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    Review: 'Rapt' Succumbs To Derivative Plotlines & Insubstantial Moments

    Where do we start with Stanislas Graff? Played with quiet confidence by Yvan Attal, the man is the chairman of a seriously lucrative business, well-respected by his peers. A loving family surround him, fit with two admiring teenage daughters and a wife that doesn't think sleeping in a separate room is a red flag of any sort. In secret, Graff is a heavy gambler and we're treated to a brief snippet of the showboat at a grimy poker game. And, just like any wealthy male in a film like this, he's got a separate flat where he sees whatever mistress he's currently shagging. Director Lucas Belvaux establishes the whole of this guy efficiently, moving...

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    Review: A Fat Man, Animals That Sound Like Sitcom Characters & The Terrible 'Zookeeper'

    Early on in “Zookeeper,” Sony’s latest commercially craven piece of garbage from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company, an animal sees two bears fighting. Her response is, “They look like two bean bag chairs!” Ignoring the idea that this character, a giraffe, has probably never even seen a...

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    Review: 'Ironclad' Is Made Of Flimsy Fabric

    There have been a wealth of medieval swordplay pictures in the last couple of years. Some have adhered to a jumpcut-heavy editing method to allow these pictures a contemporary feel. Others have taken advantage of more liberal times allowing these films the influx of the blood and guts appropriate to...

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    Review: John Carpenter Retires, Forgets That He Had To Direct 'The Ward'

    An open field. A girl. A fire. A mystery. Ignoring a brief and ultimately irrelevant prologue, the beginning of “The Ward” immediately pulls us into the story of a classic horror convention, the Survivor Girl. Except, tantalizingly, we don’t know what she’s survived and, given a few orchestral cues,...

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    Review: 'Horrible Bosses' Is A Middling, Generic Comedy That Murders Its Own Potential

    A dark comedies, even a generic, mass-marketed studio confection like this week's "Horrible Bosses," offers the promise of, if not laughs then, at the very least, a kind of dangerous edginess that sets it apart from the bland and safe "Hall Pass"es of the world. Of course, should the conceit falter ...

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    Review: 'The Ledge' Takes Hesitant But Significant Steps Toward Acknowledging Atheism

    Matthew Chapman’s “The Ledge” is sure to provoke plenty of ire. The film, Chapman’s first directorial outing since 1988’s “Heart of Midnight,” opens as a fairly conventional thriller – Gavin (Charlie Hunnam), stands out on a ledge and threatens to jump while detective Hollis (Terrence Howard) plays negotiator. As Hollis pieces together that Gavin’s not up here by choice, we jump into a series of flashbacks that explore a forbidden romance that takes root between Gavin and Shana (Liv Tyler), the wife of Joe (Patrick Wilson). Here’s the particular draw of “The Ledge” (and a marketing plot that’s been too heavily leaned on) – Gavin is a pronounc...

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    Review: Catherine Breillat's 'Sleeping Beauty' Tackles Fairy Tales Through The Prism Of Sex & Class

    A little girl who dreams of being a boy. A boy who wishes to be seduced by an Ice Queen. High fantasy and tangled sexuality dovetail in “The Sleeping Beauty,” a fantastical retelling of the popular folklore involving the little girl brought to an eternal slumber. Like the original Brothers Grimm fai...

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    Review: 'Project Nim' Is A Tragic Look At The Life Of The Ape That Was Raised As A Human

    It’s not often that a documentary can be called highly anticipated but “Project Nim,” the latest from the Oscar winning “Man On Wire” team (director James Marsh and producer Simon Chinn), certainly qualifies. The doc was a smash when it played at Sundance earlier this year and it sees the filmmakers returning to the 1970s to take on an entirely different incredible but true story. The film tells the tale of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was the subject of a landmark experiment to see if an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. This study was the brainchild of Dr. Herbert Terrace, a Columbia U...

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    L.A. Film Festival Review: 'Salaam Dunk' A Colorful Portrait Of Modern Life In Iraq

    Of the majority of images and video to be coming from Iraq right now, “Salaam Dunk” stands aside from the pack. Colorful, hopeful and charming, ‘Dunk’ follows a women's basketball team at the American University of Iraq -- Sulaimani. We see their wins, their losses, what brought them to this team an...

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    L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark' Can't Conjure Up The Scares

    In the 1970s, there was a number of made-for-television horror movies and among the best remembered were "Salem's Lot," "Burnt Offerings" and "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." Of the last film, modern horror master Guillermo Del Toro has referred to it as "the scariest movie (he's) ever seen." If one were to watch it today, they'd scoff at that sentiment as the pacing is weird and the monsters are silly. But anyone could look back at the stuff that gave them the chills as kids with new, more cynical eyes, however, what Del Toro is trying to do as producer and co-writer of this new remake is to get all of us to feel what we felt as kids again. Wh...

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