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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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Review: 'Down The Shore' With James Gandolfini & Famke Janssen An Overheated Jersey Melodrama

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 2, 2013 6:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments
What is it about Jersey that causes filmmakers to make films which constantly talk about escaping from or dreading a return to the Garden State? If I didn’t just answer my own question, there’s always “Down The Shore,” an actors' showcase melodrama that captures the small town as a prison where characters are doomed to serve penance for sins of the past. The tourism board really needs to do something about this trend.

Review: Omar Rodriguez Lopez's 'Los Chidos' Is Wild, Wacky, Weird, Bloody & Bold

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • March 30, 2013 10:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Not everyone is going to be ready for the ride through "Los Chidos" that director Omar Rodriguez Lopez offers up. But his willingness to scare off a few of the faint of heart preserves his commitment to a truly bold and unique vision and an aesthetic all his own. This is the fifth feature film from the Mars Volta guitarist and only the second to play at a festival, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Could this be the birth of a new auteur?

Review: 'City Baby' A Modest, Well-Made Portrait Of A Womanchild Trapped In Portland

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • March 30, 2013 9:05 AM
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David F. Morgan's "City Baby" is a modest character study of Cloey (Cora Benesh, who also co-wrote the screenplay), an aspiring...something, boldly going nowhere. With her father (Daniel Baldwin) footing the bills without question, Cloey is free to pursue her relationship with aging rockstar-wannabe Jesse (Andrew Harris) as she perpetually despairs over her life in Portland. When a blown audition call leads to a meet-cute with Michael (Richard Keith), a considerably more on-point ad exec, Cloey juggles competing feelings while attempting to come into her own as a twenty-something layabout. Yes, it's a story that's been told half to death in the last decade or so, but Morgan never lets it get too portentous and Benesh leads a strong cast while turning in a strong performance that's only somewhat undone by an tidy ending that feels out of step with the rest of the film.
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Review: 'Blancanieves' Doesn't Necessarily Transcend Silent Film Gimmick, But Still Proves To Be A Rewarding Fable

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 29, 2013 2:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Fetishize the past all you want. The silent era gave way to a flood of cinematic storytellers ranking well amongst the greats. You didn’t need sound to realize a filmmaker like Fritz Lang was stretching the medium so far that it would take a couple of decades of talkies for anyone to match his vision. Similarly, the early silent works of Alfred Hitchcock belie a startling vision and knack for experimentation not commonly associated with filmmaking at the time. There’s a reason we think back to the silent classics of yesterday: some of those film are absolutely phenomenal, still enthralling today for the film buff with a bit of patience (a small percentage of the populace, but whatever), and still transformative, capturing the imagination in ways some contemporary THX-scored noisemakers fail to do.

Review: 'Room 237' An Outstanding, Fascinating & Funny Exploration & Celebration Of 'The Shining'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 28, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Is "The Shining" just a horror movie about a guy who goes berserk in a hotel, or is it subversively about the history of American genocide? Why did Stanley Kubrick use cans of Calumet and Tang in the hotel's storeroom? Were these just random products, or were they each chosen and framed in the camera with a specific intent? And what's the deal with the Bill Watson? If you think you know "The Shining," guess again, as Rodney Ascher's outstanding "Room 237" goes down the rabbit hole of the meanings and interpretations of the horror classic, from the plausible to the outlandish.

Review: Quentin Dupieux's Latest Is More Enjoyably Weird Than 'Wrong'

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • March 28, 2013 5:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Quentin Dupieux directs like David Lynch. On mushrooms. With a head injury. After reading a lot of Haruki Murakami. We promise we mean this in the best way possible, to both Dupieux and those struggling with traumatic brain injury. There are elements of the surrealist auteur's work in the off-kilter comedy "Wrong," from the sometimes dissonant, creepy score to the juxtaposition of the the mundane and the truly odd. But comparisons to the "Lost Highway" director aside, Dupieux is a filmmaker all his own whose mind clearly works in ways that most others' can't or won't. He embraces the weird with such glee and abandon, that it's hard not to shrug your shoulders, smile and join the group hug.

Review: 'The Host' Is A Dopey & Dull Sci-Fi Disaster

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 28, 2013 3:21 PM
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  • 20 Comments
Last fall saw the end of what appeared, for a little while at least, to be a seemingly endless series of "Twilight" films. The moony film series, based on a series of equally moony novels by Mormon housewife Stephenie Meyer, were torturously lengthy, poorly plotted trifles, the stuff of dime-store romance novels and late-night horror movies (although infused with questionable gender politics and bizarre mythology for all the monsters that simply chose to ignore or eschew their Judeo-Christian background or iconography, leaving them as little more than metaphorically empty mopes). They also made what leading economists describe as a "shit ton" of money.

Review: 'The Place Beyond The Pines' A Searing Tale Of Fathers, Sons & The Legacy Of Sins

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 28, 2013 11:50 AM
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  • 16 Comments
Of all the films that premiered at TIFF last year, few arrived under such an air of mystery as Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines." With only a couple of official images, but no posters or trailers, the tone and scope of the movie remained under wraps prior to its screening. Following "Blue Valentine," would the film be a similarly intimate and narrowly focused story or something completely different? The answer is that "The Place Beyond The Pines" is an ambitious epic that is cut from some of the same thematic tissue as Cianfrance's previous film, but expands the scope into a wondrously widescreen tale of fathers, sons and the legacy of sins that are passed down through the generations.

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