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Review

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Four Dogs' Is A Refreshingly Real & Funny Take on Hollywood & Friendship

    The debut directorial feature from Joe Burke, “Four Dogs,” could be aptly subtitled, “Down and Out in Hollywood,” as it centers Oliver (Oliver Cooper), on a struggling actor, and his acting class buddy, Dan (Dan Bakkedahl). But in actuality, the Hollywood struggle story is really only a surface conc...

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    Review: 'A Hijacking' Is A Detailed, Gripping & Powerful High-Seas Hostage Tale

    As exciting as it can be to be part of the audience at the first public screening of an eagerly anticipated film – the new Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, the new Rian Johnson or David O. Russell – perhaps the purest pleasure that can be found is that of a new discovery. Picking something t...

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    Review: 'Maniac' Remake Starring Elijah Wood

    Of course Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, the dirtbag auteurs that turned Joe Dante's gleeful "Jaws" send up "Piranha" into "Piranha 3D," a hilarious, excessively violent screed about American over-indulgence, would spearhead a remake of 1980's "Maniac," a notoriously misogynistic Bill Lustig h...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Mother, I Love You' Is A Fine Addition To The Canon Of Latvian Cinema

    Not many films get made in Latvia every year, so the chance to see one is a rarity and with a film like “Mother, I Love You” (“Mammu, es Tevi milu”), it’s also a treat. Directed by Janis Nords, the film tells a fairly simple story in a very sophisticated way, proving the too-often forgotten truth th...

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    Review: 'Bert And Arnie’s Guide To Friendship' A Slight But Winning Romantic Comedy With Four Solid Performances

    Remember these names: Matt Oberg, Stephen Schneider, Anna Chlumksy (if you grew up in the nineties, you already know her), and Cristin Milioti. They are the stars of the horribly titled “Bert and Arnie’s Guide To Friendship,” a new indie that is a bit slight, often funny, mostly likable, and importa...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: Documentary 'Our Nixon' An Illuminating & Hilarious Look At The Former President

    The documentary "Our Nixon" by Penny Lane serves as a bit of a complication to the popular narrative of Richard Nixon as our most scandalized and scheming of Presidents. While it doesn't seek to alter the this narrative, it does attempt to add another layer to the story, a perspective offered by tho...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'In A World...' Directed By & Starring Lake Bell

    In a world... where female writers are scarce and female writer/directors even more so, Lake Bell has done both with panache in her feature debut, “In A World...” That the film itself is a meta-commentary on the persistent and open sexism in Hollywood is even more impressive. It also doesn’t hurt th...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Winter In The Blood'

    It’s been over a decade since twin brothers Alex and Andrew Smith’s film “The Slaughter Rule,” starring Ryan Gosling, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002, and their follow up film, “Winter in the Blood” returns them to their home state of Montana, this time focusing on a young and troubled...

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    Review: Disney/Pixar's 'Monsters University'

    When Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters Inc” was released way back in the fall of 2001, it was easily the studio’s warmest and endearingly heart-tugging feature. But “Monsters Inc,” in its vision of a monstrous universe that derives its power from children’s screams, was also the studio’s most self-contained ...

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    Review: Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' Starring Emma Watson

    American cinema seems preoccupied with the emptiness of excess, at least in the first half of 2013. Baz Luhrmann luxuriates in the meaningless wealth of "The Great Gatsby," while Harmony Korine put his own twisted spin on the dark soul of the American dream in "Spring Breakers." And now comes Sofia ...

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