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Review

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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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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'The Iran Job' Is A Warm, Winning Tale of One Basketball Player's Experience In Iran

    During the Q&A after the screening of “The Iran Job,” director Till Schauder described how the idea for a documentary about “journeymen” professional basketball players in Iran came to him before he had a subject that could carry his documentary. His wife and producer Sarah Nodjoumi is Iranian-Ameri...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Pincus' Is An Ambiguously Formatted, Inconclusive Study Of Spirituality And Self-Destruction

    One of the best things about film festivals is that they provide an opportunity for smaller, perhaps lesser-known movies to be shown to a considerable audience, and to receive a certain amount of buzz from publicists, press, and fans. Sometimes, festival planning committees choose these independent ...

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    Review: 'Walk Away Renee' A Manic, Deep Look Into Mother & Son

    Born out of a truck load of home videos, answering machine recordings, and photographs, Jonathan Caouette's 2003 autobiographical "Tarnation" was a dearly personal and often frightening, no holds-barred look into a family torn apart by a tortured past. Cobbled together with iMovie before YouTube was...

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    Review: The South Will Rise, But Not Like You Expected, In The Pagan, Powerful 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'

    Written and directed by Benh Zeitlin, whose short, "Glory at Sea," was shot through with purpose and promise, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is as stirring and striking a film as you could wish for. Shot and set in a Louisiana community called The Bathtub, on the wrong side of the levees that stop th...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'It's A Disaster' Is A Darkly Hilarious Apocalyptic Dramedy That's Anything But Disastrous

    Real time, one setting films are a tricky feat to pull off, stumping even some of the most accomplished directors (have you seen “Carnage”?), but Todd Berger does it with panache in his directorial sophomore feature, a clever take on the apocalypse film, “It’s A Disaster.” Assembling a cast of eight...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: Entertaining Romp 'Magic Mike' Will Put Its Spell On You... And Shake It Like Nobody's Business

    There’s just something about Channing Tatum. Clearly, he’s got that magic touch (why else would Paramount be reshooting “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” to add more Chan?), a certain je ne sais quoi that would inspire veteran auteur Stephen Soderbergh to bring his early life story as a Florida stripper to th...

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