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    Review: We Are Your Friends

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    For what it’s worth, I was a part-time club DJ from 1981until 2000. Although I hung up my headphones just before the advent of the laptop-era it was with more than passing interest I penciled in We Are Your Friends as a film to be checked out. Here was a movie purporting to cover the […]

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    Review: Mistress America

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    Highly observant yet often annoyingly mannered, American Mistress takes director Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha to the realm of farce. With casual dialogue as antic and fast-paced as a Marx Brothers movie, Baumbach, who again co-wrote with Greta Gerwig, explores another New York City fallen and frustrated, snarky character. Brooke (Gerwig) has a lot more audaciousness […]

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    Review: Diary of a Teenage Girl

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    The Diary of a Teenage Girl, a pedophile drama gussied up with non-judgmental makeup, strikes one as more odd than innovative. Fifteen-year-old Minnie Goetze (a rather good Bel Powley) opens the film declaring, “I had sex today,” and you sure can tell it changed her. Set in the free-love 1970’s in San Francisco, Marielle Heller’s […]

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    Review: Phoenix

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    Christian Petzold’s Phoenix creates a bracing tension between rediscovery and denial, between traumatization and angst. Nina Hoss, one of the world’s finest film actresses, portrays Nelly Lenz, a concentration camp survivor who undergoes plastic surgery that essentially grants her a new face after her old one was shot up by Nazis. At the film’s outset […]

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    Review: American Ultra

    Friday, August 21, 2015

    A stoner comedy by nature relies on an undercurrent of paranoia. In American Ultra Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) quickly loses the edge of thinking everyone is after him when–lo and behold–before long everyone is indeed after him. Also gone with the stoner conceit is the notion that this film is somehow a comedy. What looks […]

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Review: Big Eyes

The paintings in Big Eyes remind one of the most insipid examples of a summer boardwalk art show. Bulging-eyed lonesome-looking urchins, pretty much in cookie cutter fashion, dominate each canvas to the point where the rest of the painting seems to have disappeared. In many ways, a miscast Christopher Waltz, normally a very fine actor, […]

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A Film Critic’s Thoughts on Film in 2014

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