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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | A Work In Progress: James Franco and Gus Van Sant's "Unfinished"

    James Franco's ubiquity may finally have reached its saturation point this past weekend. Within the same frenzied 48-hour period there was his Independent Spirit Award win for "127 Hours;" an Oscar co-hosting gig; and a third, less-visible achievement: Saturday was the opening of "Unfinished," his c...

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    REVIEW | Belgian Septuagenarians Get Jiggy in "The Over the Hill Band"

    Blending sass and pathos, the Belgian comedy "The Over the Hill Band" ("Meisjes") has a neatly conceived premise. Like Stephen Walker's delicate nonfiction portrait "Young@Heart," it's a genuine heart-tugger about senior citizens rediscovering their youth by singing pop music; like Craig Brewer's cr...

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    REVIEW | A Quiet Test of Faith in "Of Gods and Men"

    From its early scenes, "Of Gods and Men" inhabits the sacred lives of its monastic subjects. The eight monks residing in a seemingly quaint North African mountain community go through the motions of their daily prayers, the ritualistic hymns echoing monotonously throughout their hallowed chambers. P...

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    REVIEW | Purposeless but Sweet: Xavier Dolan's "Heartbeats"

    A hyperstylized "Jules and Jim" update, Canadian actor-turned-filmmaker prodigy Xavier Dolan's French language romance "Heartbeats" ("Les Amour Imaginaires") is as hip as he intends it. At the same time, this chic look at a bisexual love triangle occasionally feels too entangled in its own cool mane...

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    Small Screen (DVD/Blu-ray): "Fish Tank," "Get Low" & "Memento" Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

    This week on DVD and Blu-ray "Fish Tank" finally drops via Criterion, Robert Duvall teams up with Bill Murray and "Memento" celebrates its 10th anniversary.

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    Berlinale '11 | The Iran Question; Generations a Gem & "Jess + Moss"

    At a Berlinale notable for its predictability, one incident above all sticks in the memory: before the opening credits rolled on the Turkish competition entry "Our Grand Despair," a screen emblazoned with the words FREE JAFAR PANAHI AND MOHAMMAD RASOULOF appeared, and in my seat I braced myself, ant...

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    REVIEW | Triple H on Autopilot In Bland WWE Product "The Chaperone"

    With the proper alignment of talent, the cliché of a brawny thug with a heart of gold becomes an irreverent and heartwarming combination in films like Norwegian deadpan comedy "A Somewhat Gentle Man" and Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler." While "The Chaperone" bests those works by starring a real wr...

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    REVIEW | New Wave Finds World Cinema in "Zero Bridge"

    The 29-year-old Tariq Tapa serves as writer, director and soundman for his affecting directorial debut, “Zero Bridge." This bittersweet story set in the Kashmiri city of Srinagar follows the plight of 17-year-old Dilawar (Mohamad Imran Tapa). His adopted mother abandoned him at a young age, leaving ...

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    REVIEW | A Meandering Midlife Crisis in Ramin Serry's "Loveless"

    Low-life characters are rarely simultaneously pitiable and entertaining like the garrulous Andrew (Andrew Von Urtz), the wannabe filmmaker at the center of Ramin Serry's chatty comedy "Loveless." The movie, Serry's second after the 2002 Iranian immigration tale "Maryam," can't keep up with Andrew's ...

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    REVIEW | A Cannibal Family Dines Together in “We Are What We Are”

    The horror genre has been ruthlessly mined for metaphor, often at the expense of credibility. The tricky balance of the Mexican cannibal drama “We Are What We Are” ("Somos lo que hay") involves its pairing of a conventional family unit with ludicrously grotesque proclivities. At once chilling and pa...

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