• 5-to-7

    Review: 5 to 7

    Friday, April 24, 2015

    When Brian Bloom spots her, it’s purely love at first sight as he crosses the street toward the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. More a magazine-cover caricature than a character of the flesh-and-blood variety, Arielle (Berenice Marlohe, Skyfall) will consistently stymie this well-meaning but insipid rom-com. She’s first of all French, we’re insistently reminded. The […]

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    Tribeca Film Festival: The Driftless Area–Review

    Thursday, April 23, 2015

    The Driftless Area has unintentionally given critics and the critical masses the perfect adjective to describe the film: driftless. Toted as a “neo-noir dark romantic drama-comedy”—I’m serious, google it—The Driftless Area follows Pierre (Anton Yelchin), a bartender from a small Midwestern town who finds himself mixed up in a surreal relationship with Zooey Deschanel’s Stella, […]

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    Review: True Story

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    The lowest point of the uneven True Story occurs when Jill Barker (Felicity Jones) pays an impromptu prison visit to accused murderer Christian Longo (James Franco). Longo is charged with unceremoniously offing his wife and three kids and stuffing their bodies in suitcases, which he then threw over a bridge. He also curiously impersonated Jones’s […]

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    Review: Clouds of Sils Maria

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    Clouds of Sils Maria contains an acting clinic and so much more. French director Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos, Irma Vep, Demonlover) takes many chances with his solid, often wondrous, occasionally mystifying material. The viewer needs to do some work here but the rewards are plentiful. His screenplay is straightforward enough but teasingly opaque like […]

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    Review: Unfriended

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Proof that movies need not be cinematic to be potent, Unfriended contains basically one set: the desktop of teenager Blaire (Shelley Hennig). We find her online revisiting the suicide of her friend Laura Barns on the anniversary of her death. A flirtatious Skype session with Blaire’s boyfriend Mitch (Moses Storm) ensues until it is interrupted […]

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Sundance Reviews: The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal

Inspired by the poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik, The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal is an animated short that asks the question, “What does it mean to be in love?”  It tells a story of a machine falling in love with a woman, and having that love torn away. The background music has a soothing […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Review: Selma

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