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Review

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    Review: 'The Catechism Cataclysm' Is An Indescribable & Unforgettable Curio

    If you’re a student of screenplay structure with a dog-eared copy of a Robert McKee book, it’s best to stay away from “The Catechism Cataclysm.” The new film from director Todd Rohal spends a good majority of its scant seventy-five minute runtime stymieing conventional thought, trafficking in casual...

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    Book Review: 'Drew Struzan: Oeuvre' Is A Beautifully Complete Look At The Master Illustrator's Work

    Last fall, the great "Art of Drew Struzan" book was released. It did a fairly comprehensive job of chronicling the career of the master illustrator and offered colorful commentary by the artist, giving us an exclusive peek behind the scenes of some of his most memorable work. Just as amazing as seeing early versions of his poster designs for movies like "Back to the Future" was learning some of the circumstantial anecdotes, such as how his concept for "Money Pit," featuring the house capsizing like the Titanic, was shelved because of a real-life ocean liner tragedy. But the selection was obviously chosen for specific reasons – to illustrate a...

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    Review: 'Retreat' Piles On The Twists, But Doesn't Deliver The Thrills

    The following is a reprint of our review from Fantasia.

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    VIFF '11: Paddy Considine's Directorial Debut 'Tyrannosaur' An Uneven Portrait Of A Damaged Man

    The opening scene of “Tyrannosaur” is a real belter. Through near whiplash-inducing cross cuts, we are introduced to a night in the life of Joseph (Peter Mullan) as he drinks heavily and stews with unfettered rage on a barstool (and back at home with a sawed-off wood baseball bat that looks like a l...

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    Review: 'Miss Representation' Exposes An Ugly Truth That Needs To Be Seen

    It’s no shock to anyone who has turned on the TV, read a magazine, spied a billboard or surfed the internet that media representations of women are problematic at best. At worst, they are a both a symptom and cause of a troubled society reaching a tipping point in its relationship with sex and violence onscreen. This is the thesis set out by “Miss Representation,” a searing documentary directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an actress, activist, and wife of California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. This film, born out of anxiety about the world she was bringing a little girl into, and inspired by her past struggles in life, configures itself ...

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    VIFF '11: 'Elena' Is A Dramatic Masterwork From Russian Director Andrey Zvyagintsev

    For this writer, there are fewer things in cinema more satisfying than a filmmaker in total control of their story. Sure, we love the visceral thrill of a well-choreographed, impeccably staged action sequence as much as the next red-blooded human being. And there’s the perfect combination of song/score over moving images, blissful moments heightened through all the tools available in the medium. But then there are those rare moments when a film has just begun, and the feeling sets in immediately that you’re in good hands; that no matter what happens in this film, you can trust the filmmaker has thought everything through and knows what he or ...

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    LFF '11 Review: 'Dreams Of A Life' Is An Authentically Moving Portrait Of A Forgotten Life

    Joyce Carol Vincent died in her flat in 2003. An unmarried forty year-old woman living alone in a less-than-luxurious one bedroom London bedsit, and surrounded by unopened Christmas presents, it would be three years before her remains (now simply decomposed to that of a skeleton), would ever be foun...

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    Review: 'Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey' Is An Inspirational Doc About The Man Behind The Muppet

    Suddenly, it’s a good time to be a Muppet again. After a few decades of sub-par films, co-writers (and massive Muppet fans) Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller appear to be bringing some of the magic back with “The Muppets,” their attempt to revive creator Jim Henson's beloved characters for a new generation of kids. The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens has assembled a massive exhibit to the fuzzy creatures and their creator called “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” which includes drawings, storyboards, props, and a puppet making workshop as well as screenings of the films. “Sesame Street” has been plugging along steadily on PBS since it’s debut...

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    Review: 'Sing Your Song' A Fascinating Look At The Activist Life Of Harry Belafonte

    In the pop culture sphere, it's been a while since Harry Belafonte has made a mark musically or on the big screen. His last album came out more than two decades ago, 1988's Paradise in Gazankulu while his last film role was a small appearance in Emilio Estevez's "Bobby" a few years back. But don't think that at 84 years old, Belafonte is merely basking in the rewards of his undeniable entertainment legacy in his twilight years. A tireless activist, "Sing Your Song" is straightforward, and fascinating look at his career at the front of the civil rights movment, striving to end hunger in Ethiopia, looking to find ways to curb inner city violenc...

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    Book Review: Max Allan Collins Serves Up A Double Dose Of Pulp With 'The Consummata' & 'Quarry's Ex'

    Shamus Award-winning author, screenwriter, filmmaker and more, Max Allan Collins -- perhaps best known as the man behind "Road To Perdition" -- has been pretty busy of late. His book “Black Hats” recently began its journey to the big screen with Harrison Ford signing on to take a lead role, and this fall finds Collins delivering two more books, "The Consummata" and "Quarry's Ex," both via the excellent pulp fiction publishing house Hard Case Crime. And they both arrive with a curious back story. "The Consummata" is actually an unfinished Mickey Spillane novel and a sequel that Collins was tasked with finishing, while "Quarry's Ex" is a return...

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