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Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'The Hunger Games' Home Run; How the Filmmakers Did It

    It's one thing to know that a book could launch a movie franchise-- and another to deliver it. Compare and contrast the respective fates of two would-be franchises: "John Carter" and "The Hunger Games." One was produced by a major studio under inexperienced new management, who put their trust in a r...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: '4:44: Last Day On Earth' Envisions The Apocalypse Without Much Imagination

    There's something very wrong in Abel Ferrara's "4:44: Last Day On Earth." The world, as the title would suggest, is coming to an end, and Ferrara, the fuck-you auteur behind "King of New York" and the non-Nic Cage-adorned "Bad Lieutenant," is content with keeping things inside a spacious apartment o...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Deep Blue Sea' A Beautiful, Woozy & Heartbreaking Tale Of Intense Passion

    What is love, and what is its worth? That's the burning question at the core of "The Deep Blue Sea" the latest from British master Terence Davies, a drama that burns with a blue flame intensity that is deeply beautiful and shattering all at once.

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  • Caryn James
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    Jennifer Lawrence Outwits Outlasts Outplays in The Hunger Games

    The massive audience for The Hunger Games is easily split into two camps. There are fans of the books, who are likely to approve of the terrific Jennifer Lawrence while picking out all the details missing from Suzanne Collins’ novels. And there are people like me, blank slates about Colli...

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Notebook: Why Action Fans Must See 'The Raid: Redemption' Before the Remake

    American action movies are almost entirely defined by cutaways, blaring music cues and grunts. "The Raid: Redemption," a hyper-energetic Indonesian martial arts movie, delivers an effective rebuke to that meek norm. Bones break, blood flows and swift, excessively complicated fight choreogr...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review - Flavorless "Blue Like Jazz" Falls Flat

    Blue Like Jazz is a run of the mill coming of age story where white kids search for the meaning of life through debauchery, pontification, and tomfoolery.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Trouble With Bliss' A Low-Key, No-Stakes Dramedy With Little Pull

    When we first meet Morris Bliss (Michael C. Hall), he's in his bed enjoying some post-coital time with Stephanie (Brie Larson), a much younger high-school student. It's late in the afternoon and Morris is eager to usher Stephanie out of the house before his father Danny (Peter Fonda) comes h...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'The Hunger Games' Interview Round-Up: Cast Talk the Culture-Shifting Power of Dystopian Allegory (Video)

    Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" will boast an enormous box office debut on March 23 (some are forecasting a $140 million opening). That's thanks in large part to Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Katniss Everdeen, which is earning raves. Women starved for smart entertainment aimed at them will flock...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Sun Don't Shine' Is A Watercolor Wisp Hybrid Of An Indie Relationship Pic & Murder Mystery Movie

    Early on in Amy Seimetz’s “Sun Don’t Shine,” it becomes very clear that this isn’t just your average young-white-couple-with-relationship-problems-on-a-road-trip indie flick that we can come to expect from festivals like SXSW. Oh, Crystal and Leo have problems alright. And a bad relationship. And a ...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Sunset Strip' Is A Definitive History & Tribute To The Famed Street That Loses Sight Of Its Purpose

    For most, the phrase “Sunset Strip” conjures up images of neon lights, sun-kissed exposed skin and long, druggy, rock and roll fueled nights. This is the conceit promised by the new documentary of the same name by Hans Fjellestad, and it (mostly) delivers, offering up a definitive history of the fam...

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