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Movie Reviews

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    Big Screen | This Week's Top 5: From "Barney" To Skarsgård To "The Green Hornet"

    Each week indieWIRE offers five recommendations for theatrical viewing, tackling new releases, film festivals, curated series and events. This week, some expanding December releases, Richard J. Lewis's "Barney's Version," and the curious case of "The Green Hornet" top the list.

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    Animation Marvels—In Print And On DVD

    A spectacular new book about Ray Harryhausen is cause for celebration—but more about that later. The estimable Mr. H was inspired to pursue his art, and craft, by the films he saw as a boy, especially The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933). But the man who created the stunning animation in those films, Willis O’Brien, wasn’t the only person experimenting with the wonders of stop-motion. Steve Stanchfield, Stewart McKissick and Ken Priebe at Thunderbean Animation have compiled a dizzying DVD collection of rare short subjects appropriately titled Stop-Motion Marvels! and it’s a must for anyone interested in this f...

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    REVIEW | United Absurdity: Kenneth Price's "Americatown"

    From the shaky production values to its cast of grinning newcomers, the bizarro satire “Americatown” reeks of amateurism. Yet despite all odds working against it, director Kenneth Price’s second feature with the Wilmington-based comedy group Superkiiiids! sustains a uniquely goofy charm. Set in an i...

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    film review: Blue Valentine

    Two daring performances make Blue Valentine a standout, even if the film’s reach somewhat exceeds its grasp. Director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance attempts to explore the beginning and end of an intimate relationship, hopscotching back and forth in time from the couple’s first meeti...

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    REVIEW | Border Town: Suleiman Returns to Israeli-Palestinian Strife With "The Time That Remains"

    Elia Suleiman is among the few living filmmakers to employ slapstick comedy in his work, and the only one to politicize it. But where his 2002 feature "Divine Intervention" decried his Palestinian family's oppression at the hands of Israeli troops in Nazareth with a caustic, angry satiric bent, "The Time That Remains" strikes a decidedly mournful tone. The third entry in a trilogy preceded by the aforementioned Cannes winner and 1996's "Chronicle of a Disappearance," Suleiman's newest movie about Palestinian suffering (which is actually around two years old) maintains his personalized blend of autobiography and surrealistic polemics while vie...

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    REVIEW | Romanian Redemption: Strong Debut in Prison Drama "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle"

    A minor entry from the Romanian New Wave, the dreary prison drama "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle" nevertheless exhibits many of the stronger aspects of social observation present in the films that have emerged from the region. Set in a barren juvenile detention center, the movie works as a gruelin...

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    Small Screen | 2011's First DVD Releases Include "Catfish," "Howl," and "Machete"

    This week marks the at-home release of several of this year's most buzzy titles: the "Is it really real?" documentary "Catfish," the still-relevant obscenity drama of "Howl," and one of HBO's most intriguing comedies, all come home via DVD and other various forms. Here are this week's Small Screen...

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    This Year, Next Year: Viewing 2010 Through the 2011 Release Calendar

    Imposing expectations of existing movies on those that haven't yet been released is unabashedly superficial, but fun. With that in mind, here's some anticipated 2011 releases that call to mind cinematic experiences from 2010. Of course, I offer this list with the caveat that it's only intended as a ...

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    Updated indieWIRE Top 10s: "Swan" & "Last Train Home" Take Lead Narrative & Doc

    While "The Social Network" by David Fincher took the top spot in indieWIRE's recent 2010 Critics Poll from 125 ballots compiled by mostly, well, critics; this much smaller grouping of indieWIRE editors, contributors, freelancers as well as a smattering of industry friends, picked Darren Aronofsky's ...

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    REVIEW | Oliveira's Romantic Oddity: "The Strange Case of Angelica"

    Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira has generated plenty of press simply because of his age—at 102, he is recognized as the oldest working filmmaker alive today—but his latest works appear to exist outside of time. "The Strange Case of Angelica," the Portuguese director's latest feature, falls in step with other recent outings like "Christopher Columbus, the Enigma" and "Eccentricities of a Blonde Girl" by drawing attention to its abnormalities in every scene. The story of a young photographer romantically drawn to the snapshot of a dead woman, "Angelica" features an extraordinarily patient exposition familiar from his other projects but d...

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