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Movie Reviews

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Immersed in Movies: Turbulent Behind-the-Scenes Yields Pixar's 'Brave' New Scottish World

    "Brave" is far from the disappointment expressed in some early reviews. It's not only the much ballyhooed breakthrough as Pixar's first female-centric movie but also the most lush-looking work yet from the animation powerhouse. It's a powerful mother-daughter crucible set in medieval Scotland but wi...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Four' Is A Remarkable & Moving Portrait of Solitude

    We are all faced with loneliness at one time or another, perhaps for longer periods than we can understand or accept. In a modern world, with all the connectivity our technology and our society have to offer, we may still be confronted by the looming threat of isolation. This condition of being alon...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Gayby' Is A Slightly Amusing Little Comedy About...You Guessed It, Babymaking With Your Best Gay

    You have one chance to figure out what “Gayby” is about. If you said “gay baby,” ding ding ding, you got it! Or maybe it should be “baby with a gay,” but at any rate, “Gayby” treads the familiar narrative path of the contentious relationship between the single woman and her biological clock. Much li...

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  • Indiewire
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: Cory McAbee's Microbudget 'Crazy & Thief' Is an Adorable Musical Fantasy

    Musician-turned-filmmaker Cory McAbee's first two movie musicals, "The American Astronaut" and the episodically-distributed "Stingray Sam," brilliantly melded a concept album approach with expressionistic science fiction imagery for a unique form of pop art. At just under an ...

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  • The Playlist
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'The Queen Of Versailles' Is A Bundle Of Sarcastic Laughs With A Little Heart Thrown In

    “The Queen of Versailles” lives up to the dual meaning of its title. The documentary, directed by Lauren Greenfield, follows Jackie and David Siegel and their eight children – one of the wealthiest families in America – as they task themselves with building the largest home i...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: ‘Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World’ Is Too Apocalyptically Cute

    “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” the directorial debut of writer Lorene Scafaria (she also wrote “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”), has a premise that, if handled correctly, could really shake up romantic comedy conventions in new and exciting ways. It’s set during the final weeks of...

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  • Indiewire
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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' Struggles to Make Its Apocalyptic Romance Into a Touching Affair

    "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" valiantly tries to inject a familiar premise with renewed emotional discernment and instead flails about in search of it. The directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria ("Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist"), "Seeking ...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Tale of Two First-Time Directors: 'People Like Us' and 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' Debut at LAFF

    There are times when writer-directors should be allowed to direct their own material. And there are time when they should not. I would argue that "Star Trek" and "Alias" co-scribe Alex Kurtzman has more than earned his shot at directing his semi-autobiographical relationship drama "People Like Us" (...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: 'Girls' Was the Season's Best New Series. When Did That Happen?

    The pilot of "Girls" was an ugly, awkward little thing, delivering its one-liners with a nervous titter. Despite its refreshingly frank appraisal of modern sexual mores, its quartet of young women came off largely as archetypes, not characters. But I stuck with the series, and it paid off.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    LAFF 2012 Review: Award-Winning Documentary 'Call Me Kuchu' Captures Humanity Amidst Hysteria

    That feverish pitch, or air of mass belief that I experienced during the missionary rally is the same thread brought out in the documentary, Call Me Kuchu, where co-directors Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright examine religious fundamentalist fervor, much of it imported from abroad,...

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