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Movie Reviews

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    Critical Consensus: "Page One" Narrowly Tops "Buck" In Strong Weekend For New Docs

    For the second time in the three month history of this weekly column, a documentary has topped criticWIRE as the pick of the week (though the first incidence, Clio Barnard's "The Arbor," blurred the lines between documentary and narrative filmmaking). More over, it was actually a very tight race between two documentaries Andrew Rossi's "Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times," and Cindy Meehl's "Buck." Both premieres at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the former works as a fly inside the walls of The New York Times, while the latter takes on a living legend in the horse world, Buck Brannaman, who was the inspiration for "The Horse Whispe...

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    5 Must-See Films at BAMcinemaFest

    Entering its third year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) continues its intention of bringing many of the strongest sleeper hits of the American film festival circuit to appreciative crowds in Brooklyn. The opening night selection Thursday, June 16th is an interesting example: British director An...

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    REVIEW | Buck Brannaman, Horse Therapist, in "Buck"

    Buck Brannaman, the subject of Cindy Meehl's engaging documentary profile "Buck," has a warm presence and knows how to tame horses better than anyone else. That's the simplest encapsulation of the movie's thesis, although the subtext runs much deeper than that. Beaten by his demanding father as a ch...

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    Small Screens: The Top 5 Picks This Week on DVD/Blu-ray and VOD

    This week on Small Screens, Melanie Laurent picks up an instrument, a class of German students take an experiment too far, Nicolas Roeg gets the Criterion treatment and more.

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    SIFF REVIEW: "Holy Rollers" Follows Christian Card Sharks

    There's a fascinating paradox at the heart of "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians," and it's right there in the title. In Bryan Storkel's new documentary about the Seattle-based "Church Team" of blackjack players, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival this past weekend, players work the system with cunning skill and rake in the dough. At the same time, they make bold claims about the purity of their work and rebuff assumptions that it runs counter to their religion. Storkel makes as little effort to resolve the issue as the players do, giving "Holy Rollers" an intriguingly ambiguous outlook. Whether...

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    Media Frenzy: Andrew Rossi's "Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times"

    Andrew Rossi’s “Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times” takes a conventional verité approach to the one topic that virtually everyone today has an opinion on. Turning his cameras to the inner circle of editorial decision-making at the proverbial paper of record, Ros...

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    SIFF REVIEW | A Bromance With Old People: Taylor Guterson's "Old Goats"

    In the first few minutes of Taylor Guterson's "Old Goats," writer-director Taylor Guterson's debut feature has the appearance of a documentary, mainly because the matching of the scenario and the tone are so unfamiliar in narrative cinema. With an upbeat soundtrack to set the mood, Guterson shows an elderly man discussing his sailing plans to a roomful to peers. Another man only slightly younger begins the narrate the story. The vibe is light and playful. Here's the disconnect: Scripted American movies usually require young faces to please the requisite financiers. "Old Goats" has none of those faces, but it still adopts the familiar mold of ...

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    What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

    With the brouhaha surrounding the long-awaited "Super 8," the acclaimed Norwegian monster movie "The Troll Hunter," and the slew of new docs opening, it's unlikely you'll skip this weekend's slate of new releases. Need some box office guidance? Check out the new ...

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    Critical Consensus: Michael Winterbottom's "The Trip" Is This Week's Pick

    For the second consecutive weekend, a British import is the critic's choice at American art houses.

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    REVIEW | Yes, JJ Abrams' "Super 8" is Spielberg Porn. But Is That a Bad Thing?

    Twenty years ago, Francis Ford Coppola predicted a bright future for personal movies. "One day, some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart," he said," "and make a beautiful film with her father's little camcorder, and for once this whole professionalism about movies will be destroyed...

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