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Review

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    HIFF Review: Charming 'Sin Bin' Heavily Indebted To The Work Of Wes Anderson

    Young filmmakers often reference their heroes outright. This isn't a phenomenon exclusive to creatively wayward directors; look at the early films of genuine auteur Paul Thomas Anderson to see wholesale theft from Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman (to name a few). But when the references are a distr...

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    Review: Broken Souls Come Together In Contrived Melodrama 'Least Among Saints'

    There are two films at war in “Least Amongst Saints,” and neither is very compelling. The first is a faith-forward feature about redemptive spirits, where Anthony (writer/director Martin Papazian) attempts to pull himself out of a PTSD funk fueled by alcohol and bad decisions upon his return from th...

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    Review: 'Smiley' An Internet Age Horror Film That's Not Quite Worth Booting Up

    Thirty minutes into Michael Gallagher’s “Smiley,” we were ready to turn off the film, but in the interest of reviewing the movie, we persisted. It was an arduous journey, a deceptively tolerable horror flick that briefly flirts with an interesting idea or two and then casts them aside for cheap scar...

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    HIFF Review: Disney's 2D & 3D Animated 'Paperman' A Romantic & Inventive Short

    This year's Hamptons International Film Festival has largely been defined by movies that make you want to cry your eyes out until they're squishy red gobs. Pictures like "Rust and Bone," "Amour" and "Silver Linings Playbook" challenge even the manliest audience members to sit there with a straight f...

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    HIFF Review: 'The Girl' Creates Dark Hitchcockian Mood, But At The Cost Of Virtually Everything Else

    Like with the two competing Snow White movies earlier this year, Hollywood finds itself in the midst of battling Alfred Hitchcock pseudo-biographies this fall; each detailing the production of one of the master director's seminal films and his relationship with that film's comely leading lad...

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    Review: 'Fat Kid Rules The World' A Modestly Affecting Directorial Debut For Matthew Lillard

    Some actors-turned-directors jump out of the box fully-formed, fully utilizing a learned bag of tricks to properly convey their show business experience, to tell a story that burns inside of them. And some, lacking real vision, just want to take a shot at something new. It appears Matthew Lillard is...

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    VIFF Review: Brazilian 'Neighbouring Sounds' Is A Film For People Watchers

    We lovers of cinema are nosy little bastards. It is the medium for the voyeur. We like to watch, truly a “race of Peeping Toms” as “Rear Window” taught us. The Brazilian film “Neighbouring Sounds” is kinda like that Hitchcock masterpiece, in a way. It’s all about observing. It’s the audience and the...

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    NYFF Review: 'Memories Look At Me' A Comforting, Modest Micro Indie

    Song Fang's "Memories Look At Me" is a tough one: while the filmmaker's debut is a lovely, pleasant experience, it's extremely difficult to make the movie sound at all appealing. A large percentage of it takes place in a single apartment, with each dialogue-heavy scene generally composed of a single...

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    NYFF Review: Rock 'N' Roll Dreams Are Fleeting & Familiar In David Chase's Uneven 'Not Fade Away'

    For a film that’s ostensibly set to the vibrant pulse of early ‘60s rock 'n' roll and blues -- The Rolling Stones, the early Beatles, Bo Diddley, etc. -- David Chase’s directorial debut, “Not Fade Away,” sure has a curious, circuitous and eventually long-winded tempo. Set in 1964, just a few months ...

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    Review: 'Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You' Proves Its Title Wrong

    The displeasure one feels in watching, or simply enduring, the indie dramedy "Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You" is directly proportional to how throughly selfish and unsympathetic the lead character James truly is. When we're first introduced to the misanthrope, he's on the roof of his home i...

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