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Movie Reviews

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    Sundance Review | A Cult and A Time Traveler in NEXT Entry "The Sound of My Voice"

    Notwithstanding a plot that might involve time travel and definitely involves quasi-religious indoctrination, Zal Batmanglij's directorial debut "Sound of My Voice" essentially revolves around the struggle to understand the inexplicable. Batmanglij defies conventional genre expectations with this ee...

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    Sundance Review | A Familiar Sundance Romance in "Like Crazy"

    Drake Doremus is a filmmaker born to play the Sundance game. Last year, Doremus brought his sophomore feature "Douchebag" to the festival. The movie contained a devious tale of sibling rivalry, and was shot with a shaky-cam style and semi-improvised performances, two aspects of production familiar t...

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    Sundance Review | Metaphysical Sci-Fi "Another Earth" Offers Promising Debuts

    First-time director Mike Cahill's "Another Earth" suggests Andrei Tarkovsky's "Solaris" by way of Aaron Katz. That unlikely combination speaks to the movie's unconventional mix of heady conceits and intimate conversations. A visually inspired fantasy mainly revolving around the doomed romance of two...

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    Small Screen (DVD/Blu-ray): "Dogtooth," "Enter the Void" & More

    This week on DVD and Blu-ray a Greek oddity makes it way onto shelves the same day it scored an Oscar nomination, Gaspar Noe trips out and John Lennon's early life is explored.

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    Sundance Review | Nichols and Shannon Create American Epic With "Take Shelter"

    Part family drama, part psychological thriller, "Take Shelter" manages to succeed as an otherworldly blend of "Field of Dreams" and Noah's Ark. Following up his 2007 festival hit "Shotgun Stories," director Jeff Nichols re-teams with Michael Shannon for the absorbing saga of a mentally disturbed hus...

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    Sundance Review | Paul Rudd Outshines Mediocrity in "My Idiot Brother"

    Hiding behind a shaggy beard and a stoner grin, Paul Rudd plays an amusingly oblivious shrub in "My Idiot Brother," but the movie can't keep up with his comic momentum. Rudd portrays Ned Rochlin, a happy-go-luck organic farmer abruptly busted for selling pot to a police officer. Kicked out of his ho...

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    Sundance Review: Kevin Smith, "Red State" and Selling Out To Himself

    Kevin Smith was wasting everyone's time and loving every minute of it. Standing on the stage of the Eccles Theater after the premiere of his new movie "Red State" on Sunday night, the director unloaded a 33-minute monologue about the progress of the indie business over the course of the 17 years sin...

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    Sundance Review | Todd Rohal Takes a Goofy Priest to the Woods in "The Catechism Cataclysm"

    "The Catechism Cataclysm" marks the sophomore feature of writer-director Todd Rohal, whose peculiar ensemble piece "The Guatemalan Handshake" made the festival rounds in 2006. Whereas "Guatemalan" took a wide view of Americana through Rohal's cast of offbeat characters, "Catechism" plays like a sing...

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    Sundance Review | Growing Pains: Azazel Jacobs Triumphs With Moving Teen Drama "Terri"

    Azazel Jacobs's 2008 drama "Momma's Man" centered on an adult retreating to his parents' house and yearning for the innocence of his teenage years. The director's latest feature, "Terri," centers on a teen fearing adulthood. Jacobs, working from a script by Patrick de Witt, takes a conventional comi...

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    Sundance Review | Moral Ambiguity Lingers in "The Redemption of General Butt Naked"

    "The Redemption of General Butt-Naked" opens with a scene in which the self-appointed Liberian evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi holds sway over an appreciative crowd that hangs on his every word. A fervent endorser for the power of faith, Blahyi appears as a galvanizing leader readymade for the spotlight. Having established his formidable stage presence, directors Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion introduce the contradiction of his past: As the widely feared General Butt Naked, Blahyi led a reign of terror against thousands of Liberians during the country's civil war from 1989 to 1996. Siding with the country's former president against vario...

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