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Moview Reviews, Movie Ratings, TV Show, Television Ratings

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    REVIEW | Upstart: Andrei Kravchuk's "The Italian"

    It's something of a shame that the two most striking bits in Andrei Kravchuk's "The Italian" come, like bookends, at its beginning and end. The first finds a group of young children emerging like phantoms from the mist hovering over a bleak Russian bog to push an SUV run short of gas to its destination - the crumbling orphanage where much of the film takes place. For a moment "The Italian" seems to be taking cues from countryman Aleksandr Sokurov's hypnotic cinema. The other captures plucky six-year-old orphan Vanya (the remarkable Kolya Spiridinov), near the end of a long journey, carefully smoothing his hair before, hopefully, meeting hi...

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    REVIEW | Paris Is Burning: Philippe Garrel's "Regular Lovers"

    Circa 1974, Amos Vogel wrote that Philippe Garrel was "one of the most unknown important new directors" but "like Werner Herzog, he is too original and self-willed to become popular." What a difference thirty years makes: Herzog's the self-promoter of his folk-art persona, so successful that anyone ...

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    REVIEW | Straight Talk: Stewart Wade's "Coffee Date"

    Intermittently charming and often tedious, "Coffee Date" is another in the endless line of low-budget, gay-themed, goodhearted sitcoms that dot the nether regions of the film landscape. Much as a film like Stewart Wade's can be derided for its lack of craft, visual ambition, and recycled narrative of sexual identity crisis, it also can't be denied that as a genre the marginalized gay indie, with its limited release pattern and eventual DVD and cable boon, is one of the strongest standing bastions of true independent American cinema. "Coffee Date" works on the same level as its brethren, and just barely stands out from the pack, save for its c...

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    REVIEW | Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim's "Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story"

    To chart the unusual case of a 13-year-old Japanese girl who went missing in 1977, filmmakers Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim take a slightly different approach to the typical talking-heads documentary. Segueing at about the halfway mark from exotic expose to human interest story, the careful construc...

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    REVIEW | Eastern Western: Wisit Sasanatieng's "Tears of the Black Tiger"

    Better late than never, Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's pink-and-aquamarine western "Tears of the Black Tiger" finally arrives in U.S. theaters nearly six years after it first premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Shelved by Miramax, dropped by The Weinstein Co. and now rescued f...

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    REVIEW | Outside Men: Christopher Quinn's "God Grew Tired of Us"

    There's a reason why a film like Christopher Quinn's impassioned and affecting "God Grew Tired of Us" is designed to appeal to a more populist audience, and why, despite all of its pain and heartache, it needs to be couched in uplift. It's simply a story of which far too many Westerners have remained ignorant, a difficult period of history that's far too recent to gloss over. Quinn's documentary relates the travails of three of the "lost boys" of Sudan, young men who, as children, were forced to separate from their families when the government ordered a mandate that they be killed during the Second Sudanese Civil War (which started in the ear...

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    Reverse Shot's 11 Offenses of 2006

    So, if you're like us, you've had enough, enough, ENOUGH of the Academy Award pundits predicting the same prizes since September, studio shills vomiting "Dreamgirls" spittle all over the place, and seeing about one-hundred-and-seventeen different websites predicting, with self-satisfied, out-on-a-li...

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    Reverse Shot's Top Ten List for 2006

    As per usual, this Reverse Shot Top Ten list was compiled by polling each of our loyal staff writers for their ten favorite films of the year. The first-place ranked film received ten points, the second-place nine points, and so on. Each film on the resulting list is then assigned to a writer who ...

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    REVIEW | Shallow Grave: Karen Moncrieff's "The Dead Girl"

    Structured as five chapters, each focusing on a female character in some way connected to the "Dead Girl" of the title, Karen Moncrieff's film applies a slightly more sensationalistic bent to the usual roundelay of overlapping stories that comprise the ensemble drama. It opens promisingly, abruptly, as Arden (Toni Collette) comes upon the mutilated body while rambling around the windswept, wide open spaces of her mother's property. The discovery pushes the severely shy girl into the limelight and leads to an awkward encounter with Giovanni Ribisi - a shorthand bit of casting used to amp up a sense of the bizarre already indicated by Piper Lau...

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    REVIEW | Child's Play: Guillermo Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth"

    "A fairy tale for grown-ups!" exclaim the mindless reviewers who can't get their noses out of their press kits. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from its highly exploitative and infantile use of graphic gore, this one is strictly for the kiddies, or at least, those reared on b...

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