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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    We've Read It! Thoughts On Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' Script

    I was fortunate once again (see my write-up on Steve McQueen 12 Years A Slave script HERE) to have the opportunity to read the script for the Lee Daniels’ highly-anticipated period drama The Butler (a September 2011 draft).

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  • ReelPolitik
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    "Special Flight" Takes Off with Powerful Tale about Detention

    One of the best films playing at this year's Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, and a recent award-winner at Full Frame, is Swiss filmmaker Fernand Melgar's profoundly affecting "Special Flight," which follows a group of close-knit illegal immigrants awaiting deport...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Woman In The Fifth' Is A Meandering Literary Mystery With Obvious Answers

    Sometimes you just get stuck with some leading men. The rakishly handsome Ethan Hawke, currently starring in “The Woman In The Fifth,” has retained that youthful insouciance despite his mature action star frame. He’s compelling when in motion, clearly a thoughtful actor who can convey several confli...

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Crying Sexism As The Answer to an Under-performing Film

    Daryl Wein is the co-writer (with partner Zoe Lister Jones) and director of Lola Versus starring Greta Gerwig which opened this Friday to a $31,000 gross in four theatres.  Personally, I didn't love the film.  You can see what I thought here.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    SIFF Review: 'The Savoy King' Celebrates Harlem Jazz Drummer Chick Webb

    “Music is a universal combiner," says Dr. Muriel Petioni, the mother of Harlem medicine, in the first few measures of Jeff Kaufman’s spirited window into the culture of the Harlem music and dance movement in the 1920’s and '30’s. This is a perfect descriptor for "The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the M...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Netflix Picks: Doc On 'Carmen & Geoffrey' - Dance Icons Of The African Diaspora

    I’ve been missing out not knowing much about the work of these two tremendous artists, icons I shall say, of what we regard today as modern dance.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: Do Silent Movies Still Matter?

    In some quarters I'll be considered a heretic for even asking the question. But think about how many people you know — discounting film school types and critics, people pretty much required to do so — who have ever seen a silent, let alone watch them regularly. I'll bet the number is small. Should w...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Brave' Early Reviews: Merida May Not Be New Model Princess After All

    The "Brave" trailers promo Pixar's foray into princess movies; the Disney animated feature is expected to be one of the summer's top performers. But early reviews suggest the tale isn't as fresh and groundbreaking as we'd hoped. Princess Merida is Pixar's first female lead, but may not prove to be a...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Pixar's 'Brave' Is A Powerful But Wobbly Feminist Fairy Tale

    There are a lot of firsts associated with "Brave," Disney/Pixar's new feature, set in the misty Scottish highlands. It's the studio's first period piece ("The Incredibles'" captivating retro-futurism doesn't count, it seems), their first fairy tale, and their first film led by a female character (in...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Tahrir' Is A Must-See Account Of The Egyptian Uprising

    The "Arab Spring" -- a term frequently used to describe the various countries in the Middle East rising against their much-maligned leaders -- rages on in full force. Though the wave of revolution is powerful, the media tends to be very selective in its coverage, focusing on one country before quick...

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    MORE: Tahrir, Review

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