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Review

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    Fantastic Fest Review: 'Elite Squad 2' A Sprawling, Exciting Look At The Depths Of Corruption

    More of a “Red Riding Hood” or “Millennium Series” installment than a traditional sequel, “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within” doesn’t require viewers to have seen the original “Elite Squad” because it builds upon its predecessor’s themes and ideas rather than the strict details of its plot. Director Jos...

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    Review: SXSW Hit 'Surrogate Valentine' Charms At A Low Frequency

    Singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura stars in “Surrogate Valentine” as a thinly veiled version of himself, a struggling West Coast musician with a wry deadpan humour and a gentle spirit. His open face suggests an innate patience with the fools that surround him as he soldiers thanklessly through underpaid...

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    Review: 'Sarah Palin: You Betcha!' Is A Surprisingly Toothless Bore

    Nick Broomfield is a British documentarian with a reputation for being boldly unafraid to ruffle people’s feathers. In films like “Biggie & Tupac” and, most notoriously, “Kurt and Courtney,” he seemed unconcerned with the status quo (or possibly lawsuits), making inflammatory claims and taking part in gleeful provocation, a welcome change of pace from the overtly mannered realm of current documentary filmmaking. Which makes “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!,” his new film about America’s one-time potential Vice President and former Governor of Alaska, so odd – it’s boring, toothless, and genial. Anyone (like me) smacking their gums in anticipation of...

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    Review: 'Tucker & Dale' The Hillbilly Horror Buddy Comedy You Never Knew You Wanted

    The following is a reprint of our review prior to the VOD release. The film hits theaters in limited release starting Friday, September 30th.

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    Fantastic Fest Review: 'Sleepless Night' A Deceptively Simple Thriller That Packs A Punch

    Containment thrillers can often be limited by the landscape of their locale, but in the French film “Sleepless Night,” the nightclub where corrupt cop Vincent (Tomer Sisley) races to rescue his son is expansive enough to make it seem like a mini-mall. Writer-director Frederic Jardin somehow manages to squeeze every last drop of claustrophobia from the massive, multilevel building, even after he’s filled it wall-to-wall with clubgoers, diners, socialites, and especially the odd assortment of cops and crooks who all have a stake in Vincent’s future. Although it’s quite deservedly scheduled for an American remake via the folks at Warner Brothers...

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    Review: 'Take Shelter' A Naturalistic, Novelistic Portrayal Of Madness & Apocalypse

    The following is a reprint of our review from Sundance.

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    Review: 'What's Your Number?' Squanders All Goodwill Toward Anna Faris & Chris Evans In 100 Minutes

    You will enjoy “What’s Your Number?” only if you’re mentally deficient and/or consider looking at Chris Evans’s V-shaped lower abs for 100 minutes a good use of mental energy (note that these aren’t mutually exclusive). Don’t get us wrong: we can appreciate a mindless romantic comedy--and a nice set...

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    Fantastic Fest Review: 'Paranormal Activity 3' Runs Low On Ideas, But Delivers Plenty Of Scares

    As a person terrified by the prospect of encountering a shadowy figure in my apartment in the middle of the night, the “Paranormal Activity” movies work like gangbusters on this writer. On an intellectual level, It's genuinely admirable how effectively they’re able to wring significant suspense out of so little happening on screen, but in terms of visceral impact, they’re among the few horror films whose effect on this viewer lingered long after leaving the theater. “Paranormal Activity 3” is less effective than its predecessors, but it still works when and how it needs to. As a prequel to a prequel that further explored the supernatural worl...

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    Review: Meta 'Art History' Is NOT Recommended For Joe Swanberg Newbies

    The very first shot of “Art History” features a close-up of a woman’s hand placing a condom on an erection. If you needed any further clues that prolific indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg has no intention of going mainstream any time soon, the director has a cock for you to look at. While his “mumble cor...

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    Review: 'Real Steel' A Simple, Effective Crowd Pleaser Like A Robot-Driven 'Warrior' For Kids

    If the maturity and sophistication of “Warrior” is more than you can handle, then “Real Steel” might be the movie for you. A start-to-finish festival of storytelling conventions, director Shawn Levy’s bid for credibility differs only from its predecessor in that it’s aimed at a kid-friendly audience, making its relentless obedience to formula perhaps more acceptable, but less augmented by genuinely great performances. Nevertheless a crowd-pleaser of the first order – even on par with the ‘80s films from folks like Spielberg and Zemeckis that inspire it – “Real Steel” is an effective retelling of a familiar story, albeit one that it might help...

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