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Movie Reviews

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    LA Film Fest REVIEW | "Leave It On the Floor" Revisits Ballroom Scene With Flaws, But Plenty of Life

    Revisiting the African American ball culture first made famous by Jennie Livingston's 1990 New York-set documentary "Paris is Burning" and the Madonna single "Vogue," Sheldon Larry's colorful movie musical "Leave It On the Floor" takes place in a similar Los Angeles scene. Made on the cheap and extr...

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    REVIEW | John Turturro Explores Neopolitan Rhythms in "Passione"

    When John Turturro faces the camera at the start of "Passione," his ode to the legacy of Neapolitan music, he makes a pronouncement with the superficial grandiosity of a tourist video. "There are places you go to when once is enough," he says, "and then there's Napoli." The free-ranging exploration ...

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    REVIEW | "A Better Life" Is a Strong Immigration Story, But Not Quite Strong Enough

    There are moments in Chris Weitz's immigration drama that transcend the familiarity of the material, and others that play directly into it. In the swift, wordless opening sequence, the director reveals the life of sullen middle-aged gardener Carlos (Demián Bichir) living out his days as an impoveris...

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    LAFF REVIEW | Amber Sealey and Kent Osborne Make a Provocative Marital Drama in "How to Cheat"

    "How to Cheat," Amber Sealey's intriguing sophomore feature following her directorial debut "A Plus D," looks like an annoying retread of DIY tropes until it manages to defy them. The opening scene finds Mark (Kent Osborne) bouncing around his Los Angeles backyard in his birthday suit, striking a comical "seize the day" pose before heading off to his droll job as the driver for a car service. With his goofy demeanor masking a deeper yearning to enjoy life, Mark initially resembles the star of Joe Swanberg's "Uncle Kent," a 40-year-old bachelor also played by Osborne. Fortunately, Sealey hasn't made a sequel set in Swanbergville. "How to Cheat...

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    LA Film Fest REVIEW | "You Hurt My Feelings" Is A Tender Drama With Almost No Dialogue

    Steve Collins' tender drama "You Hurt My Feelings" revolves around three characters stuck in a solemn mood. Collins' second feature after "Gretchen," which was well-received on the festival circuit, "You Hurt My Feelings" adopts a patient, at times unbearably depressingly tone heavily based in infer...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    movie review: Page One: Inside The New York Times

    If you’re expecting a prosaic documentary spotlighting a group of editors in ties sitting around a conference table, debating what’s worth putting on the front page of the country’s leading newspaper, you’re in for a surprise. Andrew Rossi’s vibrant film hones in on ...

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    LAFF REVIEW | Richard Linklater's "Bernie" Gives Jack Black His Most Original Role in Years

    Richard Linklater's "Bernie" is an oddly endearing love letter to Southern eccentricities that calls to mind no less than his iconic "Slacker." However, the comparison ends there: With its purposefully naive sense of self-mockery, "Bernie" is a shape-shifting genre vehicle set apart from anything el...

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    movie review: Green Lantern

    It isn’t innovative, it isn’t deep, the characters aren’t particularly well-developed, but I still had a good time watching Green Lantern. It’s hard to dislike a movie that has shortcomings and still provides an enjoyable viewing experience. I even liked its use of 3-D, ...

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    movie review: The Art Of Getting By

    When a film covers familiar ground, as this coming-of-age story does, it had better offer an original point of view or, at the very least, interesting characters. The Art of Getting By has both, and while it loses its footing now and then, its leading actors help us to connect with it on an emoti...

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    movie review: City Of Life And Death

    Chinese filmmaker Chuan Lu has tackled a vast and ambitious subject in City of Life and Death. I knew very little about the siege on Nanjing (or Nanking, as Westerners have long referred to it) in 1937; I feel as if I understand it now, in all of its grim reality. A documentary might provide...

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