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Movie Reviews

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    What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews this Week

    This week's new releases include the long awaited second film from Joshua Marston "The Forgiveness of Blood"; the new David Wain comedy "Wanderlust"; Australian teen thriller "Tomorrow, When the War Began"; and for those looking for some authenticity in their a...

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    Why 'The Forgiveness of Blood' Deserved the Same Oscar Consideration as 'A Separation'

    "The Forgiveness of Blood" examines the barriers of ritual and the passage from youth to adulthood in Albanian society with the perceptive detail of a grand literary feat. At the same time, it retains the simplicity of a parable. That it hits U.S. theaters at the height of Oscar fever is a...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Act Of Valor' Lives Out The Hopeless Nihilism Of The Modern Action Movie

    What have you done today? Probably nothing, says “Act Of Valor,” the new military recruitment film from directors 'Mouse' McCoy and Scott Waugh. A title card appears early explaining that the film is "based on real acts of valor,” which is a nice way of saying non...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: Leila Djansi's "Sinking Sands" (2011) - A Poignant Look At Spousal Victimization & Independence

    I finally caught Leila Djansi’s sophomore feature film effort Sinking Sands last night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available through Netflix; I opted to rent it via Amazon on Demand.

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  • Spout
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    "Act of Valor" is Actually TOO Authentic, Yet Not Real Enough

    After "Act of Valor," we can no longer complain about inaccuracies and inauthentic material in action movies. This relatively fictional and dramatized look at the work of a U.S. Navy SEAL team is unquestionably the most realistic portrayal of the special ops branch in a "narrative&quo...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: David Wain's Easygoing 'Wanderlust' Is A Light, Shaggy, Scruffy & Diverting Comedy

    While it's their first collaboration, one would be completely excused if they believed writer/director David Wain ('Wainy Days," "Stella," "Role Models") and Judd Apatow ("Knocked Up," etc.) had been working together for years. Clearly kin-like comedic souls or brothers from another mother, Wain and...

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    PIFF '12 Review: All Is Not What It Seems In Beautifully Shot 'The Loneliest Planet'

    It’s true that the “Loneliest Planet,” directed by Julia Loktev (“Day Night Day Night”), is the kind of film that works best if you know little to absolutely nothing about it going in. But then again, couldn’t that be said for just about every film? So before we write this review in to futility befo...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    PAFF 2012 Highlights #1 - Russ Parr's "The Under Shepherd"

    The 2012 installment of the Pan African Film Festival ended on Monday; I caught a late night flight back to New York City and arrived yesterday, Tuesday morning, and a day later, I'm still getting back into the NYC flow of things.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Forgiveness Of Blood' A Tight, Taut, Grounded Dramatic Thriller

    Despite this country being home to a number of diverse cultures and ethnicities, American cinema (both indie and Hollywood) skews heavily toward the Exciting Stories Of The White Man. Of course, some of our favorite films fall into this extremely vague category, but it certainly would be nice to see...

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    How 'Wanderlust' Illustrates the Problem With Every David Wain Movie

    Like every David Wain movie, "Wanderlust" contains the grain of a good idea that never reaches fruition. A kind of spiritual sequel to "Wet Hot American Summer," the most widely revered entry in the Wain oeuvre, "Wanderlust" follows an unemployed New York couple wh...

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