Sundance 2011: HOW TO DIE IN OREGON Review

     January 27, 2011

I don’t have an opinion on the euthanasia debate.  The issue is simply too personal to each individual for me to weigh in and tell complete strangers that they shouldn’t take their own lives or that they shouldn’t have to …

Sundance 2011: IN A BETTER WORLD Review

     January 27, 2011

What does it mean to set an example?  Can a show of great violence stop further violence?  Can a show of great peace cause peace?  Susanne Bier’s In a Better World explores these questions but it never manages to find …

Sundance 2011: BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY Review

     January 27, 2011

After watching the first several minutes of Constance Marks’ documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, I realized I could watch an entire movie of just Elmo giving people hugs.  But the heartwarming story of Elmo’s puppeteer Kevin Clash is also …

Sundance 2011: BENAVIDES BORN Review

     January 27, 2011

Benavides Born is an exploitation film but not in a fun Hobo with a Shotgun kind-of-a-way.  It’s a clichéd, done-to-death follow-your-dreams story that no one would ever pay attention, but director Amy Wendel uses the hook of having her protagonist …

Sundance 2011: MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE Review

     January 26, 2011

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a powder keg of tension, paranoia, and regret that will have you captivated with incredible direction and amazing performances.  Centering on a young woman who escapes from a cult only to discover that she can’t …

Sundance 2011: HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN Review

     May 31, 2014

Sometimes, being insane in your filmmaking isn’t enough.  To make something special, a filmmaker requires a spark of creativity to light the flames of a madness explosion.  Hobo with a Shotgun is a Hiroshima of creative insanity.  Director Jason Eisener …

Sundance 2011: SALVATION BOULEVARD Review

     January 25, 2011

In my review of Higher Ground, I noted that religion is a tricky topic but that it was easy to mock it.  Salvation Boulevard can barely even manage that.  The story features a mega church and celebrity pastor and there’s …

Sundance 2011: THE LIE Review

     January 25, 2011

Depicting marital infidelity is too easy a conflict.  Warring couples have been done to death and they tend to hit the same predictable notes of anger, betrayal, and sadness but usually you don’t care because the film always makes sure …

Sundance 2011: THE DETAILS Review

     January 25, 2011

The Details is a darkly comic tale that can never quite seem to get a handle on its tone.  The film plays with notions of fate but only a fate that will deal out punishment and retribution no matter how …

Sundance 2011: REAGAN Review

     January 25, 2011

I’ve never understood the popularity surrounding Reagan because I’ve never known too much about him.  I know that conservatives love the guy.  When I mentioned in my Hot Tub Time Machine review that the movie cracks a joke at Ronald …

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