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Tribeca and Beyond: Criticism From the Indiewire Community

Reviews
by Forrest Cardamenis
April 19, 2013 3:53 PM
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"Mistaken For Strangers"
Here's our weekly collection of the film criticism that appeared throughout the Indiewire Blog Network. The latest edition is heavy on "Oblivion" and Tribeca Film Festival opening night selection "Mistaken For Strangers," but also includes a number of other recent or upcoming releases and Tribeca Film Festival reviews.

Indiewire:

"Mistaken For Strangers:" However, Berninger generally plays it safe and keeps the proceedings slight, leaving the sense that much has been glossed over. Only the band's continuing popularity makes his journey stand out. Like its director-star, 'Mistaken For Strangers' struggles admirably but can only go so far before letting the established talent win out. -- Eric Kohn

"Lenny Cooke:" "A gentle giant whose speech is marked by his rambling, inarticulate memories and a distinctive lisp, Cooke is fascinating breed of social reject, whose symbolic dimension turns 'Lenny Cooke' into an allegory for class issues irregardless of the specific forces that held him down." -- Eric Kohn

"Central Park Five:" "With an editing approach that seamlessly blends past and present, 'Central Park Five' contains a fluid, engaging storytelling that does away with the dry voiceover commentary and theatrical music choices that typically account for the narrative flow of most Burns films."-- Eric Kohn

"Lords of Salem:" "Zombie too often gives into the tendency to let the soundtrack overemphasize the scares, but his nightmarish visuals transcend the hackneyed narrative." -- Eric Kohn

Shadow and Act:

"Portrait of Jason:" "It is this tension between drama and truth that keeps the audience watching. Even the most liberal viewer will reach a point where they question whether they are a silent participant in Jason's exploitation. The reason we are able to ask these questions is because Clarke had the courage to leave the embarrassing, tough, unprofessional bits in. It's a film worth watching (more than once), that will change the way you see documentary forever." -- Karina Griffith

"Oblivion:" "The plot of 'Oblivion' is the sort of thing someone would be excited to pitch in a college screenwriting class, but wouldn't know how to follow through on. It's derivative of other sci-fi movies, but not a rip-off, and has an interesting hook or two that would need to be fully developed in order to work." -- Dan Simolke

The Playlist:

"Bluebird": "A terrifically solid and sturdy effort across the board, 'Bluebird' is the real deal and a true package of strong collaborators coalescing to make a wonderful debut film. While primarily dealing with interconnectedness, 'Bluebird' is also about sense of place and belonging and the exact opposite." -- Rodrigo Perez

"Lords of Salem:" "'The Lords of Salem' is a product of Zombie's better creative impulses, so it's okay that it also features several of his worse indulgences, too." -- Simon Abrams

"Mistaken For Strangers:" "Fortunately, effervescent Tom carries enough charm to ignore the more downbeat ideas of this film: coded between the lines of every loving admonishment from his brother is the idea that Matthew doesn't think highly of Tom's ability to be a functioning part of any team." -- Gabe Toro

"Almost Christmas:" "Impassively paced, lacking a forward narrative engine and nowhere near as fun or comical as it should be, the picture even lacks dynamic chemistry between the otherwise, usually effervescent Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti." -- Rodrigo Perez

"Nor'Easter:" "The quiet 'Nor'easter' dodges several pratfalls in its refusal to adhere to either a cliched story of a conflicted man of the cloth, or a tense revenge drama. Writer-director Andrew Brotzman doesn't skimp on the complexities of such a situation, giving an equal focus on the repercussions of each action." -- Gabe Toro

"To The Wonder:" "But which is it? Brilliant or boring? Moving or muddled? Or maybe somewhere in between. Undoubtedly, you will have your own distinct reaction when you see it soon. Read on to find out what we each thought of the movie." -- The Playlist Staff

James On Screens:

"In The House:" "Its gleeful dark wit comes from the manipulations, the giving in to voyeurism, the idea that we invade each other's lives and thoughts - and impose our imaginary constructs on them - all the time. We rarely do it as stylishly as Ozon, but then few people do." -- Caryn James

"Antiviral:" "Resting on the theme that our viral-video world is stupidly obsessed with fame, 'Antiviral' might sound as if it resonates with the culture. Actually, it is a film without a point." -- Caryn James

Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy:

"Oblivion:" "'Oblivion' isn't bad, by any means, and its faults certainly don't lie in its impressive physical production. But science-fiction, as much as any genre (and maybe more than most) depends on a great idea at its core, and this one simply isn't original enough." -- Leonard Maltin

Thompson On Hollywood:

"The Angels' Share:" "That the character arcs and circumstances are believable and affecting throughout 'The Angels' Share' is a testament to Loach's dextrous direction." -- Jacob Combs

Press Play:

"Safe:" "'Safe' resembles other horror films focused on female protagonists, such as 'Rosemary's Baby' and the vastly-underrated 'Let's Scare Jessica to Death', which dramatize the isolation that results when real terrors are written off as merely 'women's problems' by arrogantly authoritative men." -- Jed Mayer

"The Man Who Wasn't There:" "But it's funny, thought-provoking, and mesmerizing if you let its themes and questions, and its gorgeous, silky black-and-white cinematography work more in the spirit in which they seem to have been created: as a wry, poetic thought experiment within a technically impressive formal genre structure." -- Drew Gardner

Are Animated GIFs a Type of Cinema?: "Indeed, no one seems overly concerned with the matter. But I think it makes sense to examine the relationship between animated gifs and other forms of cinema, as well as to try describing the format's unique cinematic aesthetic. Here are a dozen reasons why." -- A.D. Jameson

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