me to say this movie isn’t well choreographed, doesn’t have great music, the special effects aren’t stunning, and the characters aren’t, at the very least, fun to watch, would be me lying to myself. But to say this movie runs high with emotion, has characters that are incredibly deep, and doesn’t exposit often would be the same. …


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Jake (Jesse Plemons), The Young Woman (Jessie Buckley), Mother (Toni Collette), and Father (David Thewlis)

You know the rules. Roll around in the existential dirt, and you’re going to get your temporarily-existing ass hurt. Lightning indeed strikes thrice in screenwriting legend Charlie Kaufman’s new mind-bending acid trip (or perhaps road trip would be more accurate), I’m Thinking of Ending Things. With his first two director’s credits being hits (which, you know, you can always read about here), I had complete faith that this would hit yet again. Before you ask, *scoffs*, no, I don’t get tired of being right all the time.

But what I did get tired of is how consistently fantastic this movie was, because it’s honestly exhausting — it doesn’t really care where you want it to go, it does what it wants. …


Heh, I just got the joke in the article title.

Noah Hawley seems to have a fetish for taking a story we’ve seen done before and doing it differently. Whether it be turning the flat and colorless superhero show into the bizarre, acidic Legion or his reinterpretation of one woman’s strange journey into space and back down to Earth in Lucy in the Sky, he really likes taking pre-existing stories and making them weird as hell.

Fargo, the 1996 masterpiece by the ever dashing Coen brothers, is, well, a masterpiece. (Kinda screwed myself with that sentence structure.) It’s very funny, it’s very dark, and it’s very engaging and well-made — I could imagine being pissed that they were turning into a TV show if I was film-conscious in 2014. (Unlikely — back then, I was in fourth grade, swiping bits of sticky tac from my classrooms to make as big of a ball as possible. …


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I don’t like waiting. Sitting around, eager for the long-awaited event of a lifetime to occur, but dammit, you just have to sit around a little more. One of the many things I happen to be waiting for is I’m Thinking of Ending Things, the newest film by writer-director Charlie Kaufman, considered to be one of the best writers currently living.

But if there’s one thing Kaufman likes to stress, it’s that humans don’t last forever. In fact, Kaufman really enjoys teaching people scary, existentialist lessons — you’re still probably dumb and boring if you’re famous, pure love isn’t real, mundanity is a virus that is highly infectious and can kill you, artistic integrity is dead — you know, the good things in life. So while we sit around and wait for whatever we’re waiting for, why not distract yourself by reading about these seven movies that Kaufman has written? …


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I’ve got a lot to do. School starts again soon, I’m balancing two fairly big projects on this website at once, I have about five or six films to rewatch for my eighteen film list, and I’m sure all five of you are passively waiting for my next article. If I don’t complete something in the next couple of weeks, however, I’m gonna go crazy. So there I was, laying on my couch, trying to think of what I can write about. …


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Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix)

10. The Master (2012) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson has come a long way as a filmmaker. From his not-so-humble beginnings with the jazzy, smooth Hard Eight to the similarly toned but shockingly expansive Boogie Nights to the mystical Punch-Drunk Love, he started as an upbeat, exciting artist. In 2007, he decided to stop all this “fun” nonsense and made There Will Be Blood, a movie that is looked back on as one of the best of that decade, featuring what many agree to be the best performance of said decade. (If not the century.) …


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Your favorite things say something about you, whether you know it or not. I like A Serious Man because (aside from, you know, everything else) it perfectly captures the feeling of small-town homeliness, that which my town exudes. I like Philadelphia roll sushi because it’s my favorite fish, fruit (yes, avocados are fruit!), and condiment all in one little bite.

So what does the fact that the drug-doing, real-sex-scene-filming, controversy-creating French-Argentinian director Gaspar Noé is my favorite director about me? Best not to dwell on that.

Great directors like Haneke and McQueen play on the mind, but Noé plays on the senses. Loud, fast music, bright, flashing lights (EXTREME EPILEPSY WARNING FOR EVERY MOVIE ON THIS LIST!!!), unhearable tones that make you sick — he’s a clever bastard, and he knows it. The Coens are a fun “haha, he pulled a gun in a bowling alley!” pair of directors, and Kelly Reichardt is a lovely “it’s just her and her dog, that’s sweet” filmmaker, but Noé is more of the “dear God, either make it stop or shoot me” kind of guy. So enough of these “wholesome” filmmakers — it’s time to get our hands dirty, and dig into the really disturbing stuff. …

About

Henry Swanson

I like writing decent reviews and such.

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