The Playlist

Review: 'Sucker Punch' An Overstuffed, Deadening & Boring Journey Into A Zack Snyder Wet Dream

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 24, 2011 7:39 AM
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  • 42 Comments
For months now, through a barrage of teasing promotional materials, one question has remained about Zack Snyder's glitzy passion project "Sucker Punch" – what, exactly, is it? Is it a period drama about a young girl in a mental institution? Is it a dream world thriller a la "Inception"? Or is it some kind of experimental action film, in which characters take on dragons in one sequence and silvery robots in the next? Well, it turns out that the final product is all of these, and none of these things. It sure is noisy, though (especially if you watched it in IMAX like we did).

SXSW Review: Doc Roundup - 'Page One: Inside the NY Times', 'Buck' & 'Tabloid'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 23, 2011 3:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Yep, SXSW is over and we're still wiping the BBQ off our clothes; here's a round up of reviews for some documentaries we managed to catch while in Austin all of which should be hitting theaters later this year.

Review: Todd Haynes' 'Mildred Pierce' A Mouth-Watering Melodrama On An Operatic Scale

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 22, 2011 3:31 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Yes, we already know that Hollywood studios are continuing to pull away from adult oriented dramas, while continuing to pour money into franchises, sequels and spinoffs. And we've certainly already sung the praises of HBO for setting the standard for their colleagues by being a welcoming home for auteurs to toil away on the kinds of projects that wouldn't get them through the front door anywhere else. However, it's one thing to logically pair Todd Haynes with the period melodrama "Mildred Pierce" but when you surround him with the talent he has here, giving him an almost absurdly generous amount of running time to tell the story his way, it's practically like the cable network is sticking a thumb in the eye of Hollywood.

SXSW Review: Romain Gavras' 'Our Day Will Come' Is An Exhilarating Political Road Movie

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 21, 2011 9:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Remember last summer when M.I.A. was trying to drum up attention for her ultimately underwhelming third album? There was the New York Times profile, the outrageous fashion decisions, and, most notably, the "controversial" video for "Born Free," directed by Romain Gavras (son of director Costa-Gavras). In the clip, redheaded kids were being rounded up and forced to march through landmine-strewn patches of earth, which at the time was seen as some kind of reaction to the stringent anti-immigration laws in Arizona or American xenophobia or… something. But it turns out that the music video is actually part of a larger work Romain Gavras is constructing, which includes his striking, often brilliant debut feature "Our Day Will Come."

SXSW Review: 'Green' Tinged With The Color Of Lust

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 21, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 2 Comments
When you love someone, there’s the innate fear that they may find someone else. Someone mentally stronger, perhaps, or just more naturally kind. Or, in some cases, just different. What’s devastating is the change occurring within someone we thought we knew intimately. Is this the person we fell in love with? Is this the person who claims they know me better than anyone else?

SXSW Review: Xavier Gens' 'The Divide' Is Silly, Clichéd Apocalyptic Trash

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 21, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments
It seemed, to us at least, that there was a strangely apocalyptic cloud that was cast over many of the SXSW film festival selections – things like "Bellflower" all the way up to "Attack the Block" had a definite "end of days" feel. "The Divide" might have been the one movie to attack the material with the most heads-on gusto, with the movie opening with a hail of comet-like missiles laying waste to New York City. It's a striking image, for sure, but there's not much that equals it in the movie's labored, two-hour running time, either in terms of visual sophistication or crafting a sense of apocalyptic gloom. Instead, you'll be wondering why everything's so over-lit after the world's ended and why anyone would behave the way the characters do.

KAFFNY Review Round-Up 3: 'Make Yourself At Home' & 'Should've Kissed'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 20, 2011 1:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
We've already posted a round-up of features we caught at this year's KAFFNY -- Korean American Film Festival New York (which you can read here and here) -- but now we're going take a look at two films that weren't able to be part of this year's lineup because of music rights or other similar issues. They're still very much worth taking notice of, and are likely to appear in other screenings or forms at some point in the year.

SXSW Review: A Chance At Another Beginning Illuminates The Path To 'Another Earth'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 19, 2011 5:26 AM
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  • 3 Comments
At the start of “Another Earth,” there are two shocks administered to the audience. The first is that another planet has been discovered on the other side of the Sun, and it so closely resembles Earth that the brand new discovery is being referred to as Earth 2. This would be a galactic shocker, of course, but we are moved more by the second shock, which is the recklessness of teenaged Rhoda (Brit Marling), who drunkenly crashes her car into the vehicle of composer John (William Mapother). John survives, but his wife and child are now dead.

KAFFNY Review Round-Up 2: 'Centre Forward,' 'Red Chapel,' 'Sai-I-Gu,' 'Wet Sand'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 19, 2011 2:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Following our first round-up, here are a few more flicks showcased in New York's Korean American Film Festival which ends March 20th. Stay tuned for more coverage, including reviews of "Should've Kissed" by Cinefondation-residency alum Jinoh Park and "Make Yourself At Home" by student Academy Award-winning director Soopum Sohn. Also on the horizon is an interview with filmmakers Dai Sil Kim-Gibson and "Killer of Sheep" helmer Charles Burnett.

SXSW Review: 'Detention' Is Like A Narrative, Peyote-Fueled Manga Adaptation Of 'I Love The 90s'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 18, 2011 4:49 AM
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  • 2 Comments
What kind of movie is “Detention?”

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