Currently Browsing: October 2013

JACBA ’13

“Also in attendance at the ceremony were 14 students from the Walt Whitman Middle School in Brooklyn. Their school librarian, Alla Umanskaya, uses the award to teach her students about Jane Addams and the topics covered by award-winning books including peace, social justice, and constructive problem solving. The students were happy to meet the winning […]

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BASTARDS

After doing everything possible to remove himself from the entanglements of the family business, “Marco” (Vincent Lindon) is called home & finds the situation much worse than he knew. Quickly enmeshed, he draw others into the s&%t in a doomed attempt to set things right. This new film (directed by French filmmaker Claire Denis) is […]

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THE PIN

Haunting film about two young people who escape the murder of their families & find each other in a barn at the edge of the Russian border. Unlike so many Holocaust films, THE PIN is delicate & understated, showing how the power of imagination under impossible circumstances became a tool of survival. (JLH: 4/5) DIALOGUE […]

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THE SQUARE

Acclaimed doc director Jehane Noujaim follows 3 men intimately involved in the “Egyptian Chapter” of the Arab Spring” (Khalid Abdalla, Magdy Ashour, & Ahmed Hassan) as their hopes for a peaceful citizen-lead revolution are crushed by political realities. While we applaud Noujaim’s access & first person footage, we left without actually learning anything new. We […]

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CARRIE (2013)

Carrie is a second adaptation of Stephen King’s original story, in which a teenager with telekinetic powers (Chloe Grace Moretz as “Carrie White”) exacts her revenge on her tormentors at the High School Prom. Whereas Brian De Palma made a Hitchcock “horror film” back in 1976, today in 2013 Kimberly Peirce is more concerned with […]

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PARADISE

Parable about an innocent named “Lamb” (Julianne Hough) who discovers a painful truth: sometimes bad things happen to good people. Raised as an Evangelical Christian, Lamb heads off to Las Vegas for answers. Either God is not omnipotent, or she is not a “good” person. Engaging dramedy with a gentle gut punch. (JLH: 3.5/5) Click […]

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CBGB

“Hilly” (Hillel) Kristal was a Jewish guy from NJ who became the Godfather of Punk Rock by nurturing talented kids before they became the big names we know them as today (eg, Blondie, Talking Heads, etc). Rickman portrays Hilly as a mensch lit from above by his own private star. Yet again truth is stranger […]

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ZERO CHARISMA

“Scott” (Sam Eidson) is as uncharismatic as can be. Lacking the ability to change, he decides to live in defiance rather than denial, terrorizing the other hapless Geeks who assemble at his grandmother’s house to play a weekly fantasy game. Like looking under a rock or watching Ernest Borgnine–who won an Oscar as MARTY (1955)–but […]

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CONCUSSION

Robin Weigert is terrific as “Abby,” the stay-at-home Mom in a Lesbian relationship, who almost inadvertently starts servicing other women on the side. What makes Stacie Passon’s Concussion so different from Belle de Jour (to which it will no doubt be compared) is that women want different things from Abby than Luis Buñuel’s Johns wanted from their […]

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I USED TO BE DARKER

Director Matthew Porterfield (working with screenwriter Amy Belk) creates an oblique & melancholy drama set in Baltimore but with no local color. Two musicians (Ned Oldham & Kim Taylor) who have been married for years, are splitting up, which should be sad… but there is so little back story that it’s impossible to care about them. […]

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42nd Street Today

Monday AM I was on my way to a screening when I saw something that made me freeze in my tracks: a huge billboard announcing that Obamacare was “Hazardous to Your Health.” Not your pocketbook (as some might claim) or your politics (as many do claim) but YOUR HEALTH (which no one that I know […]

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