The Playlist

In Theaters: "The Roommate,' 'Sanctum,' 'The Other Woman'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • February 4, 2011 5:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Well, it's February, the groundhog saw his shadow, which means spring is coming soon, but unfortunately, there's no groundhog to show us the light at the end of the crap, horrible films tunnel, so we'll just have to keep humping those Oscar screeners. Not much in theaters to tempt one from the warmth of home, where there's cable, DVDs, Netflix Instant and Hulu (important PSA: this writer just discovered that the short documentary "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" is on Hulu, so RUN don't walk over there right now to watch it, then come back and read the rest of this post. Okay, you're back, wasn't that great?!). If you're going to get out and make your way to the theater, there are a few selections that may entice you. "The Roommate" adds to the list of things young girls should be terrified of, "Sanctum" gives you a nice dose of 3D claustrophobia, the producers of "The Other Woman" grab the Natalie Portman zeitgeist by the hair and shake the life out of it, Halle Berry's failed Oscar bait "Frankie and Alice" opens in limited release, and there are a few other flicks to wile away a winter weekend.

Review: 'Cold Weather' A Winning Micro-Indie Mystery

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 3, 2011 3:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Mystery is a tricky genre to work in. Although there's an indisputable amount of excitement involved as the protagonist and audience alike piece together the puzzle, once all is solved every associated feeling fizzles, leaving little impact and less to chew on post-viewing. Some directors have worked tirelessly to avoid this sentiment, with examples such as "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "Cache" playing by some rules but ultimately turning into a different beast at the end of the day. Others, like "Brick," used talky-noir conventions and dropped them in a high school atmosphere. The result was a humorous and refreshing experience, maybe a little silly at times but enjoyable and focused nonetheless. Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather," a masterful combination of micro-indie sensibilities and missing-person mysteries, finds its success by constructing a legitimately tense plot and employing a loose aesthetic that allows atmosphere and charm to sometimes take precedent.

Watch: Trailer For Aaron Katz's Excellent Indie Noir 'Cold Weather'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 31, 2011 3:37 AM
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  • 3 Comments
We're at an interesting tipping point in contemporary independent American cinema, one where directors are starting to take the aesthetics and low-key character drama of the mumblecore scene, and marrying them with genre film, and it's producing some of the more original, innovative low-budget works in recent years. From The Duplass Brother's slasher pic "Baghead" and Gareth Edwards' creature flick "Monsters" to Brit Marling's Sundance one-two-punch of "Another Earth" and "The Sound of My Voice," it's a good time for anyone with an interest in the way that genre can be played with onscreen, and one of the best examples to date is Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather."

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