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by Jose Solis

4 Apr 2013

Kati Laban as Esther Stermer in NO PLACE ON EARTH, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

No Place on Earth tells a harrowing tale of how the human need for survival can overcome obstacles as seemingly insurmountable as living underground for over 500 days.

The movie, which opens in select theaters on April 5, tells the bittersweet story of two Jewish families who hid in a cave after WWII broke, where they would spend almost two years defying all logic and unearthing yet another reason why the Holocaust’s horrors might never cease to surprise us.

The film is unlike most documentaries you’ve seen, heck, it’s like few movies you’ve ever seen. With the help of worldwide known spelunker Christopher Nicola, director Janet Tobias cleverly crafts a film that’s as thrilling as it is moving, deftly combining the exciting conventions of an adventure movie, with the inescapable tragedy that marks all stories about the way in which the Jews were condemned to undergo misery under Hitler’s reign of terror. The movie opens in a cave, as we see Nicola set on what looks like it’ll be yet another of his famous explorations.

by Jose Solis

18 Mar 2013

A lot of you are still mourning over the fact Nicole Kidman wasn’t even nominated for her stellar star turn in The Paperboy, but it’s time we move on and see what this exciting actress is bringing to the table this year. We’re barely three months into 2013 and she’s already delivered outstanding performances at the Grammys (where she acted like she was having fun even if it was the most boring show they’ve done to date) and as Evie, the main character’s mother in Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker.

The trailers for the movie and the ad campaign in general seem to be poised into making audiences think Kidman will be playing a Shakespearean tragic mother, something like a Medea, when in fact the film allows her to display much, much more than her scenery chewing clips (which are unarguably fabulous) show.

by Jose Solis

8 Mar 2013

With films like Oldboy and Thirst, both of which won top awards at the Cannes Film Festival, South Korean director Park Chan-wook established himself as one of the most unique voices in world cinema. His stylized stories of revenge and violence were unlike anything else being done anywhere in the world and announced the arrival of the South Korean cinematic renaissance. The country found itself under the spotlight when its filmmakers began challenging the way in which we perceived their art and paved the way for entire cultural movements that went past cinema to include pop music and fashion.

by Jose Solis

22 Feb 2013

Year after year, I look upon Oscar night as the equivalent of Christmas morning. It’s that special time of the season when we are repeatedly told that wishes will come true and our good behavior will finally be rewarded with uncomparable presents and treats. Year after year, I end up unwrapping socks or underwear, which also sort of happens on Oscar night. The last time my favorite movie of that year won the big award was 1998—in what some still consider the greatest upset the category has seen in recent years—and after struggling with trying to convince myself that maybe someday my favorite movie would be crowned once again, I just gave up and now enjoy the Oscars for the same reason I enjoy Christmas: because it’s tradition.

by Ben Travers

22 Feb 2013

In a year where many of the Oscar races are still wide open, there’s one in the Top Six that’s definitively been decided. Daniel Day-Lewis has had a lock on his third Academy Award since the first image from Lincoln was released. Ok, so maybe a few voters waited to actually see his uncanny interpretation of our 16th president, but even they had to be won over before David Oyelowo finished reciting the Gettysburg Address.

No, all that’s left in the Best Actor race is to read the name pointlessly hidden in the envelope. But what if there was more? What if someone else could still win? I’m not about to put forth a theory suggesting any of the other four nominees could actually beat Day-Lewis. That’s not going to happen. Just imagine that DDL isn’t in the race. Maybe he was unjustly snubbed like Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow. Maybe Lincoln was pushed back a year so he didn’t qualify. Whatever you want the scenario to be, it involves a wide open Best Actor field from this point forward.

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