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Movie Review: Life of Pi

November 21, 2012
Movie Review: Life of Pi

It’ll be interesting to see how audiences who haven’t read Life of Pi, Yann Martel’s 2001 novel respond to director Ang Lee’s vision of the colorful tale. Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel is a twice-strangely-monikered, religiously insatiable 16-year-old Indian boy immigrating by freighter from Pondicherry to Canada with his parents, brother and the animal inhabitants of their...
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Movie Review: The Oranges

October 4, 2012
Movie Review: The Oranges

I should be a millionaire right now. Thirty-five minutes into this purported suburban romantic comedy, I muttered to my companion, “I’ll bet you a million dollars this movie was written by a couple of middle aged guys.” Fifty-five long minutes later the movie was finally over and there were the writer credits: Ian Helfer...
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Movie Review: Madagascar 3

June 8, 2012
Movie Review: Madagascar 3

The beloved former Central Park Zoo denizens and their Antarctic penguin friends who comprise the billion dollar Madagascar franchise are back, this time in 3D. As if that’s not enough to ensure a colorful, frenzied, 3D good time, they land (in the chimps’ plane) in Monte Carlo, and join up with the circus. The...
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Movie Review: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

May 18, 2012
Movie Review: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

War has been said to be 99% tedium interspersed with 1% pure terror. And so it is with pregnancy, childbirth and baby rearing, only thankfully (else who would do it?), in these pursuits there are also intervals of intense joy. Perhaps appropriately then, something akin to this ratio of tedium to pain and pleasure...
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Movie Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

May 11, 2012
Movie Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

From the blowsy, cutesy, painfully unfunny trailer for this film, I went into the screening with eyes half averted, dreading the sight of some of my favorite British film actors pandering to the elderly art film audience in a mawkishly feel-good contrivance. And while there’s mawkishness, to be sure, as well as feel-good contrivance,...
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Movie Review: Damsels in Distress

May 4, 2012
Movie Review: Damsels in Distress

Watching Damsels in Distress, director Whit Stillman’s much anticipated first feature in thirteen years, was for me something akin to seeing an old college flame again after a similar interval. The old charms, about which one had been so wild—in Stillman’s case, the characters’ earnest dialogue, which flows in uncharacteristically complete, literary and erudite...
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Movie Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

March 30, 2012
Movie Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Director Lasse Hallstrom (best known for My Life as a Dog and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) is a man unafraid of heartwarming, and his latest, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is shameless. The big fish tale of a romantic, mystical Yemeni sheikh (the gorgeous Egyptian actor Amr Waked, last seen as Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law...
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Movie Review: Jeff, Who Lives at Home

March 16, 2012
Movie Review: Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Jeff is a jobless 30-year-old slacker man-child who does indeed live in the basement of his mother’s house. He is an expert at marijuana smoke rings, daytime television and pickup basketball but whines and protests when asked to perform a simple household errand for his mother (a wonderful Susan Sarandon). Lost and paralyzed, he...
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Movie Review: Friends With Kids

March 9, 2012
Movie Review: Friends With Kids

Friends with Kids is one of those high concept romantic comedies that posits a Big Life Question—in this case: can a couple have a baby together and keep the romance?—and then spends the next 90 minutes trying to answer it. Think of it as the No Strings Attached—can friends sleep together without emotional complications?—of...
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Movie Review: A Separation

March 2, 2012
Movie Review: A Separation

The much-deserving winner of the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture (in a precedent-making move, it was also nominated for Best Screenplay, the first time a foreign film has won a nomination outside the foreign category), A Separation is as far as can be from those facile Hollywood flicks in which not a single character...
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