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Movie Reviews

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    19

    Conan O'Brien and Kevin Gant Featured in Compelling SXSW Docs

    Two vastly different performers are at the center of documentaries at SXSW this year, although they share a common ground in the need to keep going at all costs.

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    SXSW REVIEW | Great Cast Can't Save a Weak Metaphor in "The Dish and the Spoon"

    It's only due to the formidable chemistry of its talented leads, Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander, that writer-director Alison Bagnall's "The Dish and the Spoon" doesn't become an overindulgent acting exercise. Bagnall, screenwriter of "Buffalo '66" and the director of "Piggy," constructs a basic two...

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    SXSW REVIEW | Genre Goes Deep in "Attack the Block" and "The Innkeepers"

    Ti West's offbeat ghost story "The Innkeepers" and Joe Cornish's alien-invasion riff "Attack the Block" each benefit from a heavy measure of subtext. In West's semi-comic outing, a young woman's obsession with the apparent hauntings of the titular inn comes to represent her own lack of direction. Sh...

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    SXSW REVIEW | Is "Turkey Bowl" Director Kyle Smith the Next Robert Altman?

    "Turkey Bowl" is an admirably concise directorial debut from Kyle Smith in which a group of old college friends gather in a field for their annual touch-football game. (Winner gets the turkey.) Unfolding in real time, this disarmingly naturalistic comedy sticks to a single setting and rhythm for its...

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    SXSW REVIEW | Duncan Jones' "Source Code" Messes With Your Head and Your Heart

    Drawing on time-shifting concepts reminiscent of "Groundhog Day" and "Run Lola Run," Duncan Jones' "Source Code" inhabits the spirit of old-school sci-fi while effectively providing a measure of pathos. As he did in his prior film, "Moon," "Source Code" showcases Jones' ability to provide ample ente...

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    REVIEW | "Black Death" is "The Seventh Seal" Meets Eli Roth

    Since the heyday of Cecil B. DeMille, the sword-and-sandals epic has been defined by brawny men dressed in skimpy armor shouting orders to the wind. More recently the genre has been resurrected in excessive terms ranging from the CGI-enhanced virility in "300" to less successful entries like "Centur...

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    REVIEW | "The Soft Skin" is the Truffaut Masterpiece You Haven't Seen

    Barely released in the U.S. upon its initial completion in 1964, Francois Truffaut's masterfully engaging "The Soft Skin" was the New Wave director's first effort to tackle mature frustrations. That's not to say Truffaut's first three features lacked depth: "The 400 Blows" tapped into the innocence of youth, "Shoot the Piano Player" successfully deconstructed the gangster genre and "Jules and Jim" studied the fragility of lifelong friendships. Nevertheless, the travails of lonely professor Pierre Lachenay (Jean Desailly), compelled to cheat on his wife (Nelly Benedetti) with capricious stewardess Nicole (Francoise Dorleac), convey much darker...

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    Small Screen (Blu-ray/DVD): "Four Lions," "Inside Job" & More

    This week on DVD and Blu-ray a group of British jihadists act like a bunch of clowns, the financial meltdown gets a thorough examination and Bansky gets the high-def treatment.

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    REVIEW | The Drama of Ambiguity: Kiarostami's "Certified Copy"

    If the couple featured in Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" got married, grew old, divorced and reunited, the resulting confrontation would probably look a lot like Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy." Possibly the Iranian director's most accessible work, this elegant, stream-...

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    23

    Kevin Smith and "Red State" Preach to the Converted at Radio City Music Hall

    At the Sundance Film Festival in January, Kevin Smith spent roughly half an hour telling a packed room that he planned to self-distribute his new horror movie, "Red State." On Saturday, in a much bigger room, he spent twice as long getting the enthusiastic reaction he wanted in the first place.

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