Browsing all articles from July, 2012.

Can Science and Phenomena Reconcile for Rodrigo Cortes, Cillian Murphy and Red Lights?

In filmmaker Rodrigo Cortes’ Red Lights, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy are skeptical scientists whose mission is to disprove paranormal phenomena, which leads them down a dark path once they set their sights on Robert De Niro, playing a renowned master of ESP who just might be legit.  It’s a movie that balances the opposing […]

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Red Lights

* * This review contains spoilers While it’s probably true that a movie can recover from a weak beginning, a shaky ending proves a more formidable challenge. Such is the case with director Rodrigo Cortes’ Red Lights, about a pair of university scientists out to debunk psychic and paranormal phenomena who find themselves up against […]

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Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano Give Fantastical Ruby Sparks Truths About Love, Commitment

Zoe Kazan’s screenplay for Ruby Sparks combines fantasy and reality in a novel way, exploring complex relationship dynamics in a story about a blocked writer who manifests his dream girl out of thin air, only to discover that he’s not ready to accept that dream girls, too, must live in reality. It’s a smart movie […]

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On Love, Relationships and Hard Work: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris Manifest Ruby Sparks, One of the Summer’s Best

You have to hand it to Ruby Sparks’ directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, partners in life raising a family, working fourteen-hour days together on set and then going home to dinner and teenagers before going right back to work together—apparently their secret formula for making terrific movies. The pair, veteran music video and commercial […]

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Ruby Sparks

* * * 1/2 Fantasy and reality collide in Ruby Sparks, a fractured love story about a wunderkind young novelist suffering from writer’s block who manifests his perfect muse from the keys of a battered old typewriter.  What he does with her once she arrives is what makes this surprising movie so deep and true. […]

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Trishna

* * *   Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna, a retelling of Thomas Hardy’s classic 1871 novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles set in modern-day India, is a sumptuous picture featuring a solid performance from the very beautiful Freida Pinto as the tragic heroine struggling with issues of love and class.  This new version brings into sharp focus the exploitation […]

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The Dark Knight Rises

* * * I’m not sure it’s possible for any movie to live up to the deafening din of hype and expectation faced by Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, on the heels of its 2008 predecessor’s $1 billion haul at the box office and legion of worshippers in extremis (otherwise known as fanboys) who […]

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Take This Waltz

* * * 1/2 Michelle Williams has such a delicate, cherubic emotionality, fully writ on her peaches and cream cheeks, always dancing on the edge of great vulnerability—she really has emerged as perhaps one of the very best of her young generation.  Her tour-de-force as Marilyn Monroe in last year’s My Week with Marilyn was […]

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

* * * * Is it enough to just say that Beasts of the Southern Wild, this year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner that also captured the Caméra d’Or at Cannes, is the best American film of 2012?  Part coming-of-age story, part anthropological examination, part story of community and very much about our connection to […]

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Savages

* * * 1/2 Oliver Stone’s Savages is being hailed as a return to form for the maverick filmmaker, and in telling the luridly fascinating tale of two Southern California pot dealers ensnared in a vicious Mexican cartel, he pulls out all the stops—beheadings, torture, steamy sex, dirty double-crosses, small-time criminals and big-time killers, kidnappings, […]

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