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    PFF24 Review: Dheepan (Opening this week at the Ritz Bourse 5/27)

    Friday, May 27, 2016

    If you haven’t seen Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet (2010), do whatever it takes to catch up. Also, don’t miss Auduard’s latest, Dheepan, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Dheepan is the story of a “fake family” of refuges from war-torn Sri Lanka. Former Tamil Tiger Dheepan (Antonysaythan Jesuthasan, himself a former boy soldier), in […]

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    Review: The Nice Guys

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    In his last two directorial efforts (Kiss Kiss,Bang Bang; Iron Man 3) veteran screenwriter Shane Black enjoyed having Robert Downey Jr. as his lead. Lucky him! This time it’s Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. They don’t merely reinforce the material here–they propel a breathtakingly-paced yet lax script into the smart-and-funny category. That is not to […]

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    Review: Love and Friendship

    Monday, May 23, 2016

    Step aside, Blanchett. Make room, Winslet. There’s a new Kate in town. Actually, she’s not new at all. More like rejuvenated. Kate Beckinsale, who’s best work might have been her previous collaboration with director Whit Stillman (Last Days of Disco, 1998) reunites with Stillman in a spot-on, deliciously devilish Jane Austen adaptation. In Love and […]

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    Review: Money Monster

    Friday, May 13, 2016

    The villainous hedge fund in Money Monster is an outfit lamely called IBIS Clear Capital (presumably the moniker ISIS was already taken). Unfortunately the rest of the film is seriously marred from equally obvious manipulations. On the occasions when the film’s three screenwriters don’t resort to cheating and short-cutting the material, this Jody Foster-directed effort […]

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    Review: Captain America – Civil War

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Kudos: Nineteen year-old British actor Tom Holland takes a pretty decent Marvel movie to a higher level of fun. With the help of a spot-on Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Holland busts out a vexatious yet wholesome new version of the decidedly non-Marvel Spider Man. He’s an oasis in the take-itself seriously Marvel desert. […]

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    Review: Papa: Hemingway In Cuba

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Is there any doubt Ernest Hemingway would have deplored the gross sentimentality displayed in Papa: Hemingway in Cuba? Short of being merely misguided, this sloppily mounted biopic of the gifted writer in 1959 Havana commits the even greater sin of not seeming to care about its subject. The first film shot in Cuba since that […]

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  • Key-and-Peele-Movie-Keanu

    Interview: Jordan Peele–Keanu

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key have been a comedy writing/ performing pair since their work together in the early 2000s. They honed their distinct brand of comedy  during their tenure at MADtv . In 2012, with the launch of their eponymous sketch show, Key and Peele’s names became permanently associated with writing and performing  brilliant […]

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  • Embrace-of-the-Serpent-2_0

    Review: Embrace the Serpent

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Forget Apocalypse Now. Toss aside Conrad’s venerated Heart of Darkness. When it comes to obtaining a vivid realization of the essence of Amazonian culture, check out Ciro Guerra’s amazing Embrace of the Serpent. The stunningly shot black-and-white Colombian Oscar nominee frames two separate interactions, 40 years apart, between a pair of white explorers and an […]

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  • EverybodyWantsSome

    Review: Everybody Wants Some!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Everybody Wants Some!! is Richard Linklater’s most deceptive film. On its surface it is light as a feather but hang out with it for its 100-minute (and far too short!) length and its 11 unique characters leave an indelible impression. Linklater, the director of numerous classics (Before Midnight, Boyhood) is also adroit at the offbeat […]

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  • 1408134550000-Don-Cheadle-Miles-Ahead-Film-Miles-Osaka-Poster-6-30-14-1221-2

    Review: Miles Ahead

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Unfortunately Don Cheadle, despite displaying savvy acting chops in playing the ever irascible Miles Davis, does a disservice to one of the 20th century’s leading jazz musicians. In Miles Ahead, which Cheadle directed and co-wrote, unmoored diversions plague what amounts to more of a made-up buddy/heist picture than a serious look at a complex man. In […]

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Recent Articles

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Feb
28

Sundance Shorts: Hotel 22

Hotel 22 documents the long nights of the many homeless people in Silicon Valley who use the 22 bus line between Palo Alto and San Jose for shelter. I sat down with director Elizabeth Lo, a graduate of NYU Tisch and current MFA student at Stanford University, to talk about documentaries and the parts of […]

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Feb
27

Review: Focus

It’s one thing to encounter a film with an imaginatively playful screenplay that takes occasional liberties with common sense. It’s quite another to have your intelligence insulted in a manner as blatant and as numbing as the new Will Smith movie, Focus. Just when we are asked to fall for one outrageous scenario, another one […]

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The Last 5 Years Movie
Feb
27

Review: The Last Five Years

The intermittently uplifting yet just as often pompous The Last Five Years contains hardly any spoken dialogue. Pleasantly containing several songs of depth and wit, the film struggles with the thinnest of storylines and its too-pleased-with-itself structure. Anna Kendrick, who is very good, presents her character Cathy’s story backwards from the film’s end, while Jeremy […]

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Feb
23

Review: Timbuktu

A woman vehemently refuses to put on gloves (recently required) while selling fish in an outdoor market. A group of young men play fake soccer (recently banned) as they run around with an imaginary soccer ball. A coed group of friends risk playing live music (also recently banned) despite a potentially stringent penalty. The scene? […]

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Feb
17

Review: Kingsman

Director Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) sends his fetish for over-the-top chuckles and mayhem into an orbit of mostly unfunny inanity in the spy-flick send-up Kingsman: The Secret Service. Colin Firth, typically prim and proper and even more properly dressed, makes a valiant attempt to save the material from the abject failure it might have […]

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leviathan
Feb
13

Review: Leviathan

It’s no wonder Kolya (a memorable Alexey Serebryakov), the main character of Leviathan, swigs vodka like it’s water. After witnessing an arbitrary and stiff, motor-mouthed reading of a local court ruling against him, it is no wonder an individual like Kolya comes to feel isolated and utterly powerless. It is not just that the insolent, […]

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FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
Feb
13

Review: 50 Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson is the best thing about Fifty Shades of Grey yet for all her acting chops here, she doesn’t hold a candle to her mom, Melanie Griffith, in, say, the zany, intense Something Wild. And if you’re trying to get a grip on this “dominant/submissive” thing, this film comes up squeaky clean (and half […]

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Feb
6

A Dance Of A Challenge: Ballet 422 Review

The lights dim, the audience quiets, the curtains lift, and an ensemble of strong, graceful men and women move through the air about the once empty stage in a traditional performance by the New York City Ballet Company. Ballet 422 takes its audience through the theatre wings and into the studio to show the step […]

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Feb
5

Review: Jupiter Ascending

Time is the most precious commodity in the universe, says Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) of the moderately bizarre yet pompously predictable House of Abrasax family, rulers of the world if you will. Ironically, the notion of time–as in wasted time–kept occurring during the screening of this latest offering from Andy and Lana Wachowski, filmmakers once responsible […]

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followers
Feb
4

PFM Sundance – Interview With Tim Marshall (Followers)

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Tim Marshall is a filmmaker who wrote, directed, and edited the short film, Followers. The film tells the story of Lynn, an elderly woman, who feels terribly lonely after her husband’s recent death and finds solace in an apparition of Jesus on a young gay man’s swimming trunks at her adult swimming […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015