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Review: Romance On The Fringe, A Community Stuck In Time In 'Bad Posture'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 14, 2011 1:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
For most movies, living on the fringe of society means a certain level of judgment is passed on the characters. Sometimes it's implicit in the condescending filmmaking techniques, with attempts made at clarifying our protagonists as "The Other," a socio-economic problem compounded by these characters often being minorities. At other times it's more overt, the picture trying to make you root for the underdog by creating a superficial caricature to engender sympathetic audience emotions, regardless of the context. Which is why it's refreshing to see an indie like "Bad Posture" crop up, a picture that remains laser-sharp in its focus as it refuses to categorize its wayward protagonists.
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MIFF '11 Reviews: 'The Day He Arrives,' 'Sleeping Sickness' & 'HERE'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • August 13, 2011 1:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More reviews from the recent Melbourne International Film Festival.

Empire Big Screen '11 Review: 'Warrior' Is Silly, Over-Familiar & Enormously Effective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 12, 2011 11:12 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Considering that it's the fastest rising sport in the world and that it's inherently cinematic in a way that, say, baseball isn't, it's surprising that Hollywood hasn't made greater hay out of mixed martial arts (or MMA). For the newcomer, it's essentially a blend of boxing, wrestling and a good old bar fight, a mix you would have thought would have led to far more movie outings than David Mamet's "Redbelt" and next year's Kevin James (yes, Kevin James) vehicle "Here Comes the Boom." But a movie opening next month, Gavin O'Connor's "Warrior," which we caught today as the first surprise public screening at Empire Big Screen in London, is planting its feet firmly in the cage, and it's taking two of the fastest rising stars in town, "Inception" 's Tom Hardy and "Animal Kingdom" 's Joel Edgerton, in with it.

Review: 'Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow' A Tarkovskian Study Of Ambitious Modern Art

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • August 10, 2011 10:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Even those that find modern art to be unbearable and pretentious must concur: paving roads, digging out caverns, and building houses as part of your art installation on the grounds of an abandoned silk factory is bad-ass. That said, detractors are likely to question the amount of money used for this that didn't go to something else, but let's remember that art, when given the chance, can affect us profoundly and in ways that we sometimes can't comprehend immediately. Also, let's not derail towards a time-consuming and bitter brannigan.
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Review: 'The Help' A Well-Intentioned Drama, Boosted By Strong Performances

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 9, 2011 2:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In some ways, "The Help" is critic-proof because it arrives wrapped up in the most deceptive of packaging: good intentions. A well-meaning film can make a critic blind to flaws or, conversely, can make a reviewer more ruthless about its shortcomings purely because of its lack of narrative or thematic ambition. And director Tate Taylor doesn't make it easy on himself, tackling a film about segregation, based on an Oprah-friendly book, and produced under a division of Disney. All of those elements make "The Help" a pretty big and easy target, and to be sure, the cynical viewer could sit back and lob easy shots. However, buoyed by strong performances -- a couple of which are sure to be major awards-season contenders -- and a mostly subtle touch with material that could very easily be manipulated or manipulative, "The Help" finds its good intentions in very capable hands.

MIFF '11 Reviews: 'The Forgiveness Of Blood,' 'Toomelah' & 'Majority'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • August 8, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More, somewhat belated reviews from the Melbourne International Film Festival. Firstly, a return from director Joshua Marston who burst onto the scene with his 2004 drug-mule drama "Maria Full Of Grace" and went missing, other than a few television credits. A whole seven years later, Marston unveils "The Forgiveness Of Blood," a unique spin on a family drama genre which explores the phenomena of blood feuds in rural Albania. After an argument over a blocked path through one family's property leads to a violent confrontation the details of which audiences are kept in the dark about, a stalemate is set in place between the two families as per a 15th century legal code called the Kanun.
More: Review, MIFF

Review: 'Superheroes' An Intriguing But Unquestioning Look At Real Life Crimefighters

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 8, 2011 10:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Superheroes have captured the collective imagination ever since Superman first lifted a car over his head in Action Comics #1. The idea of a person blessed with extraordinary powers, or a regular citizen who adopts an alter ego to protect humanity, and right the wrongs that the regular justice system fails to address, has resonated with the young and old for decades. And while over the years there have been somewhat random and scattered incidents of people trying to recreate the vigilante hero experience on the streets of their city, today there seems to be a greater movement afoot. Across the country some very organized individuals are suiting up and hitting the streets determined to make a difference with an activity that isn't just a lark, but one that almost doubles as a full time job. Armed, (mostly) masked and driven by sense of purpose and civic duty, these real life superheroes patrol the streets where the polices sometimes can't (or more likely, won't), and now they have their own documentary.
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Review: Shion Sono An Exciting New Discovery; 'Cold Fish' Bleak, Bloody, Bold

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • August 5, 2011 6:30 AM
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  • 9 Comments
The following is a reprint from of our review from VIFF last year.
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Review: '30 Minutes Or Less' Is A Fun But Forgettable Conclusion To The Summer Of R-Rated Excess

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 5, 2011 5:31 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Zipping along at a brisk pace -- albeit one that feels like it's rushing to be over -- featuring dueling bromance buddy tales from both protagonists and villains, and mostly amusing in its vulgar humor and gags, the "action"-comedy "30 Minutes Or Less," is entertaining, but ultimately only a mild effort in the mediocre R-Rated comedy sweepstakes that have dominated this season.

Review: 'Magic Trip' A Pleasant But Unremarkable Trip Down A Druggy Memory Lane

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • August 4, 2011 4:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Best known for his forward, concise, and unyielding documentaries attacking big business, the government, and the media, filmmaker Alex Gibney takes a brief sabbatical from the "heavy issues" and partners up with frequent editing partner Alison Ellwood for the Ken Kesey LSD-extravaganza "Magic Trip." The two cobble together footage and audio recordings from a free-wheelin' cross-country jaunt to the World's Fair in New York lead by the "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" scribe, the end result feeling something like a cross between Gibney's own "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson" and last year's enjoyable "Lennon NYC." However, much like those examples, those who are uninterested in Kesey and his generation (or worse, can't even stomach it) won't find much to bark about.

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