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Sundance 2012 Reviews

  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Spike Lee Reconnects With His Artistic Voice With The Emotionally Devastating 'Red Hook Summer'

    It’s hard to say how long it’s been since Spike Lee was as ambitious, and as focused, as he is on “Red Hook Summer.” Telling a story that evokes “Crooklyn” in its depiction of children coming of age, filtered through two subsequent decades of his professional succ...

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    Sundance 2012 Review - "The Art Of Rap" (An Unfocused Ode To A Music That's Inspired Generations)

    In an interview posted on this site about a week ago, Ice-T said of his directorial debut, Something For Nothing - The Art Of Rap, that his intent with the film was to document the craft of rapping, and not all the crass excesses the music has become emblematic of. His goal, as he suggested, wa...

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    Sundance Review: Mark Webber's 'The End of Love' Moves With Minor-Key Moments & Undersold Skill

    Written, directed by and starring Mark Webber -- whose acting filmography runs from "Kids" to "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" -- "The End of Love" is hardly a work of revelation. At the same time, it's surprisingly well-executed, nicely performed and manages to combin...

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    'Teddy Bear' Is a Conventional Romance Elevated By Its Muscular Hero

    There's nothing fresh about the premise of a grown single man living at home with his mother, but Danish director Mads Matthiesen's first feature, "Teddy Bear," has a unique strategy for rejuvenating the formula. Its lead, real-life bodybuilder Kim Kold, is a hulking mass of biceps...

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    VOD REVIEW: Quentin Dupieux's 'Wrong' Suggests 'Groundhog Day' Via Buñuel

    French director Quentin Dupieux's wacky "killer tire" movie "Rubber" was a surreal investigation into high-concept storytelling that opened with a mission statement: Facing the camera, an officer explained all narrative events would take place for "no reason." With his latest effort, "Wrong," Dupieu...

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    SUNDANCE REVIEW: With a Collage of Grim Visuals, "DETROPIA" Explains Detroit's Financial Woes

    Documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have proven themselves masters of the vérité approach with the first-rate documentaries "Jesus Camp" and "12th and Delaware." In both cases, they managed to engage hot-button issues in a miraculously even-handed fashion, p...

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    Sundance 2012 Review - "Detropia" (A Moving, Painterly Mourning Of A Once Economically Vibrant City)

    This haunting piece of documentary cinema tells the story of one city in economic decay; but really, as the real people in the film repeatedly state, this isn't just a Detroit problem; it's an American problem, and other cities within the country will eventually experience a similar fat...

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    Sundance Review: 'Indie Game: The Movie' Is A Big-Hearted Celebration Of Artistic Spirit

    The most profoundly moving moment of “Indie Game: The Movie” arrives an hour and twenty minutes into this terrific documentary. As designer Edmund McMillen watches YouTube videos of people spurting out expletives while playing his game Super Meat Boy, the kind-faced man breaks into a glo...

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    SUNDANCE REVIEW: 'The End of Love' Is Mark Webber's Flawed But Heartfelt Ode to Parenthood

    Mark Webber's "The End of Love" is a kind of therapy for its director. Loosely based on the filmmaker's life, the movie stars Webber (an actor whose credits include "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") alongside his real-life toddler, Isaac, and explores the challenges of his s...

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    Sundance 2012 Review: "The Raid" (Indonesian Actioner Delivers Relentless Bloody Brutality)

    A film that's already developing a cult following, even though it's only commercial exhibits have been on the film festival circuit, starting with a 2011 Toronto Film Festival debut (it's now a Sony Pictures property, scheduled for a US and Indonesia release in March of this ye...

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