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Movie Reviews

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    Review: 'Beautiful Creatures' A Stylish Southern Gothic Riff On 'Twilight' That Gets Tangled In Its Own Mythology

    Just as the "Harry Potter" franchise begat a number of costly imitators that failed to catch on (just think: "Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events," "The Spiderwick Chronicles," "Cirque du Freak"), so too will the unstoppable "Twilight" franchise breed countless would-be successors, each wi...

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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'Nairobi Half Life' Offers Engaging Spin on Big City Tale

    I didn't really know what to expect when I sat down in the theater to watch Nairobi Half Life at this year's Pan African Film Festival. I heard about the film in passing, but not much beyond that. The storyline is familiar, a young man from a small town ventures to the big city in hopes of pursuing ...

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    Berlin Review: 'Interior. Leather Bar' Is A Surprisingly Successful James Franco Experiment On Male Sexuality & Filmic Process

    So let's clear up a few misconceptions about this film -- and of course there are misconceptions, it's a James Franco project. In fact it's the third title to boast his involvement at this Berlin Film Festival (after "Lovelace" and "Maladies"), but here he is pulling double duty as co-director with ...

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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'Stones In The Sun' Is A Gripping Tale About Haitian Immigrants In The U.S.

    It’s seldom we get to see authentic, complex and tactful character representations from the West Indies on the screen, especially in cinema. In her compelling and heartfelt feature film debut, Haitian filmmaker Patricia Benoit follows three Haitian immigrant families seeking refuge in Bro...

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    Berlin Review: Jane Campion's 'Top Of The Lake' A Satisfying & Cinematic Crime "Novel" In The Shape Of A TV Show

    Taking the concept of binge-watching to a whole new theatrical level, we were lucky enough to spend most of our Sunday at the Berlin Film Festival in a large auditorium consuming Jane Campion’s six-hour “Top of the Lake” TV series, which will air in seven episodes on The Sundance Channel starting Ma...

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    Berlin Review: Juliette Binoche Delivers Commanding Performance In Bruno Dumont's Powerful Crisis of Faith Drama 'Camille Claudel 1915'

    Berlin Review: Juliette Binoche Delivers Commanding Performance In Bruno Dumont's Powerful Crisis of Faith Drama 'Camille Claudel 1915'

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    Berlin Review: Haunted By His Characters, Jafar Panahi Defies Iranian Government Again With Cryptically Self-Referential 'Closed Curtain'

    In 2011, shortly after he was banned by the Iranian government from making movies for 20 years, Jafar Panahi pulled off the impossible with "This Is Not a Film," a bold, diary-like production shot in the confines of his apartment. Given the circumstances, "This Is Not a Film" looked like the only le...

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    PAFF 2013 Review – 'Talking With The Taxman About Poetry'

    My screening of Lamont Pierre’s, “Talking with the Taxman about Poetry,” had all the trappings of a mysterious blind date. I did not know anything about the films storyline, I did not know anything about the director, and I did not have concrete intentions of actually seeing ...

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    Berlin: Ulrich Seidl, Social Activist? The Austrian Director Discusses the Wake-Up Call In His 'Paradise: Hope' and Concluding a Distinctive Trilogy

    The best movie trilogy to encapsulate epic struggles against evil impulses spanning generations isn't "Star Wars." Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, a divisive auteur on the world stage widely considered to produce sadomasochistic provocations, has delivered a grander three-part statement on the human...

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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'La Playa D.C.': An Afro-Colombian Coming of Age Story

    There's an interesting scene in Juan Andres Arongo's La Playa D.C., where main character Tomas and his older brother El Chaco walk through a ritzy mall, and are accosted by security guards who question their presence. After being thrown out of the mall, El Chaco angrily exclaims that he left Colombi...

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