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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review Roundup: 'Inventing David Geffen' Takes a Long, Respectful Look at a Hollywood Mega-Mogul

    Susan Lacy's documentary "Inventing David Geffen," which premieres November 20 on PBS as part of the "American Masters" series, is generally sitting well with the critics. The portrait of the intimidating "agent-manager-record-mogul-movie-mogul" is a comprehensive look at Geffen's many achievements,...

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Emotional Creature Celebrates Girls Lives

    There have been so few shows and events that truly reveal what it is like to be a girl that when you see truth - the good and the bad - you immediately know that you are seeing something special. For me, the TV show that epitomized girlhood will always be My So Called Life, the Winnie Holzman creat...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Red Dawn' Intermingles Inept Jingoism With Casual, Wrongheaded Racism

    Why is it that films that spend the longest time on the shelves feel so unfinished? Reportedly filmed three years ago, Dan Bradley’s strikingly incompetent “Red Dawn” is now being dumped in theaters, stitched together with scotch tape and falling apart at the seams, letting casual racism and misanth...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    ADIFF 2012 Review: 'La Pirogue' And The African Struggle

    A vast expanse of ocean. A small boat, bobbing with uncertainty amongst looming waves. It’s an image that’s been created many times in many iterations across the cinema landscape - in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, in The Perfect Storm, more recently in Ang Lee’s opus Life...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Inventing David Geffen' Is Wildly Entertaining, But Never As Insightful As It Should Be

    David Geffen is so powerful, wealthy and connected that he could probably kill this review right now were he so inclined. He is a show business titan; a controversial figure who is revered—and feared—by equal measure. He is perhaps the closest thing we have to the kingpins of old, the Selznicks, the...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Watch: Hear 'Paul Williams Still Alive' Original Song (TRAILER)

    Paul Williams' original song "Still Alive" from Stephen Kessler's new documentary "Paul Williams Still Alive" will touch any artist, especially someone past their prime. The movie and the song address Williams' past glories, which are gone, and the fantasy of chasing your dreams vs. the reality of l...

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  • Indiewire
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    Review: Why 'Central Park Five' Is the Most Important Documentary of Ken Burns' Career

    While impeccably researched and often stunningly comprehensive, Burns' movies generally lack both immediacy or strong arguments about their subjects. "The Central Park Five" provides a welcome exception.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Things I Learned at the Kubrick LACMA Exhibit, from Weegee to NASA Technology

    Give yourself plenty of time to check out the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It's huge. And it rewards drilling into the details. There's a room devoted to each film, and they wouldn't let me take pictures (although @BrettRatner managed to sneak a few on Twitter). M...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'In The Family' A Sincere, Heartbreaking Indie Drama

    It’s tough for the drama. For every movie that is successfully earnest and sincere in its heartbreaking story, about fifty others are willed into the cinema that rest on familiar tropes, forced emotions lacking any legitimate heart, and a trusty sensational score that knows just when to blare. Their...

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  • The Playlist
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    Rome Review: 'Tar' With James Franco Is A Dreamy Collage Of Pretty But Overfamiliar Aesthetics

    It's difficult to know quite what to make of 'Tar,' a multi-authored project seemingly coaxed into being by the sheer force of James Franco's current artistic cachet. Playing In Competition in the XXI sidebar of the Rome Film Festival, the film represents the work of twelve newbie directors -- NYU f...

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