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Review

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' A Surprisingly Ambitious Deadpan Charmer

    Bob Byington’s "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is about a guy who doesn’t grow up. In fact, he doesn’t even age over the film’s span of about three decades in his life. It may have something to do with a mysterious briefcase, the origins of which are only ever suggested by animated cloud interludes and...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Monsieur Lazhar' A Meek & Restrained Crowd Pleaser

    When "A Separation" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film last month, I was thrilled -- Asghar Farhadi's splendid domestic drama is one of the best things I've seen in the past few years. But it also came as a genuine surprise, because I was convinced the Canadian fi...

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    Review: 'Seeking Justice' A Rote, Generic Thriller With A Dialed Down Nicolas Cage

    This is a slight paraphrasing of the truth. A couple of years ago, an eccentric award-winning actor had a choice: He could star in an unreasonable amount of movies of declining quality, stockpiling paychecks as his reputation and brand diminished. Or he could sell his dinosaurs bones and castles to ...

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    Review: '21 Jump Street' Is A Hilarious, Heartfelt Action-Comedy That Just Might Be An Instant Classic

    In cinema as in life, self-awareness can be a virtue or it can be a deadly thing. Since there’s essentially no such thing as originality, conceding that you’re working within existing parameters or with familiar formulas excuses, and can sometimes enhance, the effectiveness of a lot of necessary dec...

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    SXSW '12 Review: The Duplass Brothers' 'Do-Deca Pentathlon' Is A Minor Effort That Should Have Remained Buried

    It’s always important to keep in mind, while reading reviews, that interpreting art is a deeply personal experience. What might speak to someone on a visceral, emotional level will slide right over another’s head. Or anger them. Or bore them to tears. The third option was the experience of this writ...

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    SXSW '12 Review: HBO Series 'Girls' Solidifies Lena Dunham's Place As A Bold New Voice in American Comedy

    As far as young independent filmmakers go, writer/director Lena Dunham has been the subject of an excessive amount of conversation and handwringing, even by the admittedly loose standards of the ever-chatty Internet age. Her first feature, "Creative Nonfiction," was accepted to South by Southwest an...

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    SXSW '12 Review: 'Beast' A Lean & Surreal Portrait Of An Extreme Relationship That Doesn't Quite Go Far Enough

    "Beast" is a lean, surreal portrait of a marriage in its extremes from Danish director Christoffer Boe, who's probably still best known for his 2003 feature debut "Reconstruction." The film's focus keeps almost exclusively to Bruno (Nicolas Bro) and Maxine (Marijana Janko...

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    Review: 'The Search For One-Eyed Jimmy' Is A Remnant Of A More Colorful Time In Indie Filmmaking

    The rise of technology and newer entertainment formats has left behind a number of movies, some of which never graduated to VHS, DVD or even cable. One of those "forgotten" movies has recently hit DVD and Blu-Ray from the fine folks at Kino Lorber, the micro-indie "The Search For One-Eyed Jimmy". Of...

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    Review: 'Casa De Mi Padre' Takes Will Ferrell’s Man-Child Antics South Of The Border With Uneven Results

    Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) is but a humble Mexican rancher, unlucky in love and only his father’s second favorite son after Raul (Diego Luna). When the latter comes home bearing an Escalade and a smoking hot fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez), it’s easy to see why Armando is c...

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    SXSW '12 Review: Omar Rodriguez Lopez's 'Los Chidos' Is Wild, Wacky, Weird, Bloody & Bold

    Not everyone is going to be ready for the ride through "Los Chidos" that director Omar Rodriguez Lopez offers up. But his willingness to scare off a few of the faint of heart preserves his commitment to a truly bold and unique vision and an aesthetic all his own. This is the fifth feature film of th...

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