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The Playlist

ND/NF '12 Review: 'Now, Forager' Is Strictly For Hardcore Food Snobs

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 3, 2012 8:56 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Two pairs of boots crush the leaves underneath, making their way through the forest. The pair of sufficiently-dressed foragers look behind trees, over hills, combing the landscape for a major score. Underneath a tree, it is found: scores and scores of massive mushrooms, all of a specific, hard-to-find variety. In these, some would see deliciousness, and some would find money. Lucien and Regina, the two leads of “Now, Forager,” see the continuing of their way of life.

ND/NF '12 Review: Mads Brugger Cheats Death In Provocative Doc 'The Ambassador'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 2, 2012 12:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Mads Brugger is a man with a death wish. The Danish journalist turned filmmaker will turn a lot of heads with “The Ambassador,” which recently debuted at the New Directors/New Films program in New York City. The film is ostensibly a documentary about the corruption between Central African despots and the foreign consulates that humor them, through the exchange of money, goods, and most importantly, conflict diamonds. Given such a volatile subject, Brugger could have kept his distance, investigating from afar, but he knew that wouldn’t get him the answers he craved. And so he put on an ice cream suit, picked up smoking, and became the mysterious Mister Cortzen.

Review: 'Turn Me On, Dammit!' A Fun Yet Uneven Look At A Sex-Crazed Female

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 30, 2012 5:25 PM
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  • 5 Comments
With all of the stories, movies, and television episodes dedicated to the horny teenage male, it's a bit of an understatement to say that the topic is well-covered. Regrettably, there's still a nasty double-standard in regards to the population of sexual-minded females -- their desires aren't looked at with the same respect that males get in those various forms of media, and that’s if they’re even represented at all. Better late than never, "Turn Me On, Dammit!" attempts to fill that void by not only having its main protagonist seemingly fueled by coitus, but by also targeting society's uneven treatment of sexual matters between boys and girls.

Review: 'Artificial Paradises' A Wonderful Minimalist Experience

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 30, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Set in the breathtaking beach environment of Veracruz (Mexico) at a near dilapidated resort-of-sorts, "Artificial Paradises" is a terrific minmimalist experience centering on the unlikely relationship between middle-aged grounds worker Salomón (Salomón Hernández) and young heroin abuser Luisa (Luisa Pardo). Similar to the oeuvre of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and even Andrei Tarkovsky in its sensibilities, Yulene Olaizola's first narrative film shuns plot and conventions in favor of the small moments that make up life.

Review: 'Goon' Is A Middling Sports Comedy Elevated By A Surprising Turn By Seann William Scott

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 30, 2012 2:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments
It feels odd that "Goon," a brutal comedy based around the sport, from the pen of hockey-loving Apatow grads Jay Baruchel (star of "Undeclared" and "Knocked Up") and Evan Goldberg (co-writer, with Seth Rogen, of "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express"), would go on wide release in Britain this weekend, weeks before it hits theaters in North America. But nevertheless, go on wide release it has, and The Playlist was there to check it out.

Review: 'The Island President' Is An Amazing Look At How Small Islands Could Affect Big Change

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 29, 2012 5:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In the beautiful, meditative new documentary "The Island President," we're introduced to Mohamed Nasheed, the democratically elected president of a chain of 2,000 islands in the Indian Ocean known as The Maldives. After three decades of tyrannical rule, the islands gained democratic independence, nominated Nasheed, and found their calling in the world – to expose the catastrophe of global warming by example. The Maldives, Nasheed explains, are slowly disappearing into the ocean. It's a truth loaded with symbolic and literal weight – in the face of global warming, the entire culture of the Maldives could be lost forever, here one day, gone the next.

Review: While Gaudy & Gorgeous, The Almost G-Rated 'Mirror Mirror' Is A Forgettable Lark

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 29, 2012 2:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
“Mirror Mirror” is like the big budget Broadway show that you’re forced to see when your parents are in town. The costumes are exquisite, the staging quite grand, the performances typically arch, and while it flits by you it’s easy to be entertained and occasionally tickled (even if you wince more than once during its intermission-free running time because of its sweetness and attempts at relevant hipness). But once it’s over, and the house lights have gone up, and your parents have returned to Wahoo, Nebraska, you’ll never, ever think of it again. For a movie based in the primordial world of fairy tales, “Mirror Mirror” is remarkably forgettable.

Review: 'Bully' Shifts Blame & Pities The Victims Without Offering Real Solutions To The Problem Of Bullying

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • March 28, 2012 3:38 PM
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  • 13 Comments
At one point in "Bully," a new documentary about the complex problem of bullying in American high schools, a mother of a bullied high schooler confesses that she feels like both she and her husband have failed their son Alex. He is constantly picked on when he rides the bus to school every morning. His mother briefly blames herself, saying that she doesn't feel like a good parent, before shifting the blame to her husband, an alpha male that we've previously seen encouraging Alex to confront his problem so that his younger sister won't have to suffer for his silence.
More: Review, Bully

Review: 'Womb' Puts Love, Sex, Family & Cloning Into A Blender, Comes Out As A Sci-Fi Incest Romance

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 28, 2012 10:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There's an air of finality to the entirety of "Womb," the new film from Benedek Fliegauf. Using minimal shooting locations, primarily a cloudy offseason beach, the picture might be following young Rebecca and Thomas as the last lovers at the end of the world. One could argue that's even the movie's intentions -- when there is nothing left to love, we'll invent, and re-invent, new people. And Thomas is about to be re-invented in an exceedingly peculiar manner.

Review: 'Wrath Of The Titans' A Barely Memorable, Lifeless Sequel

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 28, 2012 7:26 AM
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  • 9 Comments
So a couple of years ago, they remade “Clash Of The Titans.” Do you remember that? No? Well, it was pretty successful. Box Office Mojo says it made about $500 million. There were some special effects. It was in 3D. Gods, monsters, that sort of thing. Seems like a can’t miss thing. Apparently Danny Huston was in it. Well, they’ve made a sequel, believe it or not. Does it match up to the last film? Not sure. It seems this has gone from a forgettable movie to a forgettable franchise.

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