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Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Locarno Review | Santa Gone Wild: Jalmari Helander's "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale"

    In 2003, Finnish director Jalmari Helander made a zany short film about smugglers in the business of hunting Santa Claus and inadvertently created a viral sensation. The short, "Rare Exports Inc.," and its 2005 follow-up, "Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions," con...

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    Review | There Will Be a Crime: David Michod's "Animal Kingdom"

    Equal parts crime thriller, neo-western and coming-of-age story, the Australian drama "Animal Kingdom" puts its moral compass into a tailspin. Initially, first time writer-director David Michod introduces a basic sense of right and wrong adopted by the most casual entries in good-versus-evil sagas, but he later endows his cruel world with a fittingly tilted vision of justice. Our sympathies lie with alienated teen Josh (James Frecheville), a Melbourne youth whose innocence gets challenged by his older gangster relatives. Michod situates Josh as the moral center, then sneaks in a finale suggesting nothing is sacred. Josh grows up when he grow...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review: 3D Worth Paying to See: Step Up 3D

    As a longtime 3D fan, I’ve been puzzled and discouraged to hear more than one director refer to “subtle use of 3D” in their films. Excuse me? I may be wrong, but I don’t think “subtle” and “3D” belong in the same sentence. The whole point of 3D is t...

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    Locarno Review | Undead Porn: Bruce LaBruce's "L.A. Zombie"

    Unless I'm missing something, the miraculous potential of a giant undead penis in Bruce LaBruce's "L.A. Zombie" is a definite first for film history. Banned from the Melbourne Film Festival and bound to inspire heated debate wherever it plays next, the wordless, hour-long portrait of a walking corps...

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    Locarno Review | Savage Grace: Benoit Jacquot's "Deep in the Woods"

    In the recent period of Benoit Jacquot's more than thirty years of filmmaking, with movies like "Seventh Heaven," he has often embraced a sharp psychoanalytic perspective. "Deep in the Woods" ("Au Fond Des Bois"), the French director's seventeenth feature and the opening night Piazza screening at th...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    book review: Three Chords For Beauty's Sake:

    The Life of Artie Shaw by Tom Nolan (Norton)

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  • Indiewire
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    Big Screen | Schumacher's (Mostly) Ravaged "Twelve" Hits Theaters

    Future cult classic or simply a terrible film? That may or may not be the question for the future of Joel Schumacher's "Twelve," which, after closing the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, arrives in theaters this Friday.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review: Dinner For Schmucks

    I’d like to extoll the virtues of a great comedy, but this isn’t it. A word of explanation: I come to Dinner for Schmucks at a disadvantage, because I love the French film on which it’s based, The Dinner Game (1998). I’ve also heard its creator, the brilliant writer-direct...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review: Get Low

    Get Low is one of the treats of the summer movie season, a modest film that offers ample rewards, not the least being the opportunity to watch wonderful actors at work. The setting is Tennessee during the Great Depression. Robert Duvall is well cast as a man who’s lived as a hermit for the ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review: The Extra Man

    If you have any fondness for life’s oddballs, I think you’ll share my affection for the latest film from the writing/directing team of Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman, who brought us American Splendor. The Extra Man, based on a novel by Jonathan Ames, focuses on two men who e...

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