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Review

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    Cannes Review: Takashi Miike's 3D 'Hara-Kiri' A Tired Merchant Ivory-Esque Samurai Flick

    The prospect of the first 3D competition film ever to screen at the Cannes Film Festival directed by the ridiculously prolific Japanese madman Takashi Miike sounds too good to be true. And unfortunately, that's the case. "Hara Kiri," Miike's remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film, is the complete op...

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    Cannes Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80s Crime Drama 'Drive' Has A Dark Majesty

    Why is "Drive" -- a seemingly trivial affair about a stuntman and part-time getaway driver, played by Ryan Gosling, pulled into deep and bloody waters on the neon-and-streetlight lit streets of L.A. -- even at Cannes, let alone in competition? It's not merely because of the bloody-but-brilliant background of director Nicolas Winding Refn, whose films (the "Pusher" trilogy, "Bronson," "Valhalla Rising") have demonstrated both an eye for composition and a taste for the jugular. It's not merely because of the film's cinematic roots, with the production seemingly crafted as a clear tribute to '80s-era Michael Mann and other synthesizer-and-faux-l...

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    Cannes Review: 'Bonsai' Is A Chilean Slacker-Romance Of Love & Language That's Small, Swift & Smart

    Cannes, more so than other film festivals, feels like the 10 days of nutrition offered in the hopeful attempt to make up for the other 355 days of dessert modern movie going offers us. Abandonment, murder, suicide, prostitution -- these are the concerns of all too many films in the competition and sidebars here at Cannes. A film like Christián Jiménez's "Bonsái," in the Un Certain Regard selection -- seemingly slight, seemingly light, small in scope and scene -- is exactly the kind of film that whispers when other films shout and gets overlooked in the hue and cry. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't speak the truth, or that what it's sayin...

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    Cannes Review: Lars Von Trier Confronts Depression Head On In The Grim 'Melancholia'

    Two years after Lars Von Trier caused a major stir at Cannes with his contentious "Antichrist," the enfant terrible returns to the Croisette in a much more subdued mood with "Melancholia." Despite the premise, which sounds tailor-made for Von Trier to provoke and prod his audience, the film is easil...

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    Cannes Review: 'Le Havre' Another Hilarious, Humane & Moving Film From Aki Kaurismaki

    The issue of illegal immigration certainly isn't a new one to the film world, but rarely has it been captured with as much humanity, heart and humor as in Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre." A political film that eschews politicking, a comedy with a serious point, and imbued with a deep, emotional core, th...

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    Cannes Review: 'Snowtown' An Uneven But Still Mesmerizing & Disturbing Serial Killer Thriller

    This film was screened as part of the Critic's Week sidebar.

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    More Thoughts & 3 More Reviews Of Terrence Malick's Luminous, But Uneven 'Tree Of Life'

    Yes, you've read our initial review of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," but we've got a few more, simply because it's a film that demands discussion and contrary to popular belief, members of The Playlist do not share a brain or utilize hivemind thinking, but three writers from the site saw the...

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    Cannes Review: 'The Tree Of Life' Is Terrence Malick's Universe-Spanning Search For God

    It's a bit unfair, after years of waiting and anticipation and with a world of expectation weighing on the film, to begin writing a review of Terrence Malick's "The Tree Of Life" just minutes after leaving the screening this morning. With nearly as much time spent in line waiting to get in as watching the actual film, we would have preferred a bit more of a chance to let it linger and marinate (and perhaps more thoughts will follow in the coming days). But let's get a couple of things out of the way to start with. Firstly, "The Tree Of Life" is not the cinema-changing, soul-shattering masterpiece it has been built up into. That said, it's a h...

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    Cannes Review: Bruno Dumont's 'Hors Satan' Is Devilishly Dull

    Two-time Cannes Jury Prize winner Bruno Dumont ("Flanders," "L'humanité") returned to Cannes today with his latest head scratcher, "Hors Satan." If Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" was a bold exploration into human nature and the search in the universe for God, "Hors Satan" is the dumb, clumsy c...

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    Cannes Review: 'L'Apollonide' A Preposterous, Misguided, Sensationalist Bore About Prostitution

    They say prostitution is the world's oldest profession and if that's true, then the discussion about legalizing it has been around just as long. Certainly the argument for doing so is not a bad one, and if done properly, it would create a safer environment for the women in the trade and their clients alike. For director Bertrand Bonello, "L'Apollonide" serves as his thesis on why prostitution needs to be legal but in championing the women he presumably made the movie for in such a woefully misguided, preposterous and exploitative piece of filmmaking, he undermines any point he's trying to make. Add to that a director who substitutes style for...

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