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  • Spout
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    In Praise of Carey Mulligan, Isobel Meikle-Small and the Young-to-Old Casting of "Never Let Me Go"

    Mark Romanek's film adaptation of "Never Let Me Go," which opens in limited release Wednesday, is ultimately a let down. It begins very well, develops into a strong combo of love story and existential sci-fi, but the climax feels horribly rushed. This shouldn't come as a surprise after screenwriter Alex Garland's disappointing third act for Danny Boyle's "Sunshine," which is otherwise a gorgeous, well-acted and psychologically and philosophically stimulating story involving the sun's dual capability for giving and ending life. "Never Let Me Go" actually is quite similar to that movie, in spite of its obvious setting differences, though the life/death issue concerns an ethical conundrum involving man-made science rather than a natural occurrence and premise (albeit an implausible one). Also, it's more emotional where "Sunshine" is more cerebral.

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  • Spout
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    Video: Werner Herzog Saves Joaquin Phoenix

    Coinciding with today's DVD release of Werner Herzog's "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?" is an animated short titled "When Herzog Rescued Phoenix" depicting the time that the German filmmaker saved Joaquin Phoenix from an accident when the actor-turned-"I'm Still Here" subject flipped his car. The story is true, one of the many strange tales making up the legend of Herzog, and occurred back in January 2006. In fact, the short features audio narration by the filmmaker, presumably from an old interview. The visuals were done by Sascha Ciezata, who previously made "When Lynch Met Lucas," employing real audio of David Lynch talking about being considered to direct "Return of the Jedi." Watch the clip after the jump and let me know if you agree that "I'm Still Here" would have been better with Herzog at the helm. Or at least with him providing narration.

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  • THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall
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    Toronto 2010 | NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    EAT THIS FILM #3: Marco Canora

    Inspired by Ermanno Olmi's neorealist classic The Tree of Wooden Clogs, which showed at last month's Eat This Film! series at 92Y Tribeca, acclaimed New York chef Marco Canora (Hearth, Terroir) reminisces about his own culinary upbringing and preps a delicious cucina povera salad.

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  • Spout
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    Killer Shrimp? Just Another Excuse to Watch the "Day-O" Scene From "Beetlejuice" Again

    I avoided including a video of the dinner party scene from "Beetlejuice" in last week's post about the death of actor Glenn Shadix because I thought it was a bit cliche. Good thing, because now I have an even better excuse to feature the clip. News from the UK about "killer shrimp" has caught the attention of the interweb, despite there being even less to fear from these predatory sea creatures than the killer bees everyone was worried about twenty years ago. Still, it made for a fun Best Week Ever post yesterday calling for "Killer Shrimp: The Movie" (starring Snooki). And now I can continue to spotlight Shadix while reminding everyone that the "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" number from "Beetlejuice" concludes with an attack by the shrimp cocktail. Watch it for the billionth time after the jump.

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  • Eric Kohn
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    TIFF '10 Tidbits: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."

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  • Todd McCarthy's Deep Focus
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    Review | "Hereafter"

    There have been a helluva lot of deaths in the 31 feature films Clint Eastwood has directed, but I can't remember too many of the doomed characters in them giving much thought to the afterlife. How, then, to account for the flirtation with the idea that there's something out there bigger than all of us in “Hereafter,” a quiet, contemplative and absorbing inquiry into how jarring incidents can make you look at life from an entirely different perspective than you've done all along.? Is it that Eastwood, at 80, is ruminating about mortality in a way he never did before? Does it have anything to do with his beloved mother's death, at 96, four years ago? Or is it just that he liked Peter Morgan's atypical script, which offered one of the most prolific directors in the United States the opportunity to tackle yet another fresh and unpredictable topic?

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  • The Lost Boys
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    A Boyhood Dream Realized: Winona Ryder In The Flesh

    This morning in the Hyatt Regency, I saw Winona Ryder in the flesh for the very first time. I wish I could say we met at some sort of party and hit it off and decided to blow off the party and drink wine at her hotel room while discussing love, life and the pursuit of happiness. But sadly, I had to settle for the "Black Swan" press conference, where I eagerly sat in the front row and just stared longingly at her nervous eyes.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Bad Buzz Be Damned: "Rabbit Hole" Is Very Strong

    I wasn't really sure what to think heading into tonight's premiere of John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole." Buzz had been mixed at best, and this was unchartered territory for a filmmaker I very much admire but had no idea what he'd be capable of in these new realms. Based on someone else's material and with no queer content to speak of, this was clearly not going to be the John Cameron Mitchell I'd known and loved with "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "Shortbus." So I was a bit nervous. But thankfully, it turns out I love this John Cameron Mitchell too. He turns David Lindsay-Abaire's award-winning play about a couple coping with the death of their son into a tight, focused and quietly haunting film with perfect sprinkles of humor to keep things from going off a deep end. He also brings out strong, naturalistic work from Nicole Kidman (I have not enjoyed her this much in some time), Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest that have enough awards potential for buyers to take what I can only assume will be quick notice.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    From Chaplin To Ford To Kubrick…

    If someone had bet me that we’d have a chance to see formerly-unknown movies by Charlie Chaplin and John Ford during the course of one year, I’d have lost the wager but I wouldn’t have resented the loss because it’s been such an exciting turn of events. The Chaplin appearance discovered by Paul Gierucki (click HERE) wasn’t just a lost film—it was undocumented in Chaplin’s career. The Ford film, Upstream, was one of many he made in the teens and 1920s that have been missing in action. The good news is that those films represent the mere tip of the iceberg.

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