• the interview 2

    Editorial: What Sony’s Decision to Pull ‘The Interview’ Means for the Film Industry

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Seth Rogen and James Franco have made their careers out of raunchy comedy. In 2013, the two comedians released This Is the End, a tongue-in-cheek, self-referential, and blatantly offensive R-rated comedy. Critics and audiences loved it, while a vocal minority accused it of being disgustingly sexist. I haven’t seen This Is the End, so I […]

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    Craig Ferguson: A Late Night Host like No Other

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    The Late Late Show may have struggled to break into the mainstream and never reached the popularity level of  it’s Letterman lead in, but  in his ten years as host, Craig Ferguson has built a core audience and fanbase that more often than not tune in because of Craig himself, as opposed to the guests […]

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  • the hobbit 2

    Review:The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Gather round kids, it’s time for another unnecessary sequel, because The Hobbit: The battle of the Five Armies is here. As if turning one book into a trilogy wasn’t bad enough, when asked if this would be the end of the Middle-Earth saga, Peter Jackson replied, “It doesn’t have to be.” One can only hope […]

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  • top-five

    Review: Top Five

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    A down in the doldrums Andre Allen (Chris Rock) makes a serious film (“Uprize!”) about a Haitian slave rebellion. He intends to deflect the lingering stereotype associated with years of making dumb “Hammy The Bear” movies, in which he actually wears a bear suit. In the best tradition of art imitating life, Top Five, also […]

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  • wild

    Review: Wild

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    Reese Witherspoon, adeptly portraying Cheryl Strayed, author of the 2012 memoir of redemption, Wild, often seems distractingly preoccupied with her backpack. Scripted by English novelist Nick Hornby, and directed by Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), the movie itself too often seems satisfied with rather meek surface things at the expense of going deeper. Witherspoon is […]

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Recent Articles

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Apr
25

Tribeca Review: Manos Sucias

Set against the same Colombian backdrops as unimaginable amounts of drug warfare, Manos Sucias is a look at narco-drug trafficking without the glamour that often accompanies this genre. Structuring the narrative largely within the course of two days, first-time filmmaker Josef Wladyka creates a narrow focus on a big subject. Manos Sucias follows Delio, a […]

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Apr
24

Video Interview: Best New Narrative Director Josef Wladyka

Fresh off winning the award for Best New Narrative Director, Manos Sucias director Josef Wladyka talks with Pretentious Film Majors’ Zachary Shevich about the long, arduous process Josef undertook of researching and preparing to make his debut feature film. Find out how much time Wladyka spent in Colombia, how much of the story was inspired by […]

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Apr
24

Video Interview: Hans Petter Moland from Tribeca 2014

Director Hans Petter Moland discusses his latest film, In Order of Disappearance, while in New York for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. What’s his working relationship like with Stellan Skarsgaard? Was this an intentional satire of films like Taken? How does Moland direct actors in multiple languages? Find out in this interview! For Zach’s review […]

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Apr
24

Tribeca Talks: Stories By Numbers – David Simon Reveals Project No One Will Let Him Make & Other Highlights

At this afternoon’s Tribeca Talks: Future of Film Series, panelists including film critic Anne Thompson, FiveThirtyEight.com founder Nate Silver, The Wire & Treme creator David Simon, and House of Cards‘ show runner Beau Willimon discussed the importance and effect of number crunching on storytelling. For a panel called, “Stories by Numbers:  Mining Narratives From Big […]

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Apr
24

Tribeca Review: Gueros

Nowadays it is very easy to identify a coming-of-age story when you see one.  Usually it makes its’ presence known by compounding the audience with a number of clichés that range anywhere from montages of flashbacks or an elder character attempting to guide a younger, seemingly lost character onto the path of self discovery and […]

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Apr
24

Video Interview: Whoopi Goldberg for Keep On Keepin’ On

Whoopi Goldberg spoke with Pretentious Film Majors’ Devin Southard at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the new documentary produced by Quincy Jones, “Keep On Keepin’ On” about jazz legend Clark Terry and his student Justin Kauffman. Whoopi shares why documentaries are important, the need for Clark Terry’s story to be told, and discusses some […]

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Apr
24

Tribeca Review: Garnet’s Gold

There was a brief period in my early childhood where I went through a phase of wanting to be a pirate.  Sailing on ships seemed cool and pillaging villages looked like a lot of fun, but the big appeal came from searching for lost treasure.  Having the chance to go on a larger than life […]

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Apr
22

Tribeca Review: Chef (Jon Favreau directs)

While Chef may have had a relatively light premise its star studded cast was still enough to lend it some legitimacy. What keeps you engaged with the relatively shaky premise of this film is its heavy use of of technology and social media along with a number of geographic culture shocks that provide occasional laughs, […]

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Apr
22

Steve Hofstetter Interview

Recently, I was able to sit down with comedian and YouTube star Steve Hofstetter before he did a stand-up show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia.  We had a great conversation while he ate his dinner and prepped for the show.  It was a lot of fun, and the show was terrific.  Steve’s set […]

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Apr
21

Tribeca Review: Below Dreams

An uncommonly loose portrait of life in New Orleans, Garret Bradley’s debut feature film uses a documentary-like cinema verite style to create a movie that values tone over narrative. Weaving together *but just barely) the lives of three very different people, only connected by the city they share, Below Dreams’ naturalistic approach to scene structure […]

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Apr
21

Tribeca Review: In Order of Disappearance

Stellan Skarsgård has a unique set of skills in Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s In Order of Disappearance, and among them is operating a snow blower. Set against the sparse, snow-soaked landscapes of Norwegian, Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s In Order of Disappearance casts Skarsgård in the old-guy-after-revenge role that’s been popularized by Liam Neeson […]

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Apr
21

Review: Joe

There comes a point in David Gordon Green’s Joe where main character Joe (an excellent Nicholas Cage) starts to act as if he might be insane. Hardly restrained up to this point, the film proceeds to take two steps forward and one step backward in terms of finesse. Green, whose sharp-focused observations ultimately fail to […]

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