The Playlist

Tribeca Review: Abbie Cornish Shines, But The Questionable 'The Girl' Remains Ethically Dubious

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 22, 2012 10:24 AM
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Well-told, well-shot and featuring a strong, but restrained and internalized performance from actress Abbie Cornish, director David Riker's "The Girl" is a mannered and in-the-pocket indie drama that might be a total subdued winner if it weren't for its dubious political ideologies, an irony considering the film's DNA is clearly built on humanist tendencies. While the Australian Cornish does have mild issues with sticking the landing on her Texas accent, it's her meatiest role since the deeply underrated "Bright Star" and lesser-seen, but no less valuable indies like "Somersault" and "Candy" (the latter featuring her going toe-to-toe with Heath Ledger and giving as good as she got) and she makes the most of it.

Tribeca Review: 'Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal' An Enjoyable If Somewhat Slight Horror-Comedy

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 22, 2012 8:39 AM
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A blunt, no-nonsense title like "Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal" perfectly describes the type of movie you're going to encounter when viewing Boris Rodriguez's first narrative feature -- a weird, darkly comic tale offering little more than an enjoyable experience. While 'Eddie' could've tried a little harder to make its content more memorable, it still provides enough laughs and thrills to make for a pleasant watch.

Tribeca Review: 'Free Samples' Isn't Worth Buying

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 22, 2012 8:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
For some reason independent movies, especially the current wave of mumble-core with its earthy existentialism and waxy photographic quality, have the reputation of somehow being more “real” or “honest” than movies in the mainstream. Because these smaller movies arrive at some emotional truth more directly, they don’t have to dodge movie stars or CGI monsters. But watching a movie like USC grad Jay Gammill's “Free Samples,” which proudly wears its indie-ness on its sleeve like a badge of honor (when it’s really more of a disfiguring war wound), all you get are feelings of artificiality. It’s so phony and forced and cloying and cute, that you wonder how anyone could misdiagnose a movie like this as being more representative of the human experience than, say, something with werewolves or Tom Cruise.

Tribeca Review: Lightweight '30s British Romance 'Cheerful Weather For The Wedding' Mostly Wastes Its Young Stars

  • By Cory Everett
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  • April 22, 2012 8:00 AM
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There's nothing more frustrating than wasting talent. Seeing a promising young filmmaker turn in a movie that just doesn't work is as disappointing as seeing a good cast squandered by lesser material. Unfortunately, both are common but unavoidable side effects of attending film festivals and the latter is true of "Cheerful Weather For The Wedding," a lightweight British romance which had its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last night. The film squanders not one but two young actors who turned in breakout performances in two of last year's most acclaimed indies. "Like Crazy" lead Felicity Jones stars as Dolly, an anxious bride on the day of her wedding while "Attack The Block" thesp Luke Treadaway is Joseph, an old friend and possibly unrequited romance. We meet the bride-to-be getting sick with nerves and swigging rum in her room while Joseph shows up early to wish the bride well and possibly just try to run away with her before the nuptials. Oh yes, this is that movie.

Tribeca Review: Upsetting, Eye-Opening 'The Revisionists' Draws Pivotal Line In The Sand In Regard To Education

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 21, 2012 6:19 PM
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Where to start when discussing something like "The Revisionaries," a film that's really only controversial if you feel the idea to provide an idiot with a pulpit to preach from is a good one? The doc follows the fifteen-person Texas Board Of Education, an organization dedicated to reforming the state's high school textbooks over the course of a few years, allowing for a host of politically-motivated edits. You see where this is going.

Review: 'Ballroom Dancer' A Fascinating Dance Doc About The Quest For Perfection & Recapturing Past Glory

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 21, 2012 4:36 PM
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“Ballroom Dancer” begins with black-and-white footage of dancer Slavik Kryklyvyy in 2000, on top of the world and dominating the World Latin Dance Championships. Kryklyvyy is lithe and seductive at the age of 24, slicing through routines with his equally skilled partner and lover Joanna Leunis. With his high cheekbones, piercing eyes, and a matinee-idol handsomeness that puts Johnny Depp to shame, he seems almost built from the ground up for success.

Tribeca Review: 'Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie' Is The Sleaze-Filled Celebration He Deserves

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 21, 2012 3:44 PM
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A charlatan, a ringmaster, and, at his most charitable, an irresponsible pig. This was Morton Downey Jr., and “Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie” is probably the film he deserved. Destined to provoke knowing nods from his fanbase, and predictable tsk-tsks from his detractors, “Evocateur” examines the seeds that were planted in the late eighties when “The Morton Downey Jr. Show” hit the airwaves to a cacophony of pop culture noise.

Tribeca Review: 'Jack And Diane' An Unsatisfying & Empty Relationship Movie

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 21, 2012 9:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Though the descriptor "werewolf-lesbian-psycho-drama" piqued immense interest when word first got out, Bradley Rust Gray's "Jack And Diane" doesn't follow through on its weirdo/intriguing premise. Little work is done from the get-go to make the emotional connection between the titular characters feel believable (a huge error considering the movie's core is based around this relationship), and without that rational groundwork, the film feels forced and hollow for most of its duration.

Robert De Niro Talks 'Deer Hunter' & 'Midnight Run 2' And Judd Apatow Looks Back On His Work At The Tribeca Film Festival

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 20, 2012 12:19 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Yesterday at the Tribeca Film Festival, a special event was held celebrating the centennial anniversary of Universal Pictures. This “100 Years Panel,” hosted by Deadline staffer Mike Fleming, featured an introduction by Ron Meyer, Universal’s long-standing CEO, and panelists Judd Apatow and Robert De Niro (both frequent Universal employees and creative partners). And while this might have seemed like a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Universal’s first 100 years (and the movies De Niro and Apatow have memorably contributed), it turned out to be a slog – an excruciatingly unentertaining hour that oscillated between terse answers by De Niro and wild outbursts from Apatow.

Tribeca Review: Thai Existentialist Hitman Film 'Headshot' Proves The Genre Still Has A Pulse

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • April 20, 2012 11:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The hitman genre has been done to death. If cinema can be a reflection of the times we live in, and a recorded piece of history of what the filmmakers are concerned with at the time of inception and production, then it’s amazing any of us are still alive. When done well, the genre can be a lot of fun – as well as dramatic, escapist, cool and artful – but there’s just too many professional killers running amok in the movies.

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