I AM CUBA, THE SIBERIAN MAMMOTH

3 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

SUNDANCE WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION 2005 REVIEW! Neither a straight making-of doc nor a clinical political history, “I Am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth” offers some elements of both approaches, then fails in some important ways to provide a guiding context…


Posted on January 26, 2005 by

BETWEEN

2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 91 minutes

SUNDANCE DRAMATIC COMPETITION 2005 REVIEW! Ocañas’ storytelling is hard to pin down. When he gets caught up in dissolve-a-thons and random shots of Mexican street life, he seems unabashedly arty. But when he stages cheap thriller moments he seems unimaginative…


Posted on January 25, 2005 by

DUANE HOPWOOD

2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 91 minutes

SUNDANCE AMERICAN SPECTRUM 2005 REVIEW! We learn a fair amount about Duane’s family, friends and job, but we don’t get much insight into the man. Schwimmer’s capable but unimaginative performance is largely to blame…


Posted on January 25, 2005 by

THE LIBERACE OF BAGHDAD

2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 75 minutes

SUNDANCE WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION 2005 REVIEW! The most damning failure of the picture is a lack of any discernible payoff…


Posted on January 25, 2005 by

POLICE BEAT

2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes

SUNDANCE DRAMATIC COMPETITION 2005 REVIEW! A man inexplicably decapitates a bird in a city park; a woman cries foul when she mistakes a falling branch for an assault; a guy intimidates his neighbor by standing on his lawn and sharpening a machete; a woman flees naked through a park after an episode of S&M goes awry; a roly-poly man wanders into a stranger’s house and masturbates while watching a bird flutter in a cage; and so on…


Posted on January 24, 2005 by

WASP

WASP
3 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 25 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! There’s the small matter of Wasp lacking any real story…


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

AMERICA’S BIGGEST DICK

2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 4 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! That’s right. For four minutes, Our Dick spews such vulgar profundities as “You want to know what the defeeneetion of capitaleesm ees? Eeet’s getting fucked!”


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

BEROCCA

BEROCCA
2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 13 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! On a narrative level, the movie’s a complete disaster…


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

EATING

EATING
3 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 13 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! There’s nothing especially bold or surprising about the material, but the execution is exquisite…


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

EVERYTHING’S GONE GREEN

EVERYTHING’S GONE GREEN
4 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 15 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! In an enchanting series of vignettes interwoven with gentle running gags, Rosemarie tries to break through William’s reserve, prodding him to reveal a kind of magical thinking usually found in children…


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

GOODNIGHT IRENE

3 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 13 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! Harjo’s impressive accomplishment in this warm film is evading the obvious…


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

STRONGER

2 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 11 minutes

SUNDANCE SHORT 2005 REVIEW! Problem is, none of the elements are interesting or even novel…


Posted on January 23, 2005 by

BEFORE SUNSET

4 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 80 minutes

IN LIMITED RELEASE! While the picture is by its nature an acting showcase, Linklater’s sure hand is the reason the material comes together. He couldn’t possibly do more to get out of the way of his actors, because his camera style is utterly without vanity…


Posted on July 3, 2004 by

THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 1973
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 102 minutes

LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL 2004 REVIEW! Featuring an early electronic score by Herbie Hancock that gyrates with invention and energy, the picture overcomes its flat visual style — think ’70s cop show — with dramatic momentum…


Posted on June 26, 2004 by

SHOOT FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER

Remember the scene in “Ed Wood” when no-budget filmmaker Ed and his crew haul ass from a location because the cops are coming and the filmmakers don’t have a shooting permit? Well, indie iron men Joe and Dan Masucci have looked down the barrel of that same situation many times without panicking…



Posted on November 6, 2003 by

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