idesofmarch

Clooney film attacks political corruption

“The Ides of March” is a thorough examination of the blemishes on the face of politics that lie beneath hastily applied stage makeup. It is a film that reveals the flaws of the American political system, presents a portrait of shattered ideals and refuses to take a black or white
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dreamhouse

See You In My Nightmares

The dream house in “Dream House” is hardly a dream house. It’s actually pretty mediocre. A two-story cottage tucked in the sleepy snow of New England suburbs, filled with secret histories and haunted antechambers — it’s the stuff of Thomas Kinkade’s nightmares. But Will (Daniel Craig) and Libby (Rachel Weisz)
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[web only] crazyheart

Crazy Heart

With his debut feature 'Tucker and Dale vs. Evil,' Eli Craig crafts a buoyant, genre-bending tribute to slasher cinema.

“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is as much about genre as it isn’t. In this hillbilly horror show, director Eli Craig pays respect to knowledgeable midnight moviegoers while also grinding their expectations into a bloody pulp. Comic actors Alan Tudyk (who we all remember as the naked guy on acid
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draft

Notes from the Underground

2011 Oakland Underground Film Festival

“You are the underground,” declared the emcee of the 2011 Oakland Underground Film Festival to a small audience of film lovers, performers and a few canine friends intimately huddled in an East Oakland warehouse. In its third year, the festival has become not only a place to celebrate offbeat cinema,
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All Quiet on the Eastern Front

With the monumental 'City of Life and Death,' Lu Chuan crafts an affecting cinematic canvas of wartime brutality

Shells fly, walls crumble and bodies fall in the first 25 minutes of “City of Life and Death,” Lu Chuan’s monumental account of the Japanese occupation of Nanjing in 1937. Shot in stately chiaroscuro, the sequence recalls the scope of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica”: Chaos reigns as a once-proud national capital
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drive

Need For Speed

An eclectic arrangement of Hollywood action, poetic passions and innovative filmmaking makes “Drive” an off-centered pleasure in all respects. With clockwork precision, “Drive” eloquently juggles the world of art-house film and mainstream blockbuster without allowing the pitfalls of self-indulgence detract from its streamlined joy ride. “Drive” has made it clear
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Aurora_01

Romanian ‘Aurora’ mystifies, bores

The Romanian New Wave has yielded its share of stark, clinical masterpieces (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” for one) and also a few loosely metaphysical mind-bogglers (“Police, Adjective” for another). Chalk up Cristi Puiu’s “Aurora” somewhere between the two. It is the latter-day answer to Chantal Akerman’s “Jeanne
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