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Tribeca Reviews: Criticism From the Indiewire Community

Criticwire By Forrest Cardamenis | Criticwire April 26, 2013 at 5:30PM

With Tribeca in full force and just now starting to wind down, it's been a busy week for the Indiewire blog network. For your convenience, we have compiled all of the Tribeca reviews that have appeared anywhere on the site since the afternoon of Friday the 19th. Enjoy!
1
'Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic'
Showtime 'Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic'

With Tribeca in full force and just now starting to wind down, it's been a busy week for the Indiewire blog network. For your convenience, we have compiled all of the Tribeca reviews that have appeared anywhere on the site since the afternoon of Friday the 19th. Enjoy!

Indiewire:

"Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic:" "Watching the film, one starts to feel like there need to be two movies -- one about Pryor and everyone who worked with him, and the other about his legacy, which continues to grow in the years after his death. This film doesn't really satisfy on either account -- merely whets the appetite for more." -- Alison Willmore

"Gasland Part II:" "In this David versus Goliath tale, Goliath still has the upper hand. 'Gasland Part II' runs longer than the earlier installment, but ultimately it has less to say. Fox sounds the same alarm with a bizarre mixture of confidence in the message and an awareness of the vanity involved in delivering it." -- Eric Kohn

"Lil Bub and Friendz:" "'Lil Bub and Friendz' settles for goofiness. That's a tough agenda to criticize if you see the underlying appeal of the material, but one has to wonder if a better movie might have gone greater lengths to demystify the subject matter. Instead of peeling back the veil on cat videos, it more or less is one." -- Eric Kohn

James On Screens:


"The Patience Stone:" "As in another Tribeca standout, Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the film works so beautifully because its main character is a distinct individual who embodies weighty themes, but never has them clumsily imposed on the film." -- Caryn James


Shadow & Act:


"Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic:" "The filmmakers do an admirable job in compiling his life's most significant events, striking a good balance between dark and weighty themes versus funny and stimulating material. Buoyed by fine editing and score, the documentary aesthetically captures your attention for the duration." -- Vanessa Martinez

"Let The Fire Burn:" "Weaving together field news reports, a 70s documentary about MOVE, and recorded tapes of the subsequent public committee hearings and depositions that took place months after the incident, Osder creates a visually textured and fascinating piece of storytelling that steers clear of editorialization and manipulation by allowing the content to speak for itself." -- Zeba Blay

"Flex Is King:" "It is unfortunate that the filmmakers didn't delve more into the foundation and background of 'flexing'. It would have also made for a more compelling documentary to showcase the dancers' detailed footwork and overall technique. Yet, 'Flex is Kings' is still recommended viewing. The dancing and ardent fervor of its subjects are enough to keep you engaged." -- Vanessa Martinez

"Lenny Cooke:" "Directors Safdie smartly don't color the film with unnecessary adornments, because they really don't need to. They also keep themselves completely out of it, with no running commentary. It's a straightforward, no frills documentary that does its job." -- Tambay A. Obenson

"Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' To Tell You:" "Her homely appearance and no-holds- bar, raunchy punchlines, paved the way for many comedians who followed after, which are enough reasons to go watch 'I Got Somethin' To Tell You'. Yet, those same reasons seem to only scratch the surface of who she really was." -- Vanessa Martinez


Thompson On Hollywood:


"Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic:" "How can a documentary about someone as funny, alive, honest, edgy, and brilliant as Richard Pryor can fall so flat? Marina Zenovich's documentary on the comedian, 'Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic', testifies to the comedian's humor and brilliantly dark view of the world around him. But 'Omit the Logic' doesn't show the audience anything new or insightful about him." -- Maggie Lange

"Raw Herring:" "In charting the course of Netherlands fishermen harvesting the year's first haul of Dutch New Herring (a traditional delicacy in Holland), Helmrich does things that seem to defy physics -- while firing the imagination about what's possible with a camera." -- John Anderson


The Playlist
:


"Just A Sigh:" "Devos keeps her character's unreliability and self-disappointment relatable, and falling backwards into a new lover is something that Devos captures beautifully with her uncertain facial expressions and hungry eyes. As a short, this material would be magnetic, but stretched to feature-length, it's merely 'Just a Sigh.'" -- Gabe Toro

"Fresh Meat:" "By taking seriously the bond developing between Rina and Gigi, it feels as if the film limits its comedic potential, resulting in a chaotic, unpredictable film suddenly making its way towards a fairly conventional, underwhelming climax." -- Gabe Toro

"Lily:" "Director Matt Creed clearly gets the appeal of a place romanticized by locals and visitors, and how the drama experienced in the city is given an added dimension by our environment, in 'Lily.' To watch the film is to witness that famed image of a flower growing from between two slabs of concrete, to see beauty blossom in a unique environment." -- Gabe Toro

"The Machine:" "It's a simple pleasure, but even in a simple movie, it's fairly unique, establishing a vision not often seen in small-scale sci-fi. It may be backhanded, but it does rate as a compliment to say that when genre fans rent 'The Machine' on DVD, they'll likely be satisfied." -- Gabe Toro

"Mobius:" "It lacks artfulness, stranding our characters in situations that lack moral complexity but seem fueled by arcane plot developments that yield no fruit, other than fascinating anyone in the audience who doesn't believe in a filmmaker's ability to deceive." -- Gabe Toro

"Run And Jump:" "The concern is, what is this film really about? The main focus bounces so heavily between Vanetia's relationship with her husband, his growing awareness of his surroundings, and the budding feelings between Ted and Vanetia. By the time these all clash in the final 30 minutes, the actors, and characters, are barely given a chance to breathe." -- Gabe Toro

"Reaching For The Moon:" "'Reaching for the Moon' is a moving portrait of one couple's deep affection, from finding love in an unexpected place to the seemingly inevitable misunderstandings to ultimately tragic loss." -- Diana Drumm

"Hide Your Smiling Faces:" "Delicately shot with a sense of intimacy, but never precious, 'Hide Your Smiling Faces' invites you to be as inquisitive about the world as these boys are and to maybe even experience it through their eyes. Featuring two exceptional lead performances from these two boys, first rate beauty-in-ugliness photography and an unusually extraordinary command of tone, Carbone's picture skillfully articulates the inexpressible; the weird, beautiful struggle that is life." -- Rodrigo Perez

"Stand Clear of the Closing Doors:" "This is a timely story that has been desperately needed for a while now, not just for the autism community (who has had to live with 'The Boy Who Could Fly' and 'Rain Man' references for a few too many years), but by the cinematic world." -- Diana Drumm

"Bending Steel:" 'Bending Steel' is startlingly cinematic, the compelling visuals capturing Chris' fairly lonely world of steel manipulation in solitude with a sense of awe and power."  -- Gabe Toro

"A Case of You:" "Self-deprecation is the modus operandi for 'A Case Of You,' but the writers are clearly not aware that abusing this tenor the way they do makes characters unbearably pathetic, to the point that, you cannot in good conscience root for them." -- Rodrigo Perez

"Lil Bub and Friendz:" "Combined with the random crude language used by the humans (watch your mouth around cats), the artless scene transitions, the low-fi music videos placing cats in stupid costumes set to Spiritualized (give these cats some dignity, guys) and the comparison of a man's cat fancy to serial killing, it's impossible to think of a documentary that hits so many wrong notes." -- Gabe Toro

"Big Bad Wolves:" "It's questionable whether or not 'Big Bad Wolves' will receive the kind of attention 'Let the Right One In' did, but it's every bit the triumph that film was -- it's bold, beautifully told, and surprisingly funny." -- Drew Taylor

"Some Velvet Morning:" "LaBute has consistently made intriguing, often idiosyncratic films in his career, but he hasn't made anything this unsettling and unforgettable in a very long time." -- Gabe Toro

"Trust Me:" "In 'Trust Me,' we wait for the inevitable redemption for a complete asshole who trades on the skills and appeal of children in order to buy a nicer car and resolve petty differences. Being played by Gregg himself makes the transition more organic than it was for Rockwell in 'Choke,' but it still rings false." -- Gabe Toro

"The Pretty One:" "While uneven in its opening and arguably the serious, sad, and moving second half of the film is slightly tonally at odds with its quirkier beginning, 'The Pretty One' is still an engaging and sweet little first feature. Writer/director LaMarque certainly has a confident voice and she's a lovely new discovery that we'll likely see more of as she continues to grow and hone her craft. -- Rodrigo Perez

"Mr. Jones:" "Mueller completely wastes a unique, potentially durable concept: just imagine a hooded monster in the woods making a side-living as an avant-garde darling of the art world. The movie you've now visualized in your head is probably a good deal more interesting than 'Mr. Jones -- Gabe Toro

"Sunlight Jr.:" "And severely depressed, 'Sunlight Jr.' is. So much so that it may be too hard to watch for some viewers. Set in the indigent, trailer-park trash areas of Southern Florida, Collyer's latest writer/directorial effort centers on a uneducated, penniless couple struggling to get by on minimum wage." -- Rodrigo Perez

"Deep Powder:" "Without knowing the details of the true story, it very much seems a bit too David and Goliath. If you're too busy over-emphasizing that size-difference, the drama just gets lost." -- Gabe Toro

"The Kill Team:" "'The Kill Team' doesn't saint Winfield at all, instead, smartly casting responsible, impartial questions as to what his options could have been." -- Gabe Toro

"Lenny Cooke:" "'Lenny Cooke' isn't a documentary, it's an autopsy, detailing exactly why Cooke vanished off the map and why he struggled to get back into the game, a focus that goes micro where other sports docs go macro." -- Gabe Toro

"Dark Touch:" "For a good portion of its runtime, 'Dark Touch' sensitively expresses the struggles of a victim of abuse in expressing themselves. Because of the films structure, we don't know a Neve pre-trauma...'Dark Touch' externalizes the suffering of these victims with surprising nuance, allowing for quieter moments with flummoxed adults of varying degrees of compassion." -- Gabe Toro

"Six Acts:" "There's no real fresh insight to be gained from 'Six Acts,' which takes its title from the film's structure. That weakness also works as a strength, the narrow focus allowing a near-confrontational look at one girl stuck in that nexus between preventing and allowing her exploitation." -- Gabe Toro

"Adult World:" "Wanting to create a leading character worth rooting for, and experiencing the schadenfreude that comes from her failure, is a complex balancing act, one that 'Adult World' simply cannot pull off." -- Gabe Toro

"Floating Skyscrapers:" "Wasilewski's intimate direction and interest in artifice manages to eclipse the fact that our leads seem unknowable, unreachable even. Kuba and Mikal grow closer and closer, but what appears to be love is only captured through lust, the duo rarely exchanging any meaningful words." -- Gabe Toro

This article is related to: Fresh Meat, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, Floating Skyscrapers, The Patience Stone, Raw Herring, Lenny Cooke, Lil Bub & Friendz, Run and Jump, Lily, Let the Fire Burn, Just A Sigh, The Pretty One, Möbius


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