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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    SXSW 2012 Review - Ya'Ke Smith's "Wolf" (What Spike Lee's "Red Hook Summer" Should Have Been)

    The cinematic punch in the gut I so desperately needed before leaving SXSW and Austin, TX tomorrow morning, Ya’ke Smith’s feature film directorial debut Wolf is an audacious, potent drama that will likely elicit extreme reactions from viewers when it’s eventually in general re...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    SXSW '12 Doc Review: Teens Aimlessly Wonder Through The Night In "Tchoupitoulas"

    There seems to have been mostly documentaries featured this year at SXSW for the films pertaining to our site. One of them, Tchoupitoulas, helmed by brothers Bill and Turner Ross, began promisingly. The beginning sequences instantly hooks the viewer; the film introduces our teen protagonists in...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: '21 Jump Street' Is A Hilarious, Heartfelt Action-Comedy That Just Might Be An Instant Classic

    In cinema as in life, self-awareness can be a virtue or it can be a deadly thing. Since there’s essentially no such thing as originality, conceding that you’re working within existing parameters or with familiar formulas excuses, and can sometimes enhance, the effectiveness of a lot of necessary dec...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: The Duplass Brothers' 'Do-Deca Pentathlon' Is A Minor Effort That Should Have Remained Buried

    It’s always important to keep in mind, while reading reviews, that interpreting art is a deeply personal experience. What might speak to someone on a visceral, emotional level will slide right over another’s head. Or anger them. Or bore them to tears. The third option was the experience of this writ...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: HBO Series 'Girls' Solidifies Lena Dunham's Place As A Bold New Voice in American Comedy

    As far as young independent filmmakers go, writer/director Lena Dunham has been the subject of an excessive amount of conversation and handwringing, even by the admittedly loose standards of the ever-chatty Internet age. Her first feature, "Creative Nonfiction," was accepted to South by Southwest an...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Berlinale 2012 Review: Sub-Saharan African Drama "Rebelle (War Witch)"

    A review from S&A reader Karina Griffith, from the 2012 Berlinale Film Festival:

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  • Indiewire
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    SXSW REVIEW: Sean Baker's 'Starlet' a Provocative Showcase for Newcomer Dree Hemingway

    With his first two features, Sean Baker established his interest in immigrant stories shot in naturalistic fashion. This, from a man also credited with creating the adult puppet show "Greg the Bunny." It's an unlikely second career that may help explain his ability to inject entertainm...

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Beast' A Lean & Surreal Portrait Of An Extreme Relationship That Doesn't Quite Go Far Enough

    "Beast" is a lean, surreal portrait of a marriage in its extremes from Danish director Christoffer Boe, who's probably still best known for his 2003 feature debut "Reconstruction." The film's focus keeps almost exclusively to Bruno (Nicolas Bro) and Maxine (Marijana Janko...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Search For One-Eyed Jimmy' Is A Remnant Of A More Colorful Time In Indie Filmmaking

    The rise of technology and newer entertainment formats has left behind a number of movies, some of which never graduated to VHS, DVD or even cable. One of those "forgotten" movies has recently hit DVD and Blu-Ray from the fine folks at Kino Lorber, the micro-indie "The Search For One-Eyed Jimmy". Of...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Casa De Mi Padre' Takes Will Ferrell’s Man-Child Antics South Of The Border With Uneven Results

    Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) is but a humble Mexican rancher, unlucky in love and only his father’s second favorite son after Raul (Diego Luna). When the latter comes home bearing an Escalade and a smoking hot fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), it’s easy to see why Armando is c...

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