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In Theaters: 'Dark Shadows' May A Cause A 'Sleepless Night,' But 'God Bless America' For 'Bonsai'

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • May 11, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment
So “The Avengers” knocked it out of the park, huh? With a $600 million intake worldwide and lots and lots of good reviews, Joss Whedon and the folks over at Marvel can probably even one-up James Cameron at the next Masters of the Hollywood Universe fete. (That sounds fun, doesn’t it? I’d go to a party like that.) This weekend is a little smaller, but looking good nonetheless. A number of foreign films that have done well in the festival circuit, and the latest eyefeast from Burton and Co. hit theaters today, providing quite a lot of competition – if not dazzling CGI and budget – for the massive blockbuster winner of last week. Let’s see how they measure up.

Review: 'I Wish' The Rare Example Of A Great Kids Film That Actually Understands Kids

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • May 9, 2012 4:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The frustrating thing about most modern "kids films" is that many filmmakers seem like lost balls in tall grass when it comes to portraying what makes children tick. Perhaps it's tougher than we imagine to capture the youth/kid experience, but is it just us or does it seem like nearly all child characters in movies exist in some bizarro world where they're smarter than the all the adults, know just the right thing to say at every moment and hardly ever act like, you know, kids? (See every American indie and Hollywood rom-com from the last 10 years for examples of this annoying, ridiculous trend.) That's why, when a thoughtful, intelligent director takes the reins of such a film, one that actually remembers and respects what it was like to be a kid, the result can be so refreshing. In the best examples of the genre from recent memory -- "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Super 8" (which, this writer only found to be half a great movie, the great half being the portion involving kids being kids, making movies; it's impossible to deny the skill of those actors and their characterizations) -- the filmmakers decided from the outset to make a proper film first and foremost. The fact that the story is played out with children as our main characters is almost a moot point. Almost.
More: Review, I Wish

VIFF '11 Review: 'I Wish' The Rare Example Of A Great Kids Film That Actually Understands Kids

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 7, 2011 6:02 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The frustrating thing about most modern "kids films" is that many filmmakers seem like lost balls in tall grass when it comes to portraying what makes children tick. Perhaps it's tougher than we imagine to capture the youth/kid experience, but is it just us or does it seem like nearly all child characters in movies exist in some bizarro world where they're smarter than the all the adults, know just the right thing to say at every moment and hardly ever act like, you know, kids? (See every American indie and Hollywood rom-com from the last 10 years for examples of this annoying, ridiculous trend). That's why, when a thoughtful, intelligent director takes the reins of such a film, one that actually remembers and respects what it was like to be a kid, the result can be so refreshing. In the best examples of the genre from recent memory -- "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Super 8" (which, this writer only found to be half a great movie, the great half being the portion involving kids being kids, making movies; it's impossible to deny the skill of those actors and their characterizations) -- the filmmakers decided from the outset to make a proper film first and foremost. The fact that the story is played out with children as our main characters is almost a moot point. Almost.

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