Film Reviews

Reviews of movies

Review: Renaissance Village (NTI Upstream; 85 minutes)

The individual stories of those who lived through Hurricane Katrina get lost in the story of the event that has taken on a life of its own. Both sides of the political seesaw have used the tragic flooding of one of America’s great cities, and the subsequent displacement of its poorest residents, whether it be […]

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DVD Review: In The Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger (2004; Fox Lorber)

Henry Darger has become a celebrity of sorts within the last decade or so, providing dealers and collectors with another cash cow in the Outsider Art genre.

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DVD Review: Points on a Space Age (MVD video)

Points on a Space Age

Maybe the old bit about a prophet not being accepted in his own land could have been upended if the prophets had had decent musical chops.

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DVD Review: Un Chant D’Amour

Long banned or heavily edited, this legendary transgressive short masterpiece is finally available in the States in its complete form. As the only film directed by poet, playwright, novelist, criminal and Saint Jean Genet, it naturally is saturated with images and emotions even his own overheated writing could rarely evoke. Un Chant D’Amour, first released […]

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Review: What Just Happened?

Based on a 2002 memoir by producer Art Linson (Fight Club, Into The Wild), What Just Happened? continues the line of self-obsessed Hollywood vehicles like The Player and Entourage, wherein the evils and shallowness of the business are brutally explored but nevertheless celebrated. Here, director Barry Levinson manages to get a good performance from Robert […]

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Review: Timecrimes (Spain, AKV Entertainment)

One of the more odd theories to come out of recent speculation into multiple universes is the idea that there may be enough dimensions so that, somewhere, everything happens:You took a left instead of a right, you became a famous novelist, you bought the good car instead of the shitty one, etc. That would take […]

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DVD Review: Here is Always Somewhere Else (2008)

You might not think that there would be much information available about a performance artist whose entire catalog of work lasts about 40 minutes, and who vanished at sea. This release will dispel that notion. Here is Always Somewhere Else is not only a moving tribute of artist Bas Jan Ader, but a celebration of […]

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DVD Review: Love and Death in Times and Winds

Times and Winds screenshot

Children’s curiosity about death and sex is one of the unspoken engines of childhood.

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“He Appears, However, Almost to Go Backwards”: Impossibly Short Notes on The Ister

The Ister examines the rapid nature of technological progress and its disorienting effect on Western philosophy and ethics.

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DVD Review: Harry Langdon in Three’s a Crowd and The Chaser

Harry Langdon Three's a Crowd and Chaser

Harry Langdon will be forever stuck in fourth place in the canon of silent film comics, always trailing Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd. Still, he endures.

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DVD Review: Frontrunner: The Afghan Woman who Surprised the World

Frontrunner illustrates how a force of people are trying to change long-established cultural norms by altering social practices, and such changes begin with the freedom to act on one’s personal beliefs.

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DVD Review: Tangier Treehouse

Tangier Treehouse (2007) offers a brief sketch of some Arab boys attending a vocational school in the second most famous city in Morocco. The kids from the Darna Youth Center must overcome linguistic barriers as well as generational differences when three middle-aged westerners arrive to help supervise the building of a tree house.Most interestingly, this […]

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DVD Review: The Happening: The Birth of an Unwitting Mock Parable

The Happening was one of the worst reviewed films from a major director this year, for critics engaged in a spirited pugilism of M. Night Shyamalan for his muddled script, poor direction, and general incompetence. The most scathing attack came from Christopher Orr of The New Republic, whose severe trampling mocked the film in unusual […]

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Review: Merciless Fates in Lance Hammer’s Ballast

No mercy is shown to the players in Ballast, and not much more to the film’s viewers.

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Review: Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)

Even the more inventive thrillers will fall back on convention, as this new French entry does in its opening minutes.

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