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The Playlist

Tribeca Review: 'Una Noche' A Funny, Bawdy, Hopeful Debut Picture From Lucy Mulloy

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 28, 2012 9:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There’s a youthful energy running through “Una Noche” that threatens to overwhelm, from its sun-kissed first image to its final moments on the sands of the beach. Alive and vibrant, Lucy Mulloy’s often bawdy first feature is narrated by Lila, a blossoming teenage girl confused by her sexuality, alienated from the local girls. The language is Spanish, but teenage cruelty is universal, as her peers mock her slight body hair and tomboyish interest in taekwondo.

Review: 'Payback' A Dense Dissection Of Debt Based On The Musings Of Margaret Atwood

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 27, 2012 3:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
What is the essence of debt, and what is debt that doesn't have a money solution? Canadian essayist, novelist, activist, and general "ist" Margaret Atwood pontificates on the complex nature of this kind of liability in "Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth," a non-fiction book and the spring-board for Jennifer Baichwal's concisely titled"Payback." Atwood's deconstruction of the idea is incredibly deep, at times both frightening and amusing; Baichwal attempts to translate her lecture into a documentary/video essay and succeeds in creating something original yet still retaining the strength of the author's voice. The director manages to look at what various people owe to each other, from small scale (what convicts owe to both their victims and society) to all encompassing (how we, as humans, beholden to our planet).

Review: 'Get The Gringo' Is An Enjoyably Excessive Mel Gibson Crime Flick

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 27, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
On the same day that Mel Gibson’s new movie, the enjoyably junky and excessively violent “Get the Gringo” (formerly “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”), was screened across the country via a bizarre satellite transmission (based out of Austin, Texas), another expletive-laced Gibson rant was unleashed on the internet (this time, instead of his estranged girlfriend, Gibson’s ire was directed at “Showgirls” screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, shockingly not for writing “Showgirls”). It was a perfectly timed example of the duality of Gibson the artist (he not only stars in ‘Gringo’ but also co-wrote and produced) and Gibson the unhinged fucking madman. It’s enough to make you wonder if maybe Gibson hasn’t succeeded despite his obvious insanity, but because of it, especially since “Get the Gringo” is so insanely entertaining.

Tribeca Review: 'Supporting Characters' Is A Middling Movie, But A Decent Would-Be Pilot Episode For A Show We Might Watch

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 26, 2012 8:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
What fascinates about “Supporting Characters,” the new relationship comedy premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, is that it’s greatest strength also registers as its most notable weakness. This decidedly Noo Yawk tale of an editing team in New York City and their satellite friends wouldn’t be at home as an extended pilot on IFC, with these two best friend leads getting into all sorts of middle-aged male troubles. It’s good, and bad, just like TV.

Tribeca Review: 'Graceland' Mashes Together Suspense Thriller With Sobering Child Trafficking Drama, With Mixed Results

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 26, 2012 7:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Mild-mannered husband and father Marlon Villar is just having one of those days. The boss is on his case. His wife is being needy. His daughter is acting up. The cops are bugging him. “Graceland” begins as a compendium of what some adults would call a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Wah wah.

Tribeca Review: 'Beyond The Hill' A Slow Burn Without The Burn

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 26, 2012 7:02 PM
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Initially a proficient micro-budget character study with promises of suspense, "Beyond The Hill" squanders its tension by hitting repetitive notes and devolving into a heavy-handed parable. Emin Alper's little bag of tricks can't sustain an entire film and no amount of beautifully-photographed landscapes make up for the fact that movie is essentially a slow-burn without the burn.

Review: Dim-Witted Edgar Allan Poe Thriller 'The Raven' Is Too Boring To Be A Guilty Pleasure

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 26, 2012 5:20 PM
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  • 3 Comments
About ten minutes into James McTeigue's "The Raven," a large, hairy man -- a writer and a critic, as it turns out -- is strapped to a table by a mysterious figure. A mighty blade, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit And The Pendulum," hangs forbodingly above him. And to his unseen captor, he screams "I'm just a critic! Why? Why would you do this to me?" After sitting through a further hundred minutes of McTeigue's inept, idiotic period thriller, we knew exactly how he felt.

Review: Restrained Werner Herzog Still Shines In Gripping 'Death Row' Series

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 26, 2012 5:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The prologue of each of the four episodes of “Death Row” is the same: a restless camera prowls through the dismal ante-room, holding cell and injection chamber of an unnamed execution facility, while director Werner Herzog tells us in his familiar teutonic monotone that, as a German and a guest of the United States, he “respectfully disagree[s]” with the death penalty, legal in 34 states, and performed regularly in 16.

Review: Nasty Nordic Thriller 'Headhunters' Doesn't Have The Courage Of Its Convictions

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 26, 2012 4:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
For fans of the crime genre, both on the page and on the screen, Scandinavia has been the hottest source of new material in recent years (although obviously not literally). Steig Larsson's Millennium trilogy was a huge bestseller worldwide, and has already provided three Swedish films and David Fincher's upcoming remake "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," while Kenneth Branagh has had great success on TV as Henning Mankell's "Wallander," and Danish series "The Killing" proved a huge hit at home and in the U.K, and was remade on AMC under the same name.

Review: Richard Linklater's 'Bernie' Starring Jack Black Is A Harmless, But Charming & Funny Effort

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 26, 2012 3:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Employing a laid-back, jovial and amiable mien, Richard Linklater's latest effort, the East Texas-set black comedy "Bernie," is not unlike the Austin-based filmmaker himself: affable, eager to please without pandering, and highly likeable. In fact, "Bernie," starring Jack Black as an endearing mortician and well-loved member of his small-town community in Carthage, Texas, is so delightful, and rather wryly comical, it’s easy to be charmed with the picture despite its modest ambitions, small-scale aims and slight nature.

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