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Monday, Apr 21, 2014
Horror flick The Canal slowly builds malaise into an excellent and unsettling genre piece.

The official summary of The Canal is a bit inaccurate and may spoil a part of the film (official description here). So I thought to create a revision (using some of the same language): A film-archivist views footage turn-of-the-century news report about a man who slaughters his family in his present-day home. When David’s marriage dissipates in a flash, the ghostly murderer rises from the murky waters, casting David’s life into an unfortunate downward spiral that threatens the lives of everyone around him.


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Friday, Apr 18, 2014
Lucky Them focuses on a music journalist who can't break free of her history as the girlfriend of a deceased-Seattle rock icon but this romantic comedy falls short of its potential.

Summary: Ellie Klug has one last chance to prove her value to her aging music magazine, Stax. As luck would have it, her editor has just the assignment: a no-stone-unturned search to discover what really happened to long lost local rock god, Matt Smith. And wouldn’t you know it? Ellie and Matt have a history. Joined on the road by well-meaning but music-hating documentarian Charlie, Ellie delves into her past and quickly discovers that hype and mythology have not soothed the pain of her own experiences.


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Thursday, Jan 9, 2014
A rookie police officer faces a moral dilemma in the excellent Monsoon Shootout as three possible scenarios stem from his decision at this pivotal moment.

At first glance, Monsoon Shootout recalled The Raid: Redemption with a rookie cop led by a morally questionable commanding officer in a gritty, impoverished setting. But that’s about the only real connection as Shootout doesn’t burst into extreme and continued bouts of violence. Instead writer-director Amit Kumar’s debut film turns into a Run Lola Run-style film in which our protagonist Adi (Vijay Varma) has the opportunity to shoot an alleged axeman or bring him in unharmed. The split-second moral decision and the course of action in this pivotal moment results in three differing scenarios for the rookie in this thrilling film.


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Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013
In a desolate area on the border of the Rann desert in Gujarat, three stories intersect on State Highway 378, The Good Road.

Gyan Correa’s film The Good Road was the closing night screening for this year’s 10th Anniversary South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF). It has been selected as India’s entry into the 2014 Academy Award race for Best Foreign Language film. The movie explores three different stories that intersect on a rural road on the edge of a desert in Gujarat, moving somewhat slowly as the tension builds in each narrative. By the end, each of the three main characters lives are affected by the others, even if they might not meet face to face.


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Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013
In Ankhon Dekhi, Bauji reassesses his life mid-stream bringing about familial difficulties.

Ankhon Dekhi (Before My Eyes) is set in modern India but that information is rarely imparted and rather unnecessary for understanding the story. While you catch a brief glimpse of computers on the internet in a scene where Raje Bauji resigns from his job as a travel agent, and there is mention of Dr. Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister of India, outside of that there are no cell phones seen and there are no glimpses of the modern, elite class in India. This story is strictly confined to a lower middle class social level, though it could apply to anyone in India, with its focus on a family coming apart at the seams because the patriarch, Bauji has had a mid-life crisis of sorts.


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