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Review

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    Review: 'Sanctum' Proves That Three Dimensions Plus One Cave Equals Zero Imagination

    An old saying that we just made up goes like this: make a movie about a topic that no one has really addressed and your film automatically becomes an interesting novelty simply by existing. It's why "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" will forever be considered the definitive dodgeball movie, but "Ka...

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    Sundance ‘11 Review: ‘The Details’ Is An Inconsistent But Entertaining Dark Comedy

    “The Details” is one of those dark comedies where everything that can go wrong does. The sophomore film from Jacob Aaron Estes, whose previous film “Mean Creek” won the John Cassavetes Award at Sundance in 2004, was the biggest sale of this year's festival being bought by The Weinstein Company for $8 million. Of the dozen movies this writer saw while he was at the fest, it was one of the more accessible, but didn’t exactly ring of “Little Miss Sunshine”-like success either. The film stars Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks as Jeff and Nealy Lang, young parents who have hit a rough patch in their marriage. Jeff is a doctor, Nealy is an interior...

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    Review: 'Cold Weather' A Winning Micro-Indie Mystery

    Mystery is a tricky genre to work in. Although there's an indisputable amount of excitement involved as the protagonist and audience alike piece together the puzzle, once all is solved every associated feeling fizzles, leaving little impact and less to chew on post-viewing. Some directors have worked tirelessly to avoid this sentiment, with examples such as "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "Cache" playing by some rules but ultimately turning into a different beast at the end of the day. Others, like "Brick," used talky-noir conventions and dropped them in a high school atmosphere. The result was a humorous and refreshing experience, maybe a littl...

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    Sundance ‘11 Review: ‘Terri’ Is Another Enjoyable But Slight Coming-Of-Age Indie

    Coming of age stories are as popular at Sundance as superhero films are at the multiplex, and though “Terri” doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, it does have its charms. Terri (newcomer Jacob Wysocki) is an outsider, a lonely overweight teen who lives in a small town and takes care of his Uncle James (Creed Bratton from “The Office”) who is suffering from some form of dementia. After Uncle James orders him to put mousetraps in the attic, he develops an unexpected fondness for killing mice and it becomes his daily joy. Outside of this private pleasure, Terri has completely given up on himself, resorting to wearing his pajamas to school be...

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    Sundance ‘11 Review: 'Submarine’ Is A Smart Coming-Of-Age Comedy & A Promising Debut

    One of the best films at this year's Sundance Film Festival was one that actually had its debut at last year’s TIFF. Richard Ayoade’s “Submarine” is a remarkably assured debut filled with dry humor, visual wit and great performances. Adapted by Ayoade from a 2008 novel by Joe Dunthorne, the film follows 15 year old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a somewhat delusional teenager who believes himself to be a literary genius, (he reads Nietzsche and searches the dictionary for new words), but in actuality is a social outcast who gets bullied at school and doesn’t know how to talk to girls. Oliver develops a crush on classmate Jordana (Yasmin Paige),...

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    Review: Gregg Araki's 'Kaboom' Is Like 'Saved By The Bell' Meets 'Lost Highway' On Ecstasy

    The following is a reprint of our review from TIFF.

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    Sundance '11 Review: 'Take Shelter' A Naturalistic, Novelistic Portrayal Of Madness & Apocalypse

    From our reviews correspondent over at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, James Rocchi.

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    Sundance '11 Review: 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' A Stunner With A Breakout Turn By Elizabeth Olsen

    From our reviews correspondent over at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, James Rocchi.

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    Review: 'The Rite' Is Demonically Dull

    William Friedkin pretty much ruined it for every other director after making "The Exorcist." Juggling a priest questioning his faith, a little girl possessed by the devil, pea soup, spinning heads, people falling down stairs and generally scaring the living shit out of viewers, ever since, films dabbling in the same thematic territory just haven't stacked up. More recent films like "The Last Exorcism" have tried to solve the problem by amping up the jump scares while the opposite tack taken by Paul Schrader's more cerebral approach for "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist" got him booted off the project, so full credit to director Mikael Håfstr...

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    Review: 'When We Leave' An "Issues" Drama With All The Subtlety Of A PSA

    There's no question that the Academy Awards have gotten much stronger in the past few years. Big awards have been handed out to pictures that went against the norm -- at least in comparison to what else was nominated -- and while this writer wasn't a huge fan of all of them, there's no question about them being much different than what the Academy used to go for ("Slumdog Millionaire" was, at least in its style -- we won't instigate an argument about the overly moving fairytale narrative right now). Unfortunately that kind of forward thinking mentality has yet to hit the Foreign Oscars category, and even though some really good flicks have ma...

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