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Review: 'Happythankyoumoreplease' A New York Oddball Version Of 'The Blind Side'

  • By Danielle Johnsen
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  • March 5, 2011 3:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Early on in the flawed Happythankyoumoreplease, Sam Wexler (Josh Radnor), the center around which the film spins, is informed that the novel he is desperate to get published is "just kind of, well kind of" meh and ironically it is also the most on-point review of the film. "Happythankyoumoreplease" was written and directed by the How I Met Your Mother star, which might explain the lack of real plot and the suspiciously enormous New York City apartments owned by artists with part-time jobs in this indie romantic comedy.

Review: 'Take Me Home Tonight' Travels To The '80s But Doesn't Bring Back The Laughs

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 4, 2011 3:16 AM
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Maybe going into "Take Me Home Tonight" expecting something like a John Hughes movie was completely delusional, but when your 80s-set movie is less "Just One of the Guys" allure and more like the second-rate "Can't Hardly Wait" wannabes that flooded the late-90s/early-00s, well, we can't help but call bullshit. If you're gonna set your comedy in that decade, it's gotta have certain characteristics, not just video tapes and poofy hair -- here its something akin to a downloadable "skin" for an MP3 player. A period piece isn't just costumes and clever art design, it has to feel like that moment through in writing, acting, direction, etc -- it especially can't feel like some pretty people playing dress up. That just feels cheap.

Review: 'Hobo With A Shotgun' Takes Aim At Good Taste, Obliterates Target

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 3, 2011 9:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment
This is the first of a few reviews of films from the Film Comment Selects program at Lincoln Center.

Review: 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives' Is A Very Difficult, But Deeply Rewarding Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 2, 2011 9:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The following is a reprint of our review from the Cannes Film Festival.

Review: 'Rango' Is A Sweetly Surreal Animated Western

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 2, 2011 4:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
It's strange to think that Gore Verbinski, an accomplished visual stylist who began in commercials (he was responsible for those "Bud-weis-er" talking bullfrog ads), would want to follow up the daunting and problem-plagued back-to-back shoots of the two latter 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies with an animated film. Not only are animated films notoriously time-consuming and hard to crack, but this would be his first fully animated film and the debut feature film from Industrial Light & Magic, George Lucas' wizardly visual effects house. And this was supposed to be his "small" movie.

Review: Xavier Dolan's 'Heartbeats' Is A Stylish Love Triangle, But Emotionally Hollow At Its Core

  • By Edward Davis
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  • February 25, 2011 4:01 AM
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The constant criticism being aimed at young, wunderkind Canadian director Xavier Dolan, is that the Montreal-based filmmaker -- while completely precocious and preternaturally talented -- puts too much of a premium and emphasis on style over substance. And yet, just because it's practically a cliche ad hominem dig against Dolan's films, it doesn't mean that the censure is off base. While featuring an impeccable soundtrack, a color palette ripped out of the Pedro Almodovar playbook for comedic melodramas, and an ineffable je ne sais quoi energy taken from the Jean-Luc Godard school of '60s filmmaking (though Dolan denies he's ever seen the familiar feeling, "Two Or Three Things I Know About Her"), the 21-year-old director's sophomore directorial effort "Les Amours Imaginaires" ("Heartbeats") is decidedly hollow around the edges and lacks an emotional center to cling to.

Review: 'Hall Pass' A Raunchy Sex Comedy That's Afraid Of Sex

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 25, 2011 3:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It might seem like a distant memory, but at one time the Farrelly Brothers were the leading the pack -- and were possibly the only players of note -- in the arena of progressive, raunchy comedies. The trifecta of "Dumb & Dumber," "There's Something About Mary" and "Kingpin" put the sibling duo on the map but ever since, they've been chasing past glory to lesser and lesser effect which now brings us to "Hall Pass." Coming barely a month after "No Strings Attached," the Farrellys' film may be all dressed up in the trappings of a taboo breaking comedy but by comparison, it makes the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher vehicle look positively avant garde. And worse, this might be the only R-rated sex comedy to get a thumbs up from the conservative right.

Review: 'Of Gods And Men' Is An Insightful, Intriguing But Heavy-Handed Look At Faith

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 25, 2011 2:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The following is a reprint of our review from the Cannes Film Festival.

Review: 'Vanishing On 7th Street' Disappears From Memory Quite Easily

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 18, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Rules. We sign a contract when we enter the theater, a contract usually based on an awareness of plot, genre, or even title. We expect certain elements to be present in a movie, certain laws the universe we witness abides, understands, and even subtly subverts. The horror genre differs in that it tries to reach out to universal uncertainty, to the sensations of the unknown.

Review: 'Zero Bridge' Goes For Realism But Ends Up With Stiffness

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 18, 2011 3:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It's always nice when filmmakers are open to collaboration. This teamwork isn't (and shouldn't) be limited to the actors, but their general environment as well. It takes an exceptional kind of artist to make these loose partnerships flourish, as a project could quickly become detached or too self-indulgent without the proper wrangling. Still, knowing that any sort of director is diving headfirst into a visually-rich area, planning to shoot guerilla style and working with non-actors to create something distinctive is pretty damn exciting. Tariq Tapa's arsenal had plenty of useful tools to make an incredible indie: a unique-looking cast of unprofessionals, decent video equipment, a simple improv-ready ten page outline, and the setting of the war-torn India-controlled Kashmir. Unfortunately, instead of resembling the works of the topically-fueled Nagisa Oshima ("Sing A Song Of Sex" was devised around national protests) or improv-heavy John Cassavettes, Tapa's much more grounded "Zero Bridge" has more in common with America's micro-indies, for better or worse.

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