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Monday, Mar 11, 2013
A solid vehicle for the talents of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, and Steve Buscemi, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone will open in theaters across the US, UK, and Canada on March 15.

As a child in the ‘80s, I loved watching David Copperfield on TV because his high-tech tricks were a truly magical experience. Even today I can remember some of his more amazing feats. It’s precisely this sense of wonder and joy that The Incredible Burt Wonderstone plays on in order to draw its audience. The film premiered to an enthusiastic audience on the first night of SXSW Film 2013 at the Paramount Theatre. Those who showed up for the sold-out premier were treated to an introduction by John Francis Daley, complete with the on-stage antics of Jim Carrey.

Tagged as: sxsw, sxsw 2013
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Friday, Oct 12, 2012
The Iranian director sets his latest film in Japan (in Japanese) with newcomers. The pervasive discomfort throughout manages to linger after the film ends, but the viewer is left to determine the conclusion.

With Close-Up (1990) Criterion blu-ray edition sitting on my shelf, unopened, and Certified Copy (2010) in my Netflix queue, unwatched, I decided I should still go see Abbas Kiarostami’s newest movie, Like Someone in Love at the press screening at the 50th New York Film Festival. What I decided is that the film will play well with an audience whose taste is for independent or art films and it’s rather quick ending may leave people guessing. On the flip side, this abrupt ending may leave a more casual movie-goer wondering why so much tension is left unresolved.

Though Kiarostami selected relatively novice actors for the roles of Akiko (Rin Takanashi) and Takashi (Tadashi Okuno), and the Iranian director made the film in Japanese (set in Japan), he still ensured his film works on a universal level. The actors don’t necessarily need to speak, they wear their hearts are on their sleeves so to speak. Early on, we see Akiko in a taxi listen to voice mail messages from her grandmother and, already knowing the sad decision she has made, we sympathize with the guilt weighing down her heart.

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Friday, Sep 14, 2012
Day five of our TIFF coverage features the latest Terrence Malick film To the Wonder and David Ayer's End of Watch.

To the Wonder
USA—Dir. Terrence Malick

Terrence Malick’s latest opus is a gorgeous, elliptical, dreamy collection of images, sounds and stray thoughts, murmurs of poetry and anguish, scenes of unrecoverable silence, all fitted into a loose-fitting narrative about a man (Ben Affleck), the two women he fails to love enough to make commitment work (Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko), and a Priest who has lost his faith (Javier Bardem). A darkly thoughtful meditation on trust, loneliness, freedom, individuality, and the calamitous anxiety of doubt, all interwoven with suggestions of man’s inability to live in harmony with his environment, To The Wonder is brimming with an existentialist, Kierkegaardian spirit. “How should we live?”, indeed.

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Thursday, Sep 13, 2012
Day four of our TIFF coverage features the collaboration between the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer that is Cloud Atlas, David O. Russell's superb Silver Linings Playbook, and Neil Jordan's latest, Byzantium.

Cloud Atlas
Germany/Hong Kong/Singapore/USA—Dir. Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

The award for the most audacious film to play at the Festival this year would surely be handed to Cloud Atlas (if such a thing were to exist, which it totally shouldn’t). A vastly complicated, massive production spanning several hundred years, quoting liberally from genre films (Blade Runner, Soylent Green, Master and Commander, And Now For Something Completely Different, Parallax View) and featuring a small village worth of lead actors in multiple roles, this is not the kind of movie that typically gets green lit. Indeed, it likely occurred to many readers of David Mitchell’s visionary 2004 novel on which the film was based that an adaptation would be pretty much impossible. The complexity of the novel’s construction alone—six thematically linked stories, each set in a different time period ranging from the Victorian age up to the distant future, and each written in a time-specific vernacular, all interwoven into a grand braided narrative—should have been enough of a disclaimer against the idea. And yet, here it is.

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Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012
Day three of our TIFF coverage features the latest from auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, Mikael Marcimain's Call Girl, a biopic of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, and a disappointing serial killer flick in The Iceman.

The Master
USA—Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s unsettling study of the origins of a junk-science religion that looks suspiciously like Scientology, is among the two or three most anticipated titles at this year’s festival.

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