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The Playlist

Review: Race And Class Issues Clash With Lowbrow Comedy In 'Peeples'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 8, 2013 6:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Peeples
You’d be forgiven if you expected Tyler Perry to influence a large chunk of “Peeples,” the latest film to carry his name like a neon sign promising broad comedy and aggressive but dubious morality. Even the beginning seems to hum with the predictable rhythms of Perry’s multi-movie empire, with a dark screen soundtracked to the purr of a man’s voice introducing a particularly holy gospel tune. It’s a clever strategy for writer-director Tina Gordon Chism, who soon reveals that this is comic actor Craig Robinson, crooning to a classroom filled with children about the need to avoid urinating on others. At once, you’re assured that this film is going to explore places Perry normally wouldn’t dare… and surely places maybe you wouldn’t seek either.

SFIFF Review: 'Inori' Is A Gentle Look At A Slowly Fading, Traditional Way Of Life

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • May 7, 2013 7:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Pedro Gonzáles-Rubio’s “Inori” (Japanese for prayer) is set in Kannogawa, Japan, a dying town. There’s no menacing factory in the background spewing smoke or a horrible natural disaster in the recent past haunting the town. In fact, the environment we’re introduced to is serenely beautiful; a misty mountain showing off with its thick forests. The ancient land is treated patiently and meditatively by Gonzáles-Rubio’s camera, giving the sense that this place is eternal. It’s only the human life that’s fading away.

Review & Recap: The Scheming Continues In 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3, Episode 6 'The Climb'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 6, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Game of Thrones, Season 3, Varys, Little Finger
Welcome back Throne Gamers, whether you want to be or not! This week's episode, "The Climb," directed by Alik Sakharov, continues to dwell on the scheming and interpersonal machinations of those who happen to have a bit of power in Westeros, who are all desperately trying to pull one over on the person next to them just to save their own skin. No one seems to be in any sort of comfortable position, and all of the tricks they play on each other are borne out of sheer terror of being displaced in the power food chain. And that's the game of thrones, right? Sadly, there is little to no ass in this episode.

Review: 'The Great Gatsby' Is A Decadently Empty Tale Of Empty Decadence & Impossible Love

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 6, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 45 Comments
The Great Gatsby
The distinctive, vista-obsessed movies of Baz Luhrmann are nothing if not stylish, generally flamboyant and lavish in their candy-colored visual treatments. Subtlety has never been of much interest to the Australian filmmaker who has leaned heavily on melodrama and romantic fairy tales told in a passionate, bright Technicolor style. But sincerity and resplendent ardor have generally anchored his always-plush films, even when they’ve been too long and affected (“Australia”) or overpowered with the odor of teen angst (“Romeo + Juliet”). Luhrmann, it seems, was born to tell stories of impossible love in the most sumptuous ways possible.

Recap: Memes & A Paul Simon Parody Does In The 'Veep'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 5, 2013 10:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The second season of "Veep" is finally on the upswing after stumbling out of the gate, with last week's episode showing what the writers can do with just a little bit of focus. And this week's "The Vic Allen Dinner" mostly takes the same tack, finding comedic potential in a simple premise and then driving to the hoop and while it might not be a slam dunk, it's a solid alley-oop.

Review: Found Footage ‘Frankenstein’s Army’ An Uninspired Disappointment

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • May 5, 2013 9:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment
What can be written about “Frankenstein’s Army”? Don’t see it. You may say, "But it looks so interesting with its WWII-era steam-punk and maybe it’s so bad that it’s good." Just don’t. It may scream, “Come see me!” to horror and genre fans, but please don’t or if you must, at least make sure you have a clear path to the exit and/or ear plugs.

Review: 'Aroused' A Desperate Attempt To Be Revealing About An Already-Revealing Industry

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 4, 2013 11:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Aroused
There’s a probing, but flattering documentary yet to be made about the secret lives of porn stars. Unfortunately, “Aroused,” the directorial debut of photographer Deborah Anderson, is not it. This mostly black-and-white documentary boasts what pretends to be an uncensored look at the inner lives of porn stars, ostensibly a side project along to Anderson’s evocative primary skill. She brands them “some of the most successful women in the business of sex,” but the sixteen performers selected for showcase seem to be secondary to Anderson’s elaborate set-up.

Review: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Often Thrills, But Undone By An Underwritten Villain & Thin Story

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2013 5:44 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Cast your mind back four years or so, to stardate early May 2009, and remember a time when J.J Abrams wasn't yet the anointed savior of Hollywood. He had an ever-growing fanbase, and had already been behind at least one bona-fide small screen pop culture phenomenon. But his influence on the big-screen up to that point only extended to a few screenwriting credits, mostly forgotten, a producing credit on disposable sleeper hit "Cloverfield," and directing "Mission: Impossible III," an enjoyable, but somewhat interchangeable entry to the Tom Cruise spy franchise.

Review: 'Michael H. Profession: Director' Is An Interesting But Never Essential Portrait Of Michael Haneke

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 3, 2013 1:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Michael H - Profession: Director
Described memorably as the Minister of Fear by the New York Times some years ago, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke has been terrorizing audiences and holding them emotionally and psychologically hostage ever since his career began. Fond of rigorous, excruciatingly brutal portraits of human suffering, misery and seemingly sadomasochistic torture, Haneke's vision of such painful aims is always unflinching, coldly dispassionate and cruelly voyeuristic. With the absence of joy, hope and relief in his movies, and a stringent, rap-on-the-knuckles approach that sometimes verges on being scolding, many have assumed Haneke to be a soulless misanthrope, humorlessly putting audiences through the paces because he can.

Review: Olivier Assayas’ ‘Something In The Air’ A Gorgeous Autobiography Marred By Underdeveloped Characters

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2013 8:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
He’s been something of a critical favorite for a while now, but after making the hugely acclaimed “Summer Hours” and the TV miniseries/theatrical marathon “Carlos” within a few years of each other, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has firmly cemented himself as one of the more exciting directors in world cinema. And to celebrate the success, Assayas has decided to look back, returning to the autobiographical milieu of his international breakout “Cold Water.” But while that film, a teen romance set in the early 1970s, was a rather intimate, small-scale film, Assayas has come up with something much grander with “Something In The Air” (or “Apres Mai”).

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