I PUT A HIT ON YOU

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 78 minutes

2014 SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION SELECTION! The truth is that if we believe the relationship is real, we’ll go along for a ride that might not be…


Posted on January 19, 2014 by

COLD IN JULY

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 109 minutes

2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION SELECTION! If video stores still existed, they’d have to get multiple copies and put them in multiple categories…


Posted on January 19, 2014 by

LOCKE

3 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85 minutes

2014 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT SELECTION! Hardy takes an incredibly difficult assignment in that he’s the only face seen for 85 minutes, but he gets so deep under the skin of this complex character that he elevates a script that can sometimes feel like a narrative cheat…


Posted on January 17, 2014 by

ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 104 minutes

IN LIMITED RELEASE! Anyone who has spent even a small amount of time at Disney World can see the inherent potential in using the location as a setting for a descent into madness. The non-stop music, the oppressive happiness of the place, and the masses of coughing, pushing tourists give the place a surreal quality long before any screenwriting begins…


Posted on October 11, 2013 by

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 100 minutes

In terms of performance, Childers & Garner are real finds, delivering the kind of engaging turns that ground a film like this one in something worth caring about…


Posted on September 27, 2013 by

HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 77 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL SELECTION! It’s a near-perfect portrait of an actor who never became a household name and yet has earned the admiration of generations of filmmakers…


Posted on March 19, 2013 by

GO FOR SISTERS

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 122 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT SELECTION! The early scenes between Hamilton and Ross are fascinating in their depth of character but the protagonists become cogs in the machine as the trio keeps finding clues and getting deeper into the seedy underbelly of the Mexican drug scene…


Posted on March 18, 2013 by

HOURS

1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 97 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT SELECTION! When the doctor tells Nolan that his wife is dead, it’s delivered with insincere dialogue and an awkward camera angle. And that lack of believability and professional filmmaking continues throughout the piece, leaving it without the realistic grounding it needed to be emotionally resonant…


Posted on March 15, 2013 by

I AM DIVINE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT SELECTION! Divine was going to do what Divine wanted to do and in an era of so many celebrities who market analyze their personalities to appeal to the most potential Twitter followers, it’s refreshing to be reminded of an entertainer who carved his own path through the bullshit…


Posted on March 14, 2013 by

ELENA

2 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL VISIONS SELECTION! Perhaps Costa’s point as a filmmaker is that she too never got to know Elena but that’s not a point that’s effectively made through the film. It’s just a piece of work that one can never get their hands on…


Posted on March 14, 2013 by

TPB AFK: THE PIRATE BAY AWAY FROM KEYBOARD

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL EVENT SELECTION! At its best, Simon Klose’s film embraces these double-edged swords, such as when the three founders – Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Fredrik Neij, and Pete Sunde – each give completely different answers as to why they founded the company in the first place. Was it just to control a massive website? Was it to give people access to art? Was it to make a profit? Was it just for fun? Whatever the reason, The Pirate Bay has changed the world of copyright law and internet piracy and the story is far from over…


Posted on March 13, 2013 by

BIG JOY: THE ADVENTURES OF JAMES BROUGHTON

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL VISIONS SELECTION! Animated backgrounds with Broughton’s words spread upon them, footage from Broughton’s best films, even friends reading his poetry – these are the kind of elements in which the viewer can feel Broughton himself coming through his biography instead of just hearing people talk about their notable friend (he passed in 1999)…


Posted on March 12, 2013 by

AND WHO TAUGHT YOU TO DRIVE?

3 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 84 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL SXGLOBAL SELECTION! It’s great that we really get to know our three subjects but I couldn’t help thinking that if there were three more in other parts of the world that the overall themes of the piece might have resonated more completely…


Posted on March 11, 2013 by

BEFORE MIDNIGHT

5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 108 minutes

2013 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL SELECTION! There are many films in which a couple’s chemistry makes their on-screen relationship easy to believe but few where the characters have felt this completely three-dimensional, as if they have existed for the nine years since the last movie and will go on after these credits roll…


Posted on March 8, 2013 by

STOKER

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 98 minutes

Don’t compare it to the more dramatically satisfying previous works from Park Chan-wook and don’t consider what could have been instead with a bit more screenwriting complexity. As an exercise in style, “Stoker” works, for whatever that’s worth…


Posted on March 2, 2013 by

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