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Reviews

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    Cheri Looks Good, Falls Flat

    It’s hard to get everything to go right on a movie. Many little things can turn a promising project into something that never quite gels.

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    Summer Movies: Drag Me to Hell, Away We Go

    Every once in a while I am reminded that my taste is not the same as the mass audience. I can usually call a blockbuster like 300 or Star Trek--in other words, I ignore the tracking and opening weekend predictions to insist--THIS MOVIE IS SO GOOD IT WILL DO BUSINESS. Sometimes, thank God, word-of-mo...

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    Little Ashes: Will Twilight's Pattinson Pull Women?

    We know how women respond to Rob Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight . I knew the second I saw the first teaser trailer that he was a new heartthrob. He's dishy. In IFC's on-demand release, the British micro-indie How to Be, he plays a depressed loser version of himself. Not a big reach. On the other hand, Pattinson stretches quite a bit as Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, a European art film with a cultural pedigree. Set in Spain, the movie throws together three brilliant young university students: painter Salvador Dali (Pattinson), poet/dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca (Javier Beltran) and filmmaker Luis Bunuel (Matthew McNulty). Garcia Lo...

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    Little Ashes: Will Twilight's Pattinson Pull Women?

    We know how women respond to Rob Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight . I knew the second I saw the first teaser trailer that he was a new heartthrob. He's dishy. In IFC's on-demand release, the British micro-indie How to Be, he plays a depressed loser version of himself. Not a big reach. On the other hand, Pattinson stretches quite a bit as Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, a European art film with a cultural pedigree. Set in Spain, the movie throws together three brilliant young university students: painter Salvador Dali (Pattinson), poet/dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca (Javier Beltran) and filmmaker Luis Bunuel (Matthew McNulty). Garcia Lo...

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    Star Trek: Early Reviews

    Early word on the J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's reinvention of Star Trek--beyond the early peak Paramount gave Fantastic Fest earlier this month and the footage screened for journos last November--has been strong. One exhib emailed me after an exhibitor's screening:

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    Star Trek Sneak Preview Reactions

    In keeping with the current trend of letting the fanboys review a sci-fi universe movie before the critics get a crack at it, Paramount mounted a surprise Fantastic Fest sneak preview of Star Trek in Austin (in place of the scheduled Wrath of Khan). Leonard Nimoy attended. (Pictures are here.) Early...

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    ShoWest: Roger Ebert Honored

    After a video montage in which directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone paid tribute to Roger Ebert, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker presented ShoWest's Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award to the Pulitzer-Prize winning critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Roger Ebert is the most popular, most respected, most honored, and most eclectic film critic in American history," Barker said, citing Ebert as "one of the few saviors of independent film--films of all shapes and sizes--American independent features, foreign films, documentaries, and animated films. Ask any independent filmmakers w...

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    Duplicity: What Happened?

    While a recession-fueled box office boom is lifting most boats, one notable exception is Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, which boasted the earmarks of a commercial Hollywood vehicle--big budget, exotic locations, thriller genre, two sexy movie stars--but may have been too costly for what was really a smart...

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    Knowing: Proyas/Cage Thriller Will Wow Audiences

    Knowing is an intense, smart sci-fi thriller that stops just short of being great. Australian director Alex Proyas, the mind behind The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot , makes several questionable choices--among them ominous Jim Jarmusch lookalike lurkers and and a derivative ending-- but they don't de...

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    Duplicity: Gilroy Directs Roberts and Owen

    While Duplicity isn't as good as Michael Clayton, you can tell that it comes from the mind of Tony Gilroy. According to his recent profile in The New Yorker, he's a man who likes to surprise. Gilroy reminds me of Steven Soderbergh: he's trying to outsmart audience expectations so much that he someti...

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