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Movie Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Hot Docs Review: 'The Final Member' Is Fascinating Phallic Fun

    There are few movies this year where you'll see a man get the stars and stripes of the American flag tattooed on the head of his penis. But then again, there are few documentaries like "The Final Member," a warm look at a quirky subject that gets to the human story behind it.

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: 'Queen: Days Of Our Lives' Is A Good Overview Of The Classic Band's Career

    Compared to other mega-selling bands like say, The Beatles, the story behind Queen is not quite as widely known. Formed in London in the early ‘70s, the band was responsible for a slew of hits over the two decades or so, traversing genres from rock to opera to disco sometimes within the same song, b...

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    Review: Though Beautiful & Touching At Times, 'My Way' Fails To Deliver An Authentic Experience

    “My Way,” from one of Korea’s most famous and acclaimed directors, Kang Je-kyu, is a venture of expansive and expensive proportions, recounting two men’s overlapping lives, and set against the backdrop of the Second World War. The film opens with a runner suddenly taking the lead at the 1948 Olympic...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    BBC's 'I Claudius' The Accidental Emperor on DVD

    Rome and its emperors are with us still. What are the "Hunger Games" but a modern version of the gladiator fights-to-the-death with which the emperors pacified unruly citizens? There is a lot of killing in the brilliant 1976 BBC miniseries “I Claudius,” newly remastered with a sharper look, and rel...

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Notebook: Has Tribeca Improved? Yes, Depending Where You Look.

    The filmmakers behind "First Winter" illegally shot a deer. Two of the lead actors from "Una Noche" bailed on their flight into town. These were the big stories of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Now then: How about the quality of the movies?

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  • The Playlist
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    Hot Docs Roundup: 'Despite The Gods' Fascinates, 'Beauty Is Embarrassing' Is Heartwarming & 'About Face' A Fun Look At Fashion

    Aussie filmmaker Penny Vozniak's "Lost in La Mancha"-esque documentary “Despite The Gods," following director Jennifer Lynch and her experiences making her third film in India, is a low budget docu-delight. Lynch is the beating, empathic heart of the film, an endearing combination of raw emotional h...

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  • The Playlist
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    Hot Docs Review: 'Big Easy Express' A Rambling, Affectionate Tour Documentary That Should Make Fans Happy

    Director Emmett Malloy has returned with an excellent follow up to 2009’s “Under Great Northern Lights” with another winning concert documentary titled "Big Easy Express." In a tight 60-odd minutes, the film follows three bands, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Mag...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: On Film, America's Culture of Violence

    The most terrifying 80 minutes I've spent in my career as a film critic were those spent watching "Elephant," in which even the rhythmic click-click-click of photographic negatives being shaken in chemicals brought me the edge of what I can bear.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Revisiting History: Booker’s Place

    So many documentaries come out every year that it isn’t possible to keep up with them all. I watched 'Booker’s Place' (now open theatrically in New York and Los Angeles, and available nationwide On Demand) because I admire its director, Raymond De Felitta, who most recently gave us the piquantly ori...

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  • The Playlist
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    Tribeca Review: Morgan Spurlock's Crowd-Pleasing 'Mansome' Is Cute, But Unilluminating

    What makes a man shave his chest? Sport a hirsute, ridiculously long and absurd-looking beard? Bleach his anus, thread his eyebrows or play around with his facial hair in any number of manscaping ways? These are some of the questions posed in Morgan Spurlock's latest cheery and congenial documentary...

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