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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Twists and Shouts: Kimberly Reed's "Prodigal Sons"

    In the first twenty or so minutes of Kimberly Reed's marvelous documentary "Prodigal Sons," the film's director, who is also one of its main subjects, returns to her small Montana hometown to attend a high-school reunion. En route, she is reunited with her adopted older brother, Marc, with whom she ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    book review - Inside the Brat Pack

    You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried by Susannah Gora

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    Berlinale Critics Notebook: Searching For Meaning In a "Two Star" Festival

    Five days into the 60th Berlinale, and the mood might have most charitably been described as neutral. There were some good films, though not a lot. But then, there weren't many outright stinkers, either. The market hummed along without seeming to achieve much, either in terms of major sales or -- to...

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    REVIEW | Cash Poor: Julio DePietro's "The Good Guy"

    Whatever suspense Julio DePietro's "The Good Guy" seems to think it's generating is predicated upon the supposedly surprising twist that its central Wall Street wannabe tycoon is not, in fact, a standup guy. Though all of the details of his cretinous behavior come as a slap in the face to the film's...

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    Berlinale Critics Notebook: The undeniable ‘find’ of the festival, so far?

    It was 106F the day I left Sydney, at the end of a four-month visit with family and friends. By the time I got home to Berlin, on the evening of January 26, it was -4F. The cold was dry and tense and lacerating; you felt hollowed out by it. But far worse were the pavements: thickened with weeks of c...

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    REVIEW | Haunted House: Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher's "October Country"

    The type of introspective, intimate domestic American nonfiction that has sprouted up so much in art-house theaters in the wake of the success of "Capturing the Friedmans" has come to typify documentary filmmaking of the past decade. Itself somewhat of an acolyte of the far more sensitive "Crumb," w...

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    REVIEW | On the Butcher Block: Haim Tabakman's "Eyes Wide Open"

    Most of the gay Israeli films that have made their way to the U.S. have seemed to prefer narratives of extreme conflict. Of course there have been exceptions (last year’s glib yet exceedingly hot romantic comedy "Antarctica"‘s only issues were, refreshingly, those of sex and commitment), but for the...

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    REVIEW | No Exit: Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani's "Ajami"

    "Ajami" gets right to the tragic heart of the matter. Before the viewer knows what or whom he's watching, a young boy is gunned down in the middle of a city street in broad daylight. Though a backstory is soon provided, the incident truly and crucially never makes sense. Revenge, recompense, clumsy ...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Dennis Hopper On Display

    Even as Hollywood survivor Dennis Hopper battles prostate cancer, he is being celebrated in a multimedia show that’s touring the world. I caught a glimpse of it on my recent trip to Australia, where the exhibition called Dennis Hopper and The New Hollywood is on display through April 25 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. The touring show of photographs and artwork by Hopper is accompanied by a coffee-table book of the same name, published by Flammarion in conjunction with the ACMI and La Cinematheque Francaise. The book was on sale in the Centre’s lovely gift shop, but I didn’t want to lug it ho...

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    REVIEW | The Toxic Avenger: Josh Fox's "GasLand"

    Josh Fox's "GasLand" is the paragon of first person activist filmmaking done right. Matching his perspective with a slew of infuriating case studies, Fox explores the influx of hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), a method of drilling natural gas that endangers the sanity of water supplies in the i...

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