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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    David Chase and Cast Talk 'Not Fade Away': NYFF Review and Press Conference

    At the New York Film Festival screening of David Chase's marvelous first feature "Not Fade Away," I felt my spirits lift a little higher with each scene until, by the time the band finally performed an original song for the first time, I was soaring, the way you're supposed to do when you forget you...

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  • The Playlist
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    NYFF Review: 'Memories Look At Me' A Comforting, Modest Micro Indie

    Song Fang's "Memories Look At Me" is a tough one: while the filmmaker's debut is a lovely, pleasant experience, it's extremely difficult to make the movie sound at all appealing. A large percentage of it takes place in a single apartment, with each dialogue-heavy scene generally composed of a single...

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  • The Playlist
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    NYFF Review: Rock 'N' Roll Dreams Are Fleeting & Familiar In David Chase's Uneven 'Not Fade Away'

    For a film that’s ostensibly set to the vibrant pulse of early ‘60s rock 'n' roll and blues -- The Rolling Stones, the early Beatles, Bo Diddley, etc. -- David Chase’s directorial debut, “Not Fade Away,” sure has a curious, circuitous and eventually long-winded tempo. Set in 1964, just a few months ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You' Proves Its Title Wrong

    The displeasure one feels in watching, or simply enduring, the indie dramedy "Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You" is directly proportional to how throughly selfish and unsympathetic the lead character James truly is. When we're first introduced to the misanthrope, he's on the roof of his home i...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: James Bond Doc ‘Everything Or Nothing’ Is A Fascinating, In-Depth Look At The Ups & Downs Of The Iconic Super-Spy

    This year James Bond, the dapper British super-spy with a taste for violence and sex, turns 50, and in celebration of this momentous achievement a new deluxe Blu-ray box set is being released, a new film premieres in theaters this fall (“Skyfall” from “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes) and a new...

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  • Indiewire
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    New York Film Festival Review: David Chase's Directorial Debut 'Not Fade Away' Pays Homage to an Era, Without a Purpose

    Relishing the sights and sounds of the early '60s with a self-indulgence that makes "Mad Men" look restrained, "The Sopranos" creator's feature debut reaches for a grand statement and instead simply channels nostalgia. Using a typical coming-of-age mold, Chase turns cultural ephemera into formula.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: Arnold's 'Wuthering Heights,' Meier's 'Sister,' Jarecki's 'House I Live In' & Lee Daniel's Hot Mess

    A strong selection of films arrive in theaters this weekend. Not only are "Frankenweenie," "Taken 2" and "V/H/S" fighting for audience attention, there's also Switzerland's powerful Foreign Language Oscar entry from Ursula Meier, "Sister," and Andrea A...

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  • Indiewire
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    Critic's Notebook: What Filmmaker John Akomfrah's Work Tells Us About the Present By Way of the Past

    True to his post-colonial interests, Akomfrah's work blurs and re-imagines the distinction between video art and cinema. While his conceptual rigor and semantic preoccupations suit the immersive spaces of video art/installation, his lyricism calls for the scope of the big screen.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Escape Fire' Paints A Portrait Of A Broken System & A Hopeful, Humanist Solution

    "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" opens with an anecdotal analogy that initially seems kind of out of place in a documentary about health care systems. Dr. Don Berwick relates how a firefighter, while combatting an out of control forest fire, chose to set a fire around him in or...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    The Paperboy—movie review

    I suppose we all like a taste of Southern-gothic storytelling now and then, so I was ready to enjoy The Paperboy based on what little I’d heard ahead of time. And yes, Nicole Kidman’s unflinchingly flashy performance—in a parade of brightly colored miniskirts—is an attention-...

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