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Movie Reviews

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    Big Screen | Solondz's "Wartime" Comes To America

    Nearly a year after its festival debut, Todd Solondz's "Happiness" quasi-sequel "Life During Wartime" is coming to U.S. theaters via IFC Films. Featuring a cast including Ciaran Hinds, Allison Janney, Paul Reubens, Charlotte Rampling, Ally Sheedy, Michael Lerner, Shirley Henderson and Michael Kennet...

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    REVIEW | Todd Intact: "Life During Wartime" Maintains Solondz' Droll Satiric Aura

    This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE’s coverage of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. “Life During Wartime” opens this Friday, July 23rd at the IFC Center in New York.

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    REVIEW | Gender Division: Looking Back at Sally Potter's "Orlando"

    Eighteen years after its initial theatrical release, "Orlando" returns to theaters with all of its original allure intact, and then some. Sally Potter's uniquely strange adaptation of Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel has grown in stature, mainly due to the global stardom of its versatile lead, Tilda Swin...

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    REVIEW | Nuclear Inevitability: Lucy Walker's "Countdown to Zero"

    A closing montage in the essential 1982 found footage essay "The Atomic Cafe" shows a series of 1960s-era individuals engaging in duck-and-cover antics in anticipation of a nuclear blast. Given the retro black-and-white feel, the visual equation amounts to a meditation on the past, with no indicatio...

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    book and dvd reviews: It's A Noir, Noir, Noir, Noir World

    The term “film noir” didn’t exist in the 1940s and early 1950s. The late Larry Gelbart, who wrote the noir-inspired stage musical City of Angels, once told me that back then “film” was something you got if you didn’t brush your teeth. People went to “the movies.” But ever since the term was taken up by American film buffs and scholars in the 1970s it has created a special allure for those dark, hard-boiled melodramas that studios ground out so effortlessly in the post-War era. What’s more, since today’s audiences have no trouble digesting cynicism, these films seem positively mode...

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    film review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

    If you know that this film comes from the team that gave you National Treasure, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect: a larger-than-life action yarn with special effects and a sense of humor. It isn’t my favorite kind of entertainment, but there’s a good reason Jerry Bruckhei...

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    Big Screen | "Inception" Hits Theaters With Passionate Critical Support

    Though this column has almost exclusively focused on specialty films since its, uh, inception, it seems like if there's any week to find an exception to that rule it's this one. This Friday, one of the most anticipated films of the year hits theaters, and while it might be far, far from independent...

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    REVIEW | Ancient Ultra-Violence: Nicolas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising"

    The introductory text at the beginning of "Valhalla Rising" both sets the scene and describes it. "In the beginning, there was only man and nature," we're told, and in this era -- 1,000 A.D., to be precise -- men bearing crosses drove the heathen to "the fringes of the earth." A blood-soaked chronic...

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    REVIEW | Kids In The Big City: Lance Daly's "Kisses"

    For ages, neglected or abused children have provided fodder for mainstream entertainment, as proven by the lasting reputations of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie alike. Youth, however, makes for a tough subject of filmmakers intent on capturing realism: The challenge of eliciting a believable p...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Looney Tunes, On-Screen And In Print

    Sometimes I think I was born at exactly the right time, as a child of the first television generation. When local TV stations purchased libraries of old cartoons and made them part of their daily programming, I had the opportunity to digest and memorize seemingly every Warner Bros. cartoon from t...

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