• Hotel+22+Promo+Still+19

    Sundance Shorts: Hotel 22

    Saturday, February 28, 2015

    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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  • Will-Smith-and-Margot-Robbie-in-Focus-2015-Movie-Image

    Review: Focus

    Friday, February 27, 2015

    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

    Review: The Last Five Years

    Friday, February 27, 2015

    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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  • 9_TIMBUKTU_de_Abderrahmane_Sissako-_c__2014_Les_Films_du_Worso__Dune_Vision_01

    Review: Timbuktu

    Monday, February 23, 2015

    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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  • kingsman-05-gallery-image

    Review: Kingsman

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    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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Jan
30

Review: Mommy

French Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (he made and starred in I Killed My Mother at 19) seriously gets in your face with the extravagantly jarring Mommy. The brutal arguments between tantalizing, violent-prone, just-released-from-juvenile-detention, ADHD 15-year-old Steve (Antoine-Olivier Platt) and his tough yet unconditionally compassionate single mom, Diane (a great Anne Dorval) have to be seen […]

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Jan
30

Review: Black or White

Director and screenwriter Mike Binder will be called on the carpet by the gripe-happy protectors of the politically correct. He’ll be accused of tripping over stereotypes as he presents the story of a custody battle over a racially mixed seven-year-old, Eloise. Despite being a little obvious around the edges, Black or White essentially presents a […]

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Jan
24

Review: Two Days One Night

In the haunting Two Days, One Night, directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne add a profound level of morality drama to their customarily brilliant trove of social reality themes explored since their outstanding first film, Le Promesse (1997). What is unique this time is they are working with an actress who is emerging as one of […]

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Jan
23

Review: Man Seeking Woman “Traib”

Man Seeking Woman episode two does very little to change my mind about the one dimensionality of its side characters. Josh and Mike try to find out why Josh’s walls are whispering “Maggie,” and all of her stuff attacks them. This sequence uses a ton of practical effects reminiscent of Evil Dead or The Exorcist. It was a great […]

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Jan
20

Man Seeking Woman Shows Signs of a Burgeoning Absurdist Masterpiece

Simon Rich created an absurdist masterpiece with the first episode of Man Seeking Woman. Josh Greenberg (played by Jay Baruchel) is a character that may or may not be mentally disturbed. Other absurdist shows usually just have sprinkles of the bizarre, but MSW embraces the insanity to the point where it becomes reminiscent of a […]

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Jan
19

Review: American Sniper

Far from an excerise in yahoo-ism, American Sniper offers us a film startlingly immediate in its action scenes. Coming to be known as “The Legend,” Navy Seal Chris Kyle, its subject, went through four tours in the Iraq War, in which he performed around 160 official “kills.” (and apparently another hundred unofficial ones). The film […]

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Jan
14

Parks and Recreations’ Final Season: 2017/Ron & Jammy

Through 6 seasons, the characters on Parks & Recreation have gradually grown as their interpersonal dynamics developed and added texture. Season 7’s premiere “2017” marks the show’s farthest leap forward, both literally and metaphorically. True, that jump into the future first occurred in the waning minutes of Season 6’s finale “Moving Up”; however, last night’s“2017” […]

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Jan
11

The Walking Dead: Season Five Expectations

With The Walking Dead’s fifth season’s return around the corner there are a few key plot points and fan expectations that need to be addressed. A one-minute trailer was just released in which the current group walks through the woods brandishing and utilizing a variety of weapons while an omniscient voice states that “Surviving as […]

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Jan
9

Review: Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice will likely be a polarizing film. It is bound to either bring belly laughs and fresh insight on the one end of the spectrum, or confusion perhaps to the point of walking out of the theater on the other. Those hidebound filmgoers who see the need to evaluate every film in terms of […]

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Jan
9

Review: Selma

Selma builds its way toward a celebration of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Sharply focused on the key months leading up to a series of three nonviolent protest marches in Selma, Alabama, it agonizingly captures the textures of human toil and determination that led to the momentous legislation. Director Ava DuVernay […]

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Jan
6

Interview with Selma Director Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is one of the most poetic and thoughtful cinematic minds working today, these traits often come up in not just her screenwriting and directing but in the relationships she’s forged as a filmmaker. Her films have been marked by the wonderful presence of David Oyelowo and the expressive beauty of cinematographer Bradford Young’s […]

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