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Review

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    Review: 'Our Idiot Brother' A Breezy, But Uneven Attempt To Replicate The Judd Apatow Touch

    Judd Apatow's smash hits of "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" (not to mention the countless other successful comedies stamped with his producer tag) have spawned a good handful of imitators but few ever get the formula right. What Apatow does so well -- evidenced as far back as "Freaks & Geeks" and "Undeclared" -- is effortlessly find true character moments in the midst of even the raunchiest gags. For example, in "The 40 Year Old Virgin" when Andy returns home after his "bag of sand" gaffe and walks around his house yelling in frustration, it's both hilarious and true -- we've all had those moments where we've said or done something ...

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    Review: 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark' Is Light On Scares & A Minor Effort From Producer Del Toro

    Originally written back in 1998 for Miramax, “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” has had quite a long road to the big screen. Scribes Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins (“Mimic,” “Dragonslayer”) adapted the film from a 1973 made-for-TV movie as a vehicle for del Toro to direct but the project was shel...

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    Review: 'Higher Ground' Revels In Its Callow, Low Blows To Catholicism

    Everyone's got something to say about religion. Each book that serves as the foundation for a theology forges our behavior in some shape or form, and while structuring your life on what each book preaches can lead to catharsis, kindness, and healing, it can also be the birth of intolerance and destruction. That's not to say people aren't ultimately to blame; though certain things are good or bad no matter how you spin them, we do tend to interpret things how we see fit. This odd mixed bag of morals often leads to serious backlash, manifested in outright intense debates or scathing art pieces. "Up In The Air" actress Vera Farmiga sets her targ...

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    Review: 'A Horrible Way To Die' And Not Much Of A Way To Live

    “A Horrible Way To Die” tells two parallel stories. One of them is rooted in the fear of the mundane, following Sarah (Amy Seimetz), a recovering alcoholic trying to put her life back together. Her alcoholic past can directly be attributed to an abusive relationship, one that had borderline stripped her of her identity. She may have a job, a car, and a house, but Sarah is a ghost, invisible to those around her, floating through life without vice, but also without virtue. And why would there be either? Director Adam Wingard takes a vampiric attention to detail, featuring a world of almost constant nighttime or downshifted cloudiness. The walls...

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    Review: 'The Last Circus' Is A Three-Ring Extravaganza Of Excess

    The prologue for Alex de la Iglesia's new film, "The Last Circus," which premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival but is just now making its debut on American shores, is a kicky, grindhouse shock about a traveling circus interrupted by rebels who recruit the performers to participate in the burgeoning Spanish Civil War. The show's lead clown (Santiago Segura) is handed a machete and forced to stay in his whimsical, gender-bending costume, since the rebel leader says it will scare the shit out of the enemy. And, for whole minutes, we watch as the clown grittily slices and dices members of Franco's fascist army. After the "happy clown" has...

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    Jim Sturgess Says The Book Was All He Needed To Get Prepared For 'One Day'

    In “One Day,” Jim Sturgess’ Dexter is kind of an asshole, though certainly the kind of asshole that some women are irresistibly and illogically drawn to. He says and does things to Anne Hathaway’s Emma that would make him irredeemable if played by a less charming actor, but because it’s Sturgess who’s doing the heartbreaking, we’re content to watch--and would likely volunteer to be the victim as well. Based on David Nicholls’ book (and the author’s screenplay), the Lone Scherfig film follows the pair dipping into each others' lives for one day a year across three decades. They perform a dance where they’re alternately joining together and pus...

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    Review: 'One Day' Essentially An Overwrought Nicholas Sparks Movie With Dodgy English Accents

    Treacly, oftentimes predictable, lacking real chemistry and sporting a narrative conceit that never really serves the movie well, if you thought the only thing missing from movies based on Nicholas Sparks novels was questionably convincing English accents, “One Day” may be the movie for you. While t...

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    Review: 'Amigo' An Observational, Powerful Film Linking America's Political Past & Present

    The following is a reprint of our review from TIFF in 2010.

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    Review: '5 Days Of War' Is A Tribute To Georgia Both Bombastic And Political

    In 2008, the world turned its back as Russia declared war on the neighboring region of Georgia. For five days, the vastly superior Russian forces descended on destitute Georgian villages, separating families, causing massive property damage and driving a fractured country into further disrepair, of ...

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    Empire Big Screen '11 Review: By Crom, 'Conan The Barbarian' Is Unbelievably Awful

    For a good quarter of a century, since Arnie hung up his loincloth in 1984's "Conan The Destroyer," people have been trying to bring Robert E. Howard's pulp sword-and-sorcery hero back to the big screen, most notably in John Milius' unmade "King Conan," while The Wachowskis, Robert Rodriguez and Bre...

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