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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Ancient Ultra-Violence: Nicolas Winding Refn's "Valhalla Rising"

    The introductory text at the beginning of "Valhalla Rising" both sets the scene and describes it. "In the beginning, there was only man and nature," we're told, and in this era -- 1,000 A.D., to be precise -- men bearing crosses drove the heathen to "the fringes of the earth." A blood-soaked chronic...

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    REVIEW | Kids In The Big City: Lance Daly's "Kisses"

    For ages, neglected or abused children have provided fodder for mainstream entertainment, as proven by the lasting reputations of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie alike. Youth, however, makes for a tough subject of filmmakers intent on capturing realism: The challenge of eliciting a believable p...

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    Looney Tunes, On-Screen And In Print

    Sometimes I think I was born at exactly the right time, as a child of the first television generation. When local TV stations purchased libraries of old cartoons and made them part of their daily programming, I had the opportunity to digest and memorize seemingly every Warner Bros. cartoon from t...

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    Big Screen | Cholodenko's Anticipated "Kids" Opens To Raves

    One of the most anticipated specialty releases of the summer, Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids are All Right," finally arrives in theaters this week amidst a batch of newcomers that also includes Ben Steinbauer's festival circuit favorite "Winnebago Man" and the sequel to "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo...

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    Cartoons Forever!

    As Toy Story 3 racks up some of the best reviews of the year, I’m pleased that so many critics have taken time to make note of the innovative short-subject that accompanies it. Day & Night—which is so clever it’s almost impossible to describe—is the work of an up-and-c...

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    Book review: Shoot The Rehearsal!

    By Rudy Behlmer (Scarecrow Press)

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    Big Screen | Three New Specialty Releases Provide Counterprogramming to Latest "Twilight"

    While the nation's "Twi-hards" continue to line up to see the latest Stephenie Meyer "Twilight" adaptation as they did last night for the midnight premiere of "Eclipse," three films open in limited theaters this week. Taylor Hackford's melodrama "Love Ranch" is likely to draw the biggest crowds of t...

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    REVIEW | Youthful Whimsy from an 88-Year-Old Legend: "Wild Grass"

    Like the 102-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, the 88-year-old Alain Resnais gets a lot of publicity mileage out of staying active in his old age. While seniority hardly necessitates critical leniency, the most impressive aspect of "Wild Grass," Resnais's twenty-fifth directorial effo...

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    REVIEW | Parental Lies: "Dogtooth"

    The Greek thriller "Dogtooth" has an original premise that should pique interest for the sake of its ingenuity alone, but the major accomplishment of director Yorgos Lanthimos's Orwellian story emerges from a careful navigation of moods. Few movies convey such a deeply unnerving atmosphere in nearly...

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    Big Screen | "Dogtooth" Leads Trio of Critically Acclaimed Openers

    After months of scarce offerings of critically acclaimed films, June has certainly proved 2010's MVP. From "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" to "Cyrus" to "I Am Love" to "Winter's Bone," arthouses have been packed with critic-approved fare (and in turn, they've also been packed with audiences). And co...

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