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Review

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    Review: Oliver Stone's Hard-Boiled Crime Saga 'Savages' A Muddled & Messy Disappointment

    It’s always unfortunate to watch a filmmaker slip further away from his better work with age – but even more so when it’s one who exhibited the sort of storytelling craft that could both frustrate and engage his audience all at once. Director Oliver Stone has always been one to challenge his viewers...

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    Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review: Lifers Imitate Art In Prison-Set Shakespearean Docudrama 'Caesar Must Die'

    In a prison in Rome, real-life convicts prepare to mount a production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” and as the night of the public performance draws nearer, their real lives and the play’s narrative conflate to the point of indistinguishability. So runs an approximate logline for the Tav...

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    Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review: Fascinating Subject Almost Trumps Staid Format In ‘Brian Eno: The Man Who Fell To Earth 1971-1977’

    A documentary about just 6 years out of a 42-odd year career, that runs two-and-a-half hours long and rarely strays from bog-standard talking head/rote archive footage format? Yes, it sounds unbearable, and probably would be were its subject anyone but Brian Eno, a definite, no-joke candidate for Th...

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    Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Is A Good Teen Romance Struggling To Escape A Mediocre Superhero Movie

    We're likely reaching something of a tipping point with the superhero movies. The first wave is ending: "X-Men" has already been reinvented, Superman is getting his second relaunch in a decade, "The Hulk" has already had its third iteration, and Christopher Nolan's Batman-trilogy, which more than an...

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    Review: 'Granito: How To Nail A Dictator' A Remarkable Tale About The Quest For Justice

    We're living in something of a golden era of documentary filmmaking. Whether on the big screen, and more frequently on cable -- where a plethora of specialty channels offer a variety of outlets -- documentaries can more easily reach an audience than ever before. But are they making an impact? It see...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Beauty Is Embarrassing' Is A Laugh Out Loud Portrait Of The Wild & Wacky Wayne White

    “Beauty is Embarrassing” is such a warm, laugh out loud charmer of a documentary thanks entirely to its subject, the wild and wonderful Wayne White, that it leaves you wondering, just where has this delightful man been all this time? And that’s the question “Beauty is Embarrassing” posits too -- ser...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'La Camioneta' Provides An Intimate And Hopeful Look At Modern Migration

    The Guatemalan documentary “La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus,” from American director Mark Kendall, sheds light on a little known connection between the United States and Central America. After discovering that most of Guatemala’s public transportation buses – known as camionetas...

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    Review: 'A Burning Hot Summer' Is A Thundering Bore That Verges On Self-Parody

    There are certain cliches associated with European cinema -- they're not necessarily always accurate but they do exist. Ask a layman -- a well educated, smart, nice person who might not be quite as subtitle-happy as you or I -- what they imagine they might see in, say, an average French film, and a ...

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    Review: A Well-Constructed 'People Like Us' Is Marred By Its Sentimental Mawkishness

    Alex Kurtzman’s new film, “People Like Us,” shares the technical prowess of these films, employing supreme sound and visual techniques to create subjectivity. However, an increasingly rote storyline and adherence to syrupy-sweet romantic comedy tropes leaves a murky aftertaste: a schmaltzy tearjerke...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: In 'Teddy Bear,' Bodybuilders Are People Too; Show Them Some Love

    Where the phrase “Teddy Bear” implies a certain squashy cuddliness, the film’s subject is anything but. At least on the outside. But, then again, bears aren’t that cuddly in real life either. Danish Director Mads Matthiesen developed this feature from his acclaimed 2007 short, “Dennis,” which began ...

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