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‘Life of Crime’ toggles between humor and horror

Sometimes all it takes is one name to assure film-goers that a film promises to deliver. For “Life of Crime&rdq...

‘The Trip to Italy’ stalls: engine trouble

“The Trip to Italy” is a sequel to “The Trip,” truly one of the funniest movies ever conceive...

'Code Black' goes inside LA County Hospital's ER

Many gripping documentaries take the viewer to unexpected places with a first-hand, behind-the-scenes vantage point. ...

'Frank' inhabits a quirky life of pleasing dissonance

In the age of cookie-cutter movies, along comes "Frank," as direct, atypical and surprising as its one word...

Playing games trumps 'Video Games: The Movie'

When I saw the title of the film "Video Games: The Movie," I thought, "Well, finally a documentary abo...

As an historical record, the recently restored 1959 film Come Back, Africa is stunning. Secretly made to reflect the truth about South Africa’s apartheid, it follows black African Zachariah. Compelled by famine and recruited from his Zululand home by unscrupulous men, he becomes enmeshed in the racist system pervasive throughout South Africa.

Published in Film Reviews

In the sloppily made documentary First Position, producer/director and co-editor Bess Kargman follows six aspiring ballet dancers. They’re training hard to the U.S. Grand Prix Ballet Competition for those age 9 to 19. The best of an international pool will win scholarships and prestigious ballet company contracts.

 

Published in Film Reviews

Documentaries rise and fall on the charisma of the subject. And it doesn’t have to ever get any better than Sing Your Song that soars on the fabulous voice and inspirational work of Harry Belafonte.

Published in Film Reviews

As his films show, Richard Linklater has an offbeat take on people in general and humor in particular. His characters are, well, characters with the appealing quirks that make them unique, recognizable, and very human. Drawing on these strengths, director/screenwriter Linklater triumphs with his new film, Bernie.

Published in Film Reviews

Italian writer/director and actor Nanni Moretti can make serious films, as he proved in The Son’s Room, focused on the impact on a family after the accidental death of the teenage son. Moretti can also be quite amusing—see Dear Diary. In We Have a Pope, he winningly combines the silly with the satirical. 

Published in Film Reviews

The Belgian/French film called The Fairy takes its name literally. A magical woman named Fiona enchants night-shift hotel clerk Dom whom she grants three wishes. Not too imaginative, Dom asks for a motor scooter, petrol for a lifetime and—he can’t decide what else he could possibly want before Fiona disappears. He must find her.

Published in Film Reviews

In Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco, writer/director Whit Stillman illustrated his offbeat approach to familiar topics. True to his fresh, humorous perspective, Stillman’s new film Damsels in Distress follows four young women at fictitious Seven Oaks University through the trials and tribulations of this quartet of proper, patronizing do-gooders.

Published in Film Reviews

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