The Playlist

New Directors/New Films Review: Radical, Thrilling 'The Strange Color Of Your Body's Tears'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 3, 2014 5:15 PM
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The Strange Color Of Your Body's Tears
Some movies are watched. “The Strange Color Of Your Body's Tears” is a movie you live inside. This new film from directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani touches you repeatedly, inappropriately, from the front and, delightfully, from the rear. To synopsize the film is folly, though it will be fun to see viewers try. This is the magic that Cattet and Forzani have weaved from their debut effort “Amer," a hypnotic trip down the giallo rabbit hole. Very few filmmakers today are working with a radical new vocabulary, but Cattet and Forzani are using genre of the past to toss us, shouting, into the future.

Review: Errol Morris' Donald Rumsfeld Doc 'The Unknown Known' Both Insightful & Unsatisfying

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 2, 2014 5:14 PM
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The Unknown Known, Errol Morris
As we inch towards another potential war in the Middle East, the last couple are still being pored over by filmmakers. We’re still likely some time away from the definitive takes on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we have seen a few solid films telling those stories in the last decade or so, albeit tending to focus on the men on the ground, rather than the architects of the conflict. The men who planned and executed the wars might have been out of office for some time, but they’re not showing any particular willingness to talk things over. Well, except one. Sort of.

Review: Jonathan Glazer's Seductive Girl-Who-Fell-To-Earth Pic 'Under The Skin' Starring Scarlett Johansson

  • By Chris Willman
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  • April 1, 2014 6:19 PM
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Under The Skin
If you’re a random male pedestrian and a gal who looks like Scarlett Johansson ever pulls up and offers to take you to her place for a quickie, the logical thing to do would be run like hell, since this could only be either a sting or a sign of the apocalypse, no matter how good looking a fellow you are. But lust trumps logic as Johansson lures a bevy of bros to their doom in “Under the Skin."

Review: 'Dom Hemingway' Starring Jude Law Is A Big Piece Of Raunchy Entertainment

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 1, 2014 5:11 PM
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"A man with no options suddenly has all the options in the world," goes the liquor-soaked advice of Dom Hemingway (Jude Law). And while he admits that he has no idea what that actually means, he nonetheless lives that credo to the fullest in Richard Shepard's wickedly wild and vulgar "Dom Hemingway." It's not a surprise that our first introduction to the character is during a monologue that he's delivering on the magnificence of his own cock, a work of art in Dom's mind, as he certainly has lived his own life with his dick in one hand, a bottle in the other, a cigarette in his mouth, cocaine up his nose and women with their legs spread, at the ready. But now there's just one problem—he's getting old.

New Directors/New Films Review: Quiet, Introspective And Surprising 'Buzzard'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 31, 2014 6:03 PM
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Buzzard
It's hard to look away from the face of Joshua Burge: his bug eyes recall Peter Lorre in their constant vigilant paranoia. But his angular femininity that comes from his soft mouth and sleek cheekbones suggest an approachability that contrasts with the sharpness of his more intimidating features. He would have played villains and scoundrels in the silent era, ones that had a vulnerable secret. Joel Potrykus' “Buzzard” reveals that not much has changed since then.

Review: ‘McCanick’ Starring David Morse & Cory Monteith

  • By Nikola Grozdanovic
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  • March 31, 2014 5:15 PM
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McCanick
Certain ingredients are essential to gritty cop dramas. Especially for the ones that blur the lines between protagonist and antagonist by having an anti-hero be the central character. In recent films and TV shows, the anti-hero has been on the steady rise, from Walter White in “Breaking Bad” to Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” so now seems the right time for a film like Josh C. Waller's “McCanick.” But when placing this film into its particular genre—unavoidable thanks to the film's overuse of every single ingredient—the mind immediately recalls narcotic detective dramas like “Training Day” and “Narc.” Unfortunately for Waller and David Morse, who plays the titular detective and has clearly invested enough in the film to get an executive producer cred, comparisons to any film of its kind are not too friendly.

Review: 'Go Down Death' Is A Unique, Strange & Unforgettable Half-Remembered Dream

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 28, 2014 4:56 PM
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Jonathan Mallory Sinus is credited as the “folklorist” responsible for the vignettes that follow at the beginning of “Go Down Death." What follows is a beautiful woman applying makeup and a man on guitar. Some of the world’s greatest filmmakers would argue that these are the only elements one needs to make a great film. The picture continues through its opening credits, introducing us to a doctor that over-shares with a kind-eyed boy, and a double-amputee emphasizing liberation from his own legs as if his body were originally a vessel for a lie. Director Aaron Schimberg’s credit appears over the screams of a woman trapped inside a car, fighting for her life. This is a filmmaker with a very specific sensibility with regard to mortality.

Book Review: Graphic Novel 'Snowpiercer Volume 2: The Explorers' Takes The Story To Darker Corners

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 28, 2014 4:24 PM
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Snowpiercer Volume 2: The Explorers
Before we get into this, it's probably fair to warn that if you haven't read "Snowpiercer Volume 1: The Escape," there are spoilers ahead. That said, I'm not going to go too deep into plot mechanics, because if anything, once Jacques Lob's story winds up, it's the journey and experience of the tale that takes precedent. And if 'The Escape' was chilly and grim, then 'The Explorers' doubles down, with a view of humanity that isn't quite pessimistic, but certainly embraces the notion that times of crisis can bring out in the worst in people, just as it can the best. But it all kicks off with an approach that completely reorients the point-of-view laid out so far.

Review: The National Documentary 'Mistaken For Strangers' Will Make You A Fan

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 27, 2014 6:06 PM
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In this age of social media and damage control, it’s particularly difficult to make a rock doc. It’s even more difficult if your subject is The National, a successful rock band that counts The Killers and Arcade Fire as their contemporaries, popular enough to sell out major venues worldwide and even hold an audience with the President of the United States. So, go ahead, ask your neighbor what their favorite The National song might be. Go ahead. Take your time, let them try to think about it. Better yet, ask someone on the street who their frontman is.

Review: Emotionally Poignant And Heartbreaking 'Breathe In' Starring Guy Pearce & Felicity Jones

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • March 27, 2014 5:24 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Breathe In, Felicity Jones
Intimate, expressive, agonizing and beautifully rendered, director Drake Doremus' third feature-length effort, "Breathe In," will be familiar to those that know the indie filmmaker's small, but already distinctive oeuvre. While similar in tone and style, his latest effort is like the darker cousin to Dormeus' wistful relationship drama "Like Crazy," possessing an intensity and tension that's emotionally bruising.

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