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Review

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    Stage Review: Terry Gilliam's Opera 'The Damnation of Faust' Is A Return To Form & Then Some

    We've made no bones about our disappointment in Terry Gilliam's recent work. We absolutely have sympathy for the behind-the-scenes troubles that the helmer's suffered in recent years, with a string of bad luck almost unmatched among filmmakers, but unfortunately the work that has made it to the scre...

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    Book Review: 'Johnny Depp' Biography Could Use Some of Its Subject's Star Swagger

    As last week’s staggering box office take for the lukewarm “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” proved (at the time of this writing it's amassed almost $500 million worldwide), audiences are still fascinated and entranced by Johnny Depp, even when his dandy mugging is overpowered by anthrop...

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    Review: 'United Red Army' A Text Book Heavy Look At History

    Let's say that 100 minutes is the perfect running time for a film and something that all types of audiences can get behind without complaint. Within that standard is about 20 minutes of leniency; remove that much and things feel brisk, tack on that much and different elements are allowed to flourish...

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    Review: 'Kung Fu Panda 2' Is A Fast & Furry Action Adventure

    Brad Bird, genius director of "The Iron Giant," "Ratatouille," and "The Incredibles," is fond of saying that animation isn't a genre, it's an art form. His point is that there can be animated versions of a wide array of cinematic genres – thrillers, say, or maybe westerns or even romantic comedies. He's right, of course; it's just that most animated movies that aren't made by Bird's compatriots at Pixar aim for that broad, middle-of-the-road buddy comedy bulls-eye. Which is why, when DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda" was released in 2008, it was sort of shocking. Not because it was particularly revolutionary looking, and not because its ...

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    Review: 'Tuesday, After Christmas' Features Strong Performances In Otherwise Contrived Adultery Tale

    The following is a reprint of our review from the New York Film Festival in 2010.

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    Review: 'The Hangover Part II' Is A Lazy, Unpleasant & Unfunny Mess

    Unlike most of the summer movies, which seem to be thundering into theaters without any real anticipation beyond the cacophonous marketing hype, "The Hangover Part II" seems to be a film people are unreasonably excited for. The 2009 original, directed by Todd Phillips, has metamorphosed from simply being the biggest R-rated comedy of all time (and winner of a Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Golden Globe) to being a movie that average filmgoers consider an instant "classic" of the genre and a staple of any fun-lover's DVD collection. (It's also the biggest selling comedy DVD of all time. Jesus.) The prospect of another movie, again sta...

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    Review: 'Too Big To Fail' A Solid, Brisk & Entertaining Run Through The 2008 Bailout

    "Motherfucker." That is the first word of dialogue uttered in "Too Big To Fail" and it sums up the feeling for many who in the fall of 2008 watched closely as the United States came precariously close to suffering a major economic collapse unlike anything seen since the Great Depression. It was a sharp wake up call for the nation and the subject has already spawned a handful of films, notably Michael Moore's rushed and reactionary "Capitalism: A Love Story" and the much better Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job." At Sundance earlier this year, "Margin Call" premiered, going inside a fictional financial institution for twenty-four hours as ...

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    Cannes Review: Christophe Honoré Sings The Same Old Song In Phony, Hollow 'Les Bien-Aimés'

    As the closing night film at Cannes -- and, as such, lumped in historically with such bland films as "The Tree," "What Just Happened?," "Chromophobia" and "The Age of Darkness" -- writer-director Christophe Honoré's "Les Bien-Aimés" (aka "The Beloved") is already at a disadvantage. Sidelined out of competition, offered up as a final course to cineastes whose metaphorical bellies are already set to burst from an excess of riches, no one was going to think too much about the movie, regardless of its quality. Honoré's film in fact falls short of even the minimal expectations set by circumstance, to be truly tedious, flat and hollow -- a recycled...

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    Cannes Review: Na Hong-Jin's 'The Yellow Sea' An Epic, Pulse-Pounding Thriller

    Director Na Hong-Jin arrived in a big way in 2008 with "The Chaser," an action thriller that made huge waves on the genre film circuit and nabbed a midnight screening slot at the Cannes Film Festival a few years back. For his latest effort, Hong-Jin paired up with his two lead actors from that film ...

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    Review: Sion Sono's 'Love Exposure' A Lengthy, Demented & Highly Original Romance

    "Love Exposure" recently screened in a one-week run at Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Further U.S. engagements are yet to be determined.

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