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Review

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    Tribeca Review: Michael Winterbottom's 'The Trip' A Wickedly Funny Road Trip

    Fans of British actor/comedian Steve Coogan ("I'm Alan Partridge," the outstanding lead in "24 Hour Party People") tend to fall into two camps: the Anglophile hyper-obsessives (believe me, they exist) and the casual fan where this writer finds himself (though there's probably a third and fourth leve...

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    Review: 'African Cats' Is A Purrrrrrrrfectly Good Nature Documentary

    It’s fitting that Disney should be getting back into the nature documentary business with its Disneynature imprint, since Walt Disney himself single-handedly invented the genre with his “True Life Adventures” series way back in 1948. Since then, of course, nature documentaries have been replicated endlessly, mostly on the small screen (with stuff like the gorgeously photographed “Planet Earth” BBC series) or the very big screen (before IMAX started showing really big versions of Hollywood blockbusters, its bread-and-butter was nature documentaries). So it’s sort of nice to have these modest, once-a-year features on multiplexes nationwide (alw...

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    Review: 'Talking Funny' Isn't Quite The Same As Being Funny

    Here's the thing about comedians -- they take the business of being funny, very very seriously. One of the most competitive and unforgiving avenues in the entertainment biz, it's never about how funny you were, it's always about how funny you're going to be. Once the punchlines vanishes, the audience waits for the next round and in a way, telling jokes is like asking a sculptor to continually create new work that not only builds on the previous one, but adds to it. Almost by nature, comedians are insecure, forever polishing, refining, writing and changing their act in the pursuit of perfection. But it's that unquenchable desire for the ultima...

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    Review: 'Bang Bang Club' Never Quite Gets Completely Behind The Camera

    "The Bang Bang Club" is the real life story of four photojournalists who captured the horrific civil unrest and brutal violence during the end of South Africa’s apartheid in the early 90s. Films about war time violence aren’t new, but with the current events in the Middle East, and specifically the ...

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    Review: 'Legend Of The Fist' Is Probably Worth Telling...Once

    This Friday sees the release of "Legend Of The Fist: The Return Of Chen Zhen." For the uninitiated, Chen Zhen is kind of a big deal in Hong Kong, so the subtitle is meant to refer to the character as played by Donnie Yen (here reprising his role) in a hit television series. The series borrows both f...

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    Review: 'Incendies' A Strong Film Ultimately Held Back By A Nauseating Final Plot Twist

    Oh egregious plot twists, when will you stop ruining our movies? You've already turned us against M. Night Shyamalan (though we can't blame you for his last three disasters) and consistently do everything you can to obliterate affection for anything that precedes you. Well, we're not going to let yo...

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    Review: 'Cinema Verite' Reveals The Not So Surprising Truth Behind Reality TV

    Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are no strangers to tackling everyday characters and people who are caught within somewhat unreal circumstances. There was Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor" whose own eccentricity made him a star; Kevin Kline's Henry Harrison in "The Extra Man" who as an escort for wealthy widows was an eye-opener for Paul Dano's Louis Ives and even Annie Braddock in "The Nanny Diaries" finds herself in the strange world of the well-heeled in New York City. Thus, with "Cinema Verite," the directors find themselves firmly -- if somewhat a little too comfortably -- in their wheelhouse. The film goes behind-th...

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    Review: We Aren't Buying Morgan Spurlock's 'Greatest Movie Ever Sold'

    The following is a reprint of our review from SXSW.

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    Review: 'Stake Land' Offers Few Variations On A Vampire Apocalypse

    Why is it that so many filmmakers have switched to low-fi hi-def cameras? The cynical answer is also the easy one: it’s much cheaper. But, when asked to justify the stylistic choice, most will opt for “verisimilitude,” which frequently makes little sense. “Stake Land” is a superb argument against th...

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    Review: 'Rio' Only Occasionally Takes Flight

    In "Rio," it's easy to get lost in the colorful characters and propulsive (not to mention rigidly straightforward) plot. The tale of a dislodged bird named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) sent to South America to mate with another member of his extremely rare species (played by Anne Hathaway), is full of the kind of visual wonder that does a lot to dazzle, especially if you see it in 3D, where the birds (and other jungle wildlife) zoom out at you and into your lap. But if you pause longer than the movie ever does to think about what is actually going on, then you'll almost certainly become unglued and disinterested. For a movie this amazingly active, i...

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