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Review

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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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    Book Review: 'Straw Dogs' Retains The Controversy & Thematic Pull Without The Sleaze

    It has been 40 years since Sam Peckinpah released "Straw Dogs," and four decades on, the film still remains a powerful and sometimes hard to watch piece of work. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, the film centers on David (Hoffman), a American mathematician who moves with his new bride Amy (George) to her hometown of Wakely, Cornwall in England. Some locals are hired on to do some repairs on David and Amy's farmhouse and they immediately take a disliking to the brainy David, and in an act of intimidation, they strangle their cat, leaving it hanging from a light inside the home. Things are then taken up a notch when David, lured into a...

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    Review: 'Gloria: In Her Own Words' A Cliffs Notes Portrait Of The Feminist Icon

    There is perhaps no other woman who is more easily identified to the burgeoning feminist movement of the late '60s and '70s than Gloria Steinem. Vocal, intelligent and yes, very beautiful (even now at 77 she looks remarkable), Steinem galvanized women across the country, and over the years, has tackled topics both taboo and controversial ranging from abortion to female genital mutilation, while becoming a public figure for feminism like no one else has since. But in turn, she has also become a figure of criticism and ridicule from those both inside and outside feminist circles for a variety of reason. And thus, it's a shame that the life of s...

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