Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.

Review

  • The Playlist
    2 comments
    tweet
    0

    Review: Cool-Kids-Who-Kill 'Violet & Daisy' From 'Precious' Writer Isn't What You'd Expect

    After winning an Oscar for his screenplay for "Precious," Geoffrey Fletcher probably had options. The fact that directing "Violet & Daisy" -- a candy-colored crime story about two teen girl killers and their latest target -- was his ultimate choice is worthy of note in and of itself. Fletcher could ...

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    0 comments
    tweet
    0

    Review: 'Happy Happy' Stirs Melancholic Cocktail, Not Shaken Enough

    Agnes Kittleson, an actress of slightly more angular, Nordic features similar to Michelle Monaghan, has a smile that fills the screen. It’s truly one of the prettiest, purest smiles this writer has seen in a film in decades. It’s unfortunate that, of the world’s auteurs, most of them work on the darker side of the spectrum -- Lars Von Trier, for one, would probably eliminate that smile for all of eternity. But this girl could be a star, or at least the everlasting face of an international gum company, with a face like hers. It’s also a consistent reminder that “Happy Happy,” despite its dark edges, is a pleasant, if low-aspiring comedic drama...

    Read More »
    MORE: Review
  • The Playlist
    1 comment
    tweet
    0

    TIFF '11 Review: 'Butter' Tries To Carve Up Edgy Laughs But Goes Soft By The End

    A political satire set in the competitive world of butter-carving at the Iowa state fair, the script for "Butter" was so ballyhooed and praised of that it wound up on The Black List, the annual underground buzz list of unproduced screenplays based on a straw poll of agents, development executives an...

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    4 comments
    tweet
    0

    Review: Rod Lurie Delivers 'Straw Dogs' For Dummies

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: it’s probably a matter of time before every movie is remade, and as such, it was likely the appropriate moment for “Straw Dogs.” There’s no rhyme or reason to any of these remakes other than, "We have a catalog title, let’s just make sure it doesn’t go to waste rotting in our vaults." Ideally, each remake has its own deviation, a separate reason for existing. To Rod Lurie, who clearly has affection for the original movie, the task was simple: how to honor the spirit of the original film but make it an intellectually crippling affair, an ugly, irredeemable black hole of stupid contrivances, inconsistent c...

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    1 comment
    tweet
    0

    TIFF '11 Review: 'Jeff Who Lives At Home' Takes The Duplass Bros Mainstream For Their Best Film Yet

    As surreal as it is to see a micro-budget Duplass Brothers film start with the stars and mountainous terrain of the Paramount logo, in many ways that contradiction and clash sets the tone for their new comedy "Jeff Who Lives at Home." Strange things are afoot in the cosmos as Jeff (played with affable confusion and large-framed, good-hearted charm by Jason Segel) is trying to keep his eyes open for what the universe might be telling him, in terms of his destiny and purpose. Also, his mom Sharon (Susan Sarandon) would like it if he could get his ass off the couch in her basement and go to Home Depot to get wood glue to fix a broken pantry door...

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    0 comments
    tweet
    0

    TIFF '11 Review: 'Hysteria' Is The Vibrator Comedy Movie You Can Watch With Your Mom

    It turns out all Sabina Spielrein needed to get over her hysteria was not Freud or Jung or the talking cure, but just a really good fingering. Indeed, the course of sexuality and/or psychoanalysis might have been irrevocably altered had Sabina taken a trip to London to visit Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jo...

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    7 comments
    tweet
    0

    TIFF '11 Review: 'The Deep Blue Sea' A Beautiful, Woozy & Heartbreaking Tale Of Intense Passion

    "Beware of passion Hester, it always leads to something ugly."

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    4 comments
    tweet
    0

    Review: 'Lion King 3D' Maintains All of the Majesty of the Original, With Added Dimensional Sparkle

    A few years ago, Disney planned a theatrical release for a 3D version of "Beauty & the Beast," using the cutting edge, post-"Avatar" technology that we've all come to know so well (and sometimes dread just as much). The conversion took place, at great expense, but the theatrical engagement (originally set for February, 2010) never materialized. Still, the studio pressed ahead (Walt always said that good ideas never die), and this week the studio's traditionally animated crown jewel "The Lion King," in a shiny new 3D format, will get a proper release – in 2,000 3D screens across the country. But what does a 3D version of a traditionally animat...

    Read More »
  • The Playlist
    4 comments
    tweet
    0

    TIFF '11 Review: 'Page Eight' A Talky Spy Pic Pitting Old School Sensibilities Against New Realities

    Johnny Worricker likes jazz, collects art, drinks whiskey and wears a suit better than man could ever dream of but in the modern era of the MI5, he is quickly becoming a relic. Played with suave, unflappable assuredness by Bill Nighy, "Page Eight," written with great flair by David Hare -- also directing his first film in fourteen years -- investigates the troubling intersection of politics and intelligence gathering in the contemporary war on terror and pitches it against a twisty mystery. And while it's structurally accomplished and delivers a movie that has clearly benefitted from a nearly perfectly honed and built script, its clinical col...

    Read More »
    MORE: Review, Page 8
  • The Playlist
    29 comments
    tweet
    0

    TIFF '11 Review: Chloe Moretz Is Trapped In The Unclean, Clammy Coming-Of-Age Indie 'Hick'

    Later, there will be a brief discussion of how literature is not film and how some actions and themes do not survive translation from the page to the big screen because our mind can better deal with envisioning them than it can with actually seeing them Before that, though I feel I have to pause and note that "Hick," adapting Andrea Portes' novel for the screen under the direction of Derick Martini ("Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire," "Lymelife"), is one of the most unclean and clammy films I've ever had to endure at a film festival. Not because it was incompetent and not because it deals with violent and sexual material but, rather, because it ...

    Read More »

Recent Posts


  • Visually Striking Canadian-French Production ...Shadow and Act
  • Jeremy SaulnierInterview: ‘Blue Ruin’ Director Jeremy ...The Playlist
  • Salvador, Bahia-Set Doc On Impoverished ...Shadow and Act