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Review

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    Venice Review: Ulrich Seidl's 'Paradise: Faith' Is A Disarmingly Funny & Tender Examination Of Sex & Religion

    Trilogies can come in different forms. There’s Hollywood’s favourite variety – two sequels to a hit, that organically (“The Godfather”) or inorganically (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) expand on the original film’s success. There’s the single story that’s too big to fit into a single film, like “The Ap...

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    Venice Review: Spike Lee's 'Bad 25' A Comprehensive & Warm Look At The Making Of Michael Jackson's Album

    A couple of years ago, before he set up his low-budget comeback film “Red Hook Summer," Spike Lee was planning another NYC-set project, “Brooklyn Loves MJ,” with the story taking place on the night of the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson in June 2009. Said to star Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne M...

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    Venice Review: Ramin Bahrani's 'At Any Price' A Patchy But Powerful Melodrama With A Fantastic Performance By Dennis Quaid

    The first three feature films by Ramin Bahrani – 2005’s “Man Push Cart,” 2007’s “Chop Shop” and 2008’s “Goodbye Solo” -- were extremely well-regarded by festival and art-house crowds (Roger Ebert called Bahrani “the director of t...

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    Venice Review: Jonathan Demme's 'Enzo Avitabile, Music Life' Blends Great Musical Performances & Shallow Documentary

    Over the centuries, Italy has contributed countless things to international culture. It was of course, the center of the Roman empire, the birthplace of the Renaissance and Da Vinci, and gave the world Vivaldi, Verdi, Dante, Calvino, Fellini and Antonioni. But at least in the 20th and 21st century, ...

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    Venice Review: Michael Shannon Vehicle 'The Iceman' Is A Tired Take On The Mob Flick

    Are we living in a post-gangster movie age? From the early talkies to the Oscar-winning success of “The Departed,” the genre has been ever-popular and responsible for seminal films from “White Heat” and “The Godfather” to “Goodfellas” and “Pulp Fiction.” But one struggles to think of a standout film...

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    Review: 'Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate' Adds 3D To Entertaining, Throwback Wuxia Tale

    In the wuxia drama “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate,” fists and feet fly as enemy combatants form and break alliances and backbones. The major innovation, in this case, is the 3D format, but make no mistake, this is a throwback. While action legend Tsui Hark’s latest whizzes and whirs with the dazzling...

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    MORE: Review, Jet Li
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    Review: 'Little Birds' Has All The Insight Of An After-School Special

    There's a misconception about some films that utilize a specific location by gussying it up to be a paradise on camera. Often, the results are "Little Birds," which was shot on location at the Salton Sea of California, a formative place for impetuous Lily (Juno Temple) and Alison (Kay Panabaker). Th...

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    Review: 'For a Good Time, Call...' Doesn't Satisfy

    "For a Good Time, Call..." could be alternately titled "What People Will Do for an Apartment in New York." And the answer is pretty much anything, whether that be running a phone sex business or living with someone you hate for spilling pee on you. Note that in the world of "For a Good Time, Call......

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    Venice Review: 'Tai Chi 0' An Uneven, But Playful & Enjoyable Piece Of Kung Fu Pop Art

    Just as the nation as a whole sneaks up on surpassing the United States of America as the world’s foremost superpower (if it hasn’t already), China has become more and more important to the movie world in the last few years. Grosses for the relatively few American movies released there are huge (“Th...

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    Venice Review: Sarah Polley Examines Her Own Family In Lovely, Fascinating 'Stories We Tell'

    Sarah Polley has a secret. It’s a secret that, remarkably, she kept under wraps to all but friends and family until the film screened at the Venice Film Festival this morning. It’s a secret that’s seemingly informed her two directorial efforts to date, “Away From Her” and “Take This Waltz,” and is t...

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