Review of Mother/Mazâ (2020)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Netflix has become a larger venue of releasing films outside of theaters. More recently, that has included I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, one of my favorites of the year thus far. This has also given window to a number of Netflix exclusive films to come out with a bit more attention to them, including this one, titled Mother and directed by Tatsushi Ohmori. Given how the year has shaped up, it’s been a prime window for films to get an online release and receive plenty of attention, so how does this hold up?

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On Construction of Meaningful Cinematic Drama through Character Flaws

Given the upcoming slew of holiday dramas, romantic comedies, and more, I’ve had a lot of thoughts on an issue facing the majority of them: the lack of meaningful drama. Granted, the purpose of these romcoms is to not push the edge and to make some guaranteed cash around the holiday season, especially in North America where holiday struggles are a nearly universal experience for people. So, theme perhaps made more tangential, what is it that makes a good drama?

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Review of “The Haunting of Bly Manor”

Billed as a “gothic romance” (but advertised as a horror series), The Haunting of Bly Manor debuted last week on Netflix and appeared quickly on top of Netflix’s Top 10 list. Following the success of the decent The Haunting of Hill House series, most figured some kind of sequel series would be in the works. Instead of a direct sequel, Mike Flanagan instead delivers an anthology series much more rooted in similar core design but taking a significantly different artistic direction. These differences didn’t amount to improving the quality of the series, both in the short and long term, giving us an ultimately serviceable but largely mediocre end result.

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Review of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

After 5 years, Charlie Kaufman returns with his latest directorial work, one that is layered with meticulous planning, confusing visual elements, deliberate plot holes, and surreal sense of questioning that permeates every watch I’ve given to it thus far. It is perhaps a film that stands as one of its own kind, a genre that Kaufman himself presides over. It’s a superb work, even if it’s not his absolute best one.

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Review of “Song Without a Name”

Song Without a Name (Canción sin nombre) had its debut at numerous film fests throughout the second half of 2019, and finally became available for me to watch fairly recently. Despite hearing some positive buzz about it, I deliberately attempted to view this film as blind as possible: only knowing that it was set in 1988 Peru during a huge time of political turmoil, and the disappearance of the main character’s newborn child. What was it that gave such positive hype to those who have seen it? I wanted to know. And now I have a multitude of my own thoughts. Continue reading

Thoughts on “The Lodge (2019)”

Billed as an “arthouse horror” film, The Lodge (2019) certainly puts forth the effort of Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. However, while the film has its merits, it certainly falls short of doing anything spectacular, even though it still has its moments and redeeming qualities. Why did this film fall short in comparison to instant classics like Ari Aster’s Hereditary and Midsommar, or Robert Egger’s The Witch? Let’s explore.

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