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Movies

Annie (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Releasing, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 18 December 2014 22:36

annie2014 sqGluck and his team deserve credit for making a good mainstream musical, and also a solid family film for the holidays.

 

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (20th Century Fox, PG)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Thursday, 18 December 2014 22:26

nightatthemuseum3 sqWe have seen it all before in the previous two movies; of course, that does not make it any less entertaining.

   

Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 18 December 2014 22:17

foxcatcher sqIn addition to Carell’s performance, Tatum’s and Ruffalo’s are Oscar-caliber, as well.

 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner Bros., PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:21

film hobbit3-smIf this new one is the best, what does that say about the other Hobbit movies?

   

Exodus: Gods and Kings (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:10

film exodus_75The end result is less like Gladiator or 300 and somewhat closer to Oliver Stone’s Alexander: bloated, campy, often unintentionally funny.

 

Wild (Fox Searchlight, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:08

film wild_75Wild is a film that seems promising on paper, but in practice is uninvolving and a slight misfire.

   

Top Five (Paramount Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:05

film top-five_75After its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, there have been some murmurings that this is a for-real awards contender.

 

The Babadook (IFC Midnight/Sundance Selects, NR)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 08 December 2014 16:46

film Babadook_75The Babadook is impressive: Imagine if Neil Gaiman wrote the screenplay to a horror movie, and you’d be pretty close.

   

Force Majeure (Magnolia Pictures, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 08 December 2014 16:42

film Force-Majeure_75Force Majeure is something of a chamber piece, and is as engrossing as one to have come along recently.

 

Portrait of Jason (Milestone Films, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:43

portraitofjason dvdThe fallacy lies in assuming there is some absolute truth that can be captured on camera and understood by the viewer.

   

The Killer Shrews (Film Chest Media Group, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:34

Killershrews dvdThe setup for this film will be familiar to any connoisseur of black-and-white giant creature movies.

 

Ornette: Made in America (Milestone Film & Video, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:27

ornette dvdOriginally released in 1985, this a celebration of the life and music of the great jazz saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman.

   

Point and Shoot (The Orchard, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:31

film point-and-shoot_smI kept telling myself things like “surely this is a satire” and “no one could possibly be this self-centered,” but I was wrong on both counts.

 

Penguins of Madagascar (Twentieth Century Fox, PG)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:28

film penguins-madagascar_smThis will not be the CG comedy of the year, but it did manage to keep me entertained for its 92-minute running length.

   

Horrible Bosses 2 (Warner Bros., R)

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Written by Lea Vrábelová Sunday, 23 November 2014 14:21

film horrible-bosses-2_smThe movie is so much fun, I would even dare to nominate it for the comedy of the year.

 

The Theory of Everything (Focus Features, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 21 November 2014 10:17

film theory_smIt’s a showy role, by turns requiring Redmayne to be convincingly brilliant, convincingly cute and charismatic, and convincingly very sick.

   

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 21 November 2014 10:13

film mockingjay_smCalling the film “uneven” is being generous; it doesn’t seem a stretch to call it outright bad.

 

Dumb & Dumber To (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 14 November 2014 01:07

film dumb-dumber_smIt’s with mild amazement that I report Dumb & Dumber To isn’t a total bust; I laughed out loud a good half a dozen times over the course of the movie.

   

Violette (Kino Lorber, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 14 November 2014 01:04

dvd violetteViolette is not a pretty film but, befitting its subject, it’s a strong and intense one.

 

Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 14 November 2014 01:02

film beyond-the-lights_smYou might be pleasantly surprised that it isn’t quite as painful to watch as you feared.

   

Rosewater (Open Road Films, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Friday, 14 November 2014 00:58

film Rosewater_smRosewater is effective, if dry and forgettable.

 

2014 SLIFF Preview | Pete Timmermann

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Written by Pete Timmermann Sunday, 09 November 2014 15:04

filmfest sliff-2014_752014 has been a strong year for documentaries, and SLIFF isn’t slacking in showing a bunch of good ones.

 

   

SLIFF 2014 Preview | Sarah Boslaugh

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Sunday, 09 November 2014 14:55

filmfest sliff-2014_75The performance of Vilma Santos-Recto alone is reason enough to see The Bit Player.

 

Virginia Film Festival: Report #1

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Sunday, 09 November 2014 14:52

filmfest VFF-1It may be tough to be a black man in Paris, but it’s even tougher to be a black teenage woman who doesn’t fit the mold.

   

Virginia Film Festival: Report #2

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Sunday, 09 November 2014 14:52

filmfest VFF-1Documentaries are sometimes most interesting not for their ostensible subject, but for what they reveal in the background.

 

Found Footage Festival 2014 | 10th Anniversary Show

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Written by Pete Timmermann Saturday, 08 November 2014 13:22

FFF Logo_WebAfter Prueher and Pickett’s creative editing, the video becomes a montage of people saying the word “bitch” interspersed with graphic footage of puppies being born.

   

Interstellar (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 05 November 2014 11:51

film interstellar_smTo help add to its throwback quality, it makes astronauts look cool again, too.

 

Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Studios, PG)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 04 November 2014 22:25

Big6 75The film feels focus-grouped and producer-noted within an inch of its life.

   

Laggies (A24, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:54

laggies 75Megan falls into hanging out with the 16-year-old Annika and her friends, if only because Megan seems to fit in better with them than she does with adults.

 

NoirCon 2014 | Report #3

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:40

NOIRCON-sqEric Miles Williamson continues to write because no matter how bad it makes him feel, it feels worse when he doesn’t.

   

NoirCon | Report #2

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:26

NOIRCON-sqThe meaning of The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura is the protagonist’s understanding of the hierarchical nature of his corner of society.

 

NoirCon | Report #1

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:09

NOIRCON-sqI think of noir as a sensibility, one that acknowledges the grim realities that underlie the shiny, optimistic surface view of life.

   

Before I Go to Sleep (Clarius Entertainment, R)

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Written by Matthew Newlin Thursday, 30 October 2014 21:59

film before-I-go-to-sleep_smAside from a strong screenplay and very impressive directorial flourishes, the film boasts a terrific cast.

 

Nightcrawler (Open Road Films, R)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Thursday, 30 October 2014 21:54

film nightcrawler_smThe character of Bloom (and the strong performance by Gyllenhaal) is memorable and odd as far as film characters go.

   

The Last Supper (Random Media, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 24 October 2014 19:04

thelastsupper 75The Last Supper is a real historical epic of the old-school, put-your-money-on-the-screen variety.

 

A Woman in Flames (Film Chest, NR)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Friday, 24 October 2014 19:01

womaninflamesThis direct translation raises other questions, too, such as “does a woman really get flambéed in this film? If so, by whom, and why?”

   

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For the Couch


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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:43
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:34
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:27
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Friday, 14 November 2014 01:04
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Friday, 24 October 2014 19:04

From the Theatre & Arts


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Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:56
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Saturday, 13 December 2014 16:22
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Friday, 05 December 2014 14:49
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Thursday, 27 November 2014 20:38
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Monday, 27 October 2014 17:45