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The Playlist

Review: 'Tomorrow You're Gone' A Stylized Neo-Noir That Goes Nowhere Slowly

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 5, 2013 11:00 AM
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It’s exceptionally strange to be reviewing a film so soon after the passing of Roger Ebert. Surely he’s the reason why most of us write reviews, why we’ve ever felt the need to tap our keyboards once the end credits begin to roll. We love and admire the deep thinkers who favor academic readings of film, but we really want to be Ebert, brimming with humor and personality, able to succinctly describe the most complex concepts for audiences of all persuasions. I wonder exactly what Ebert would have made of “Tomorrow You’re Gone,” a low-budget, low-temperature noir with direct-to-DVD production value, but nonetheless hitting movie screens this Friday.

Review: Danny Boyle's 'Trance' Is A Trippy, Twisty, Terrific Thriller

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 5, 2013 10:00 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Trance, Rosario Dawson
He might have had a rockier patch in the mid-'00s -- no one saw his delightful fable "Millions," and sci-fi "Sunshine" was both a commercial disappointment and the most difficult shoot of his career -- but things couldn't have gone much better for Danny Boyle in the last few years. "Slumdog Millionaire" was a global hit and an Oscar sensation, winning a golden statue for Boyle himself, while follow-up "127 Hours" was equally well-received, and picked up another Best Picture nod. Furthermore, he oversaw the triumphant opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, a glorious, inventive and moving pageant that cemented his status as a beloved national hero. So where could he possibly go from there?

Review: 'Simon Killer' Loses That Lovin' Feeling On The Streets Of Paris

  • By William Goss
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  • April 5, 2013 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Simon Killer
Simon (Brady Corbet) is lost. After being dumped by his high school sweetheart after a relationship that ran the length of their college years, the newly graduated, newly single American flees to Paris to get away from it all and find himself. Of course, the problem with undertaking such a journey of self-discovery is assuming that one will like what they find…

Review: Shane Carruth's Beguilingly Enigmatic 'Upstream Color' May Cause Disorienting Side Effects, Results Will Vary

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 4, 2013 7:32 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Upstream Color, Amy Seimetz
Nine years ago, autodidact filmmaker Shane Carruth burst onto the indie scene with the abstruse and complex sci-fi thriller "Primer," which made him a Sundance darling in 2004 when it won the Grand Jury Prize and went on to become a cult hit. The polymath writer, director, actor, musician, editor, producer, et al. stayed mostly quiet during this time, working fruitlessly on a still-unproduced film called "A Topiary" and helping out Rian Johnson with the time-travel sequences in "Looper."

Review: 'Evil Dead' Is A Grim, Humorless, Ultraviolent Update Of A Horror Classic

  • By Cory Everett
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  • April 4, 2013 6:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments
When the "Evil Dead" remake was first announced, everyone pretty much assumed that it was going to suck. This was something that star/producer Bruce Campbell acknowledged during the Q&A at the film's SXSW World Premiere last month. But after years of being assaulted with fan questions about a fourth installment, the trio behind the original (Campbell, writer/director Sam Raimi and producer Robert Tapert) probably felt it was their duty to give the fans what they wanted. And since they perhaps felt they were getting a little old for another go-round themselves – it's been 20 years since the third and previously final installment "Army Of Darkness" – a remake/reboot/"rebirth" must have seemed really the only way to go.

Review: 'Thale' Is A Half-Finished Spooky Fairy Tale

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 4, 2013 5:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
There’s usually a handshake agreement made by audiences with genre filmmakers eager to make an impression: If your first act is fantastical, intriguing and mysterious, then don’t botch it with an overly technical, low-imagination third act explanation. This sort of misstep has dogged big budget mishaps like “Prometheus” and even smaller, lovelier films like Neil Jordan’s almost-but-not-quite “Ondine,” and it manifests itself again in the meme-worthy Norwegian chiller “Thale.”
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Review: Robert Redford's 'The Company You Keep' Is An Unconvincing Bit Of Agitprop

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • April 4, 2013 4:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The third film in Robert Redford’s recent series of stillborn, bleeding heart dramas, "The Company You Keep" is a busy but inert civic-minded thriller. As a director, Redford has yet to break his recent habit of using hackneyed dialogue to talk down to his audience with Aaron Sorkin-esque dialogue that authoritatively spells out his talking points. But unlike "Lions for Lambs," an impressively incensed civics lesson that thinks it’s a drama, "The Company You Keep" is too cool of a film to be admired for its creator’s chutzpah alone. In fact, it’s probably the most frustrating of Redford’s recent films because it has a pseudo-contemplative atmosphere to it, one that superficially begs viewers to reflect upon how far they would go for their convictions. Political apathy is the real enemy in "The Company You Keep," making it pitiably ironic that Redford’s latest is as unmoving as it is.

Review: 'Bert Stern: Original Mad Man' Keeps Its Subject In Fuzzy Focus

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 3, 2013 5:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
We've seen an explosion in fashion world documentaries over the past years with "The September Issue," "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel," "Bill Cunningham New York," "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye" and so much more all casting various perspectives on an industry that has seen haute couture fall right into the mainstream. But fashion photography and even contemporary advertising wouldn't be the same without the contributions of Bert Stern, and its the central premise of "Bert Stern: The Original Mad Man." And while the now 83 year-old undoubtedly has his own insights and perceptions on where fashion has gone and where it is going, as he says in the documentary, he's reached a "dead end" and needs "something to do," and that feeling of listlessness pervades director Shannah Laumeister's effort despite her best intentions.
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Review: 'Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal' An Enjoyable If Somewhat Slight Horror-Comedy

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 2, 2013 8:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
A blunt, no-nonsense title like "Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal" perfectly describes the type of movie you're going to encounter when viewing Boris Rodriguez's first narrative feature -- a weird, darkly comic tale offering little more than an enjoyable experience. While 'Eddie' could've tried a little harder to make its content more memorable, it still provides enough laughs and thrills to make for a pleasant watch.
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Review: 'Free Angela & All Political Prisoners' A Fascinating Chronicle Of Justice & Strength

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 2, 2013 7:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
"Black power means dignity," is a phrase that lingers from Shola Lynch's documentary about activist and scholar Angela Davis. And dignity is just one of the many qualities that one can attach to Davis, a bold and powerful figure whose own battle for justice and freedom is chronicled in "Free Angela & All Political Prisoners." A fascinating slice out of a turbulent time in an American history, this detailed doc is a compelling portrait of a legal case that found activism, politics, freedom of speech and more all dovetailing together into an event that not only captured the attention of the nation, but of people worldwide.
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