listenupphilip

Jason Schwartzman shines with witty assholery in ‘Listen Up Philip’

A compelling leading character and snappy, witty dialogue make Alex Ross Perry’s new comedy-drama “Listen Up Philip” a delightful snapshot of creative urbanites despite the dark, depressing undertones that lurk beneath the charming facade. It’s a meticulously nuanced character study — as characters exemplify narcissism, loneliness, ambition, depression and nostalgia
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ouija movie

‘Ouija’ is dead on arrival

Board games aren’t a toy to be played with for the hapless characters in director and co-writer Stiles White’s (“Boogeyman”) new horror flick, “Ouija.” Sadly, by borrowing tired cliches from the ghost of horror movies past, this unoriginal film conjures up little more than audience frustration. Longtime best friends Debbie
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birdman

Innovative techniques fly in ‘Birdman’

The voice is low, gravelly, striking, disembodied, as if arriving from another planet. The opening scene finds this voice berating our protagonist, veteran actor Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton), who is meditating — levitating? — in a messy dressing room, muttering a mantra under his breath in an attempt to block
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RoseWater_MDrummond

Jon Stewart’s ‘Rosewater’ fails to powerfully stir emotions

With the striking images of journalists clothed in orange jumpsuits kneeling in Syrian sand firmly implanted in the global consciousness, the story of Jon Stewart’s “Rosewater” could not be more relevant or salient. In Stewart’s directorial debut, the notorious “Daily Show” satirist adapts Maziar Bahari’s memoir “Then They Came for
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bookoflife

‘The Book of Life’ not quite lively enough

Mexican producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez decided to focus on a holiday that gets much less attention than Halloween does in the United States during this time of year. His musical animated feature “The Book of Life,” released Friday, takes place on Dia de los Muertos, the
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Lilting

‘Lilting’ explores culture, sexuality, death

The subject of death is a complex one, and it is often glazed over in films as a temporary tangent to a larger narrative. On the contrary, in director Hong Khaou’s “Lilting,” the flux of nostalgia, reminiscence and crumbling recollections of the death of a lost one serve as the
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