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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    REVIEW | "Smash His Camera": Capturing the Phantom of Twentieth-Century Show Business

    This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE’s coverage of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. "Smash His Camera" opens in select theaters July 30th.

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    Big Screen | Duvall Gets High Marks For "Get Low"

    After picking up the film at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics held back Aaron Schneider's "Get Low" so as to not let it get lost in a late 2009 awards slate that was already quite stacked for the distributor. Ten months later, the alternative plan - a late sum...

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    REVIEW | Lost in the Woods: "Get Low"

    The stars are quite literally aligned for widespread critical approval of "Get Low," but the movie's aura of prestige hardly reflects the subpar reality. Since its triumphant premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009, this dainty feel-good movie about death has picked up tremendous...

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    movie review: Salt

    Salt moves like a bullet, and almost never stops to take a breath; as a result, neither do we. I can’t think of a recent film that’s maintained such a breakneck pace or made me so unaware of time flying by. This is beneficial, because the story doesn’t always make sense…b...

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    movie review: Life During Wartime

    I vividly recall the year Todd Solondz’s Happiness debuted at the Telluride Film Festival. His deadpan treatment of such sensitive subjects as pederasty and masturbation polarized the assembled moviegoers; some walked out in disgust, others stayed and were full of praise. Only a filmmaker a...

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    Big Screen | Solondz's "Wartime" Comes To America

    Nearly a year after its festival debut, Todd Solondz's "Happiness" quasi-sequel "Life During Wartime" is coming to U.S. theaters via IFC Films. Featuring a cast including Ciaran Hinds, Allison Janney, Paul Reubens, Charlotte Rampling, Ally Sheedy, Michael Lerner, Shirley Henderson and Michael Kennet...

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    REVIEW | Todd Intact: "Life During Wartime" Maintains Solondz' Droll Satiric Aura

    This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE’s coverage of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. “Life During Wartime” opens this Friday, July 23rd at the IFC Center in New York.

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    REVIEW | Gender Division: Looking Back at Sally Potter's "Orlando"

    Eighteen years after its initial theatrical release, "Orlando" returns to theaters with all of its original allure intact, and then some. Sally Potter's uniquely strange adaptation of Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel has grown in stature, mainly due to the global stardom of its versatile lead, Tilda Swin...

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    REVIEW | Nuclear Inevitability: Lucy Walker's "Countdown to Zero"

    A closing montage in the essential 1982 found footage essay "The Atomic Cafe" shows a series of 1960s-era individuals engaging in duck-and-cover antics in anticipation of a nuclear blast. Given the retro black-and-white feel, the visual equation amounts to a meditation on the past, with no indicatio...

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    book and dvd reviews: It's A Noir, Noir, Noir, Noir World

    The term “film noir” didn’t exist in the 1940s and early 1950s. The late Larry Gelbart, who wrote the noir-inspired stage musical City of Angels, once told me that back then “film” was something you got if you didn’t brush your teeth. People went to “the movies.” But ever since the term was taken up by American film buffs and scholars in the 1970s it has created a special allure for those dark, hard-boiled melodramas that studios ground out so effortlessly in the post-War era. What’s more, since today’s audiences have no trouble digesting cynicism, these films seem positively mode...

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