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Review

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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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    Review: Romance On The Fringe, A Community Stuck In Time In 'Bad Posture'

    For most movies, living on the fringe of society means a certain level of judgment is passed on the characters. Sometimes it's implicit in the condescending filmmaking techniques, with attempts made at clarifying our protagonists as "The Other," a socio-economic problem compounded by these characters often being minorities. At other times it's more overt, the picture trying to make you root for the underdog by creating a superficial caricature to engender sympathetic audience emotions, regardless of the context. Which is why it's refreshing to see an indie like "Bad Posture" crop up, a picture that remains laser-sharp in its focus as it refus...

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    MIFF '11 Reviews: 'The Day He Arrives,' 'Sleeping Sickness' & 'HERE'

    More reviews from the recent Melbourne International Film Festival.

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    Empire Big Screen '11 Review: 'Warrior' Is Silly, Over-Familiar & Enormously Effective

    Considering that it's the fastest rising sport in the world and that it's inherently cinematic in a way that, say, baseball isn't, it's surprising that Hollywood hasn't made greater hay out of mixed martial arts (or MMA). For the newcomer, it's essentially a blend of boxing, wrestling and a good old bar fight, a mix you would have thought would have led to far more movie outings than David Mamet's "Redbelt" and next year's Kevin James (yes, Kevin James) vehicle "Here Comes the Boom." But a movie opening next month, Gavin O'Connor's "Warrior," which we caught today as the first surprise public screening at Empire Big Screen in London, is plant...

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    Review: 'Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow' A Tarkovskian Study Of Ambitious Modern Art

    Even those that find modern art to be unbearable and pretentious must concur: paving roads, digging out caverns, and building houses as part of your art installation on the grounds of an abandoned silk factory is bad-ass. That said, detractors are likely to question the amount of money used for this...

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    Review: 'The Help' A Well-Intentioned Drama, Boosted By Strong Performances

    In some ways, "The Help" is critic-proof because it arrives wrapped up in the most deceptive of packaging: good intentions. A well-meaning film can make a critic blind to flaws or, conversely, can make a reviewer more ruthless about its shortcomings purely because of its lack of narrative or thematic ambition. And director Tate Taylor doesn't make it easy on himself, tackling a film about segregation, based on an Oprah-friendly book, and produced under a division of Disney. All of those elements make "The Help" a pretty big and easy target, and to be sure, the cynical viewer could sit back and lob easy shots. However, buoyed by strong perform...

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