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Review

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    Review: 'Rango' Is A Sweetly Surreal Animated Western

    It's strange to think that Gore Verbinski, an accomplished visual stylist who began in commercials (he was responsible for those "Bud-weis-er" talking bullfrog ads), would want to follow up the daunting and problem-plagued back-to-back shoots of the two latter 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies with ...

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    Review: Xavier Dolan's 'Heartbeats' Is A Stylish Love Triangle, But Emotionally Hollow At Its Core

    The constant criticism being aimed at young, wunderkind Canadian director Xavier Dolan, is that the Montreal-based filmmaker -- while completely precocious and preternaturally talented -- puts too much of a premium and emphasis on style over substance. And yet, just because it's practically a cliche ad hominem dig against Dolan's films, it doesn't mean that the censure is off base. While featuring an impeccable soundtrack, a color palette ripped out of the Pedro Almodovar playbook for comedic melodramas, and an ineffable je ne sais quoi energy taken from the Jean-Luc Godard school of '60s filmmaking (though Dolan denies he's ever seen the fam...

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    Review: 'Hall Pass' A Raunchy Sex Comedy That's Afraid Of Sex

    It might seem like a distant memory, but at one time the Farrelly Brothers were the leading the pack -- and were possibly the only players of note -- in the arena of progressive, raunchy comedies. The trifecta of "Dumb & Dumber," "There's Something About Mary" and "Kingpin" put the sibling duo on the map but ever since, they've been chasing past glory to lesser and lesser effect which now brings us to "Hall Pass." Coming barely a month after "No Strings Attached," the Farrellys' film may be all dressed up in the trappings of a taboo breaking comedy but by comparison, it makes the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher vehicle look positively avant ga...

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    Review: 'Of Gods And Men' Is An Insightful, Intriguing But Heavy-Handed Look At Faith

    The following is a reprint of our review from the Cannes Film Festival.

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    Review: 'Vanishing On 7th Street' Disappears From Memory Quite Easily

    Rules. We sign a contract when we enter the theater, a contract usually based on an awareness of plot, genre, or even title. We expect certain elements to be present in a movie, certain laws the universe we witness abides, understands, and even subtly subverts. The horror genre differs in that it tr...

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    Review: 'Zero Bridge' Goes For Realism But Ends Up With Stiffness

    It's always nice when filmmakers are open to collaboration. This teamwork isn't (and shouldn't) be limited to the actors, but their general environment as well. It takes an exceptional kind of artist to make these loose partnerships flourish, as a project could quickly become detached or too self-indulgent without the proper wrangling. Still, knowing that any sort of director is diving headfirst into a visually-rich area, planning to shoot guerilla style and working with non-actors to create something distinctive is pretty damn exciting. Tariq Tapa's arsenal had plenty of useful tools to make an incredible indie: a unique-looking cast of unpr...

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    Review: 'I Am Number Four' Is A Sci-Fi 'Twilight' With a Sense of Humor

    Based on a novel co-authored by shamed memoirist James Frey, "I Am Number Four" is a sci-fi take on the same sort of material that has made 'Twilight' an international sensation. Instead of sparkly vampires, though, it's a handsome, hounded alien played by Alex Pettyfer that takes center stage. And ...

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    Review: 'Bouncing Cats' Details Breakdancing In Uganda, Suffers From Inexperience

    Breakdance Project Uganda (B.P.U.) is a program led by dancer Abramz, aiming to create a better, more positive life for what is known to be the "worst place on earth to be a child." Director Nabil Elderkin met Abramz and was completely enamored by his dedication to the future of Uganda's youth, equally impressed with the size of his relatively new, nearly entirely self-created b-boy program. The filmmaker decided to return to East African country with a documentary crew, rounding up plenty of star power (Mos Def and Will.I.Am are interviewed, Common lays the narrating track) and also famous breakdancer Crazy Legs (founder of Rock Steady Crew...

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    Review: 'Putty Hill' Combines Narrative And Doc To Provide An Experience Like No Other

    A loud, rapid series of thuds are heard. Deep in the woods, a ferocious game of paintball rages on as if lives were at stake or land was to be won. Taking cover behind a large, makeshift contraption is a young boy, one who wouldn't look too inappropriate on MTV's "Skins." He's not fit for this war, that's for sure, and the camera lingers on him as he catches breath and prepares to hide out for all eternity, or just until the end of the game. Suddenly, an off-camera voice breaks the peace and asks straight-forward, personal questions, which lead to explanations as to why he's involved in a game he could care less for and why his mood is more t...

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    Review: 'Unknown' Is Knowing Euro-Trash Fluff (Not Necessarily A Bad Thing)

    If you've seen the trailers for "Unknown," then you probably have a pretty good idea of what it's about and what it'll be like: all those quick cuts of car crashes and blue-tinted European scenery; Liam Neeson again assuming the role of grumpily righteous avenger (something he brought a laser-like f...

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