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Reviews

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    REVIEW | Brigham Young Guns: Christopher Cain's "September Dawn"

    When we look back one day on the cinema that emerged in response to 9/11 we'll undoubtedly notice among the successes, failures, prophetic messages and reactionary propaganda a handful of films that can be rightfully designated as downright laughable and nearly delusional in their attempts to fashio...

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    REVIEW | Simple Men: Rod Lurie's "Resurrecting the Champ"

    Denver sportswriter Erik Kerman, Jr. (Josh Hartnett) is at loose ends, fighting an uphill battle against his editor (Alan Alda) to keep his byline from being buried in the paper's back pages, and against his estranged wife, to keep himself a presence in his young son's life. Erik's pitch for a prest...

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    REVIEW | Panic Button: Chris Gorak's "Right at Your Door"

    In his book on the Apollo 11 moon landing, "Of a Fire on the Moon," Norman Mailer wondered whether, in addition to providing wish fulfillment, dreams might act as psychic simulation chambers "where the possible malfunctions of life tomorrow and life next year could be tested, where the alternate pla...

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    REVIEW | 'core Truths: Joe Swanberg's "Hannah Takes the Stairs"

    "It's like a musical couch," one character comments, shifting positions on a sofa with two others, nicely summing up the narrative thrust of the wispy but radiant "Hannah Takes the Stairs." The line also unwittingly references the cinematic cross-pollination taking place amongst the real-life troup...

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    PARK CITY '07 REVIEW | It Happened in Sao Paulo: Jason Kohn's "Manda Bala"

    [EDITOR's NOTE: Steve Ramos' review of "Manda Bala" appeared as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the Sundance Film Festival in January.]Much attention is being made over first-time feature filmmaker Jason Kohn's apprenticeship with documentary master Errol Morris but the twenty-something director des...

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    REVIEW | Last Gasp: Frank Oz's "Death at a Funeral"

    "Death at a Funeral" is the kind of movie that inspires anticipatory eyeball-rolling--you feel like you've heard permutations of its punch lines in craftier incarnations numerous times before, even as it's just getting going. This hunch was confirmed when I was cued to chortle mightily at the incong...

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    REVIEW | The Outside Scoop: Tom DiCillo's "Delirious"

    "Delirious" represents a return from direct-to-DVD purgatory for Tom DiCillo, still probably best remembered--when he is--for his calling card 1995 film, "Living in Oblivion," a self-reflexive look behind-the-scenes of an independent film shoot that piggybacked on the mid-'90s vogue for all things "...

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    REVIEW | Sunset Stripped: Julie Delpy's "2 Days in Paris"

    Paired with another scruffy American in Paris, Julie Delpy actively engages viewer recollections of "Before Sunset" in her DIY feature-length directorial debut. Playing like a rough-around-the edges reinterpretation of Richard Linklater's transcendent "Before Sunrise" sequel, "2 Days in Paris" echoe...

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    REVIEW | Blisters in the Sun: "Rocket Science" Blasts Off

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: This review of "Rocket Science" was first published during the Sundance Film Festival in January.]

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    REVIEW | Kissability: Christophe Honore's "Dans Paris"

    If the critical act can be described simply as the attempt to reconcile in words a personal aesthetic philosophy with that of another as expressed through an artistic work, then criticism comes easiest when a work's flaws and missteps are apparent, the creator's ineptitude runs rampant, or the guidi...

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