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Like Someone In Love (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4   A call girl, her john, and her boyfriend get into a car … No, there’s no punchline.  Rather, this scenario happens to be one of the unlikely human intersections in Like Someone in Love – the most recent film by writer/director Abbas Kiarostami.  In only his second feature film set outside his native Iran, Kiarostami takes us on ... Read More »

Lore (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4 For her second feature film (Australia’s submission to the 85th Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign-Language Picture category), co-writer/director Cate Shortland (Somersault (2004)) adapts Rachel Seiffert’s critically-acclaimed novel, The Dark Room (2001), which contemplates the effect of the fall if the Nazis upon individual Germans.  In extracting only one of Seiffert’s three narratives, Shortland opts for a vantage point that ... Read More »

Dark Skies (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  3  Why would aliens want to play Jenga with the contents of your kitchen cabinets?  If the answers to these sorts of questions are not necessary for you to suspend your disbelief, then Dark Skies may be right up your alley. On the other hand, if ... Read More »

Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3   Currently, the Oscar-nominated live action and animated short films are appearing for a short time in certain theaters throughout the U.S.  They will be available online and streaming through a number of outlets (including iTunes) beginning on February 19, 2013. Despite all of the opportunities offered by the new ... Read More »

Side Effects (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10):  4  Legend has it that director Steven Soderbergh’s debut feature film, sex, lies, and videotape (1989), ushered in the rise of the indie film in the 1990s, and more specifically, the emergence of the Sundance Film Festival as an influence on American movie culture.  (The Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) is one ... Read More »

Amour (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?   4 Writer/director Michael Haneke’s trademark is shining an often unflattering light on our sociological constructs.  In Funny Games (1997 & 2007) and Caché (2005), he poked and prodded at the family unit to see just how much it could take in the midst of survival instincts and guilt.  In his last film, The White ... Read More »

Movie 43 (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  3  “What is Movie 43?” is more than a tagline born out of marketing desperation.  Very few people have heard of Movie 43, and yet no other movie released in 2013 has as many A-list stars and familiar character actors in this anthology of 14 below-the-belt comedy shorts (fit for a ... Read More »

Rust and Bone (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4  At its core, Rust and Bone – the sixth feature film by writer/director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet (2010)) –  is a love story stripped of the romance and a melodrama steeped in reality.  True to the nature of love as a product of what each party brings to the table, the film often turns its focus to the ... Read More »

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3   Director Steven Spielberg has often been accused of making “emotionally manipulative” films, to which he responds (to paraphrase) – that’s the whole point of making a movie.  That said, the relevant question behind a very legitimate criticism of Spielberg’s films is not whether a film is manipulative, but how the filmmaker chooses ... Read More »

Django Unchained (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  4 Based on the progression from Reservoir Dogs (1993) to Pulp Fiction (1994) to Jackie Brown (1997), some of us had hoped that the last decade would bring an evolution in the films of Quentin Tarantino.  But unfortunately, the downward spiral that began with the Kill Bill series (2003-2004) continues with Django Unchained.  The juicy fruit ... Read More »

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