This Is 40 review

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Written and directed by Judd Apatow I think it's OK to say that Apatow is the most influential voice in Hollywood mainstream comedy in the past decade. He paid his dues in TV with two low-rated series (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared) that have since garnered their own cults, and has directed The 40 Year Old…Read More

The Impossible review

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Directed by Juan Antonio BayonaWritten by Sergio G. SanchezThis is an odd thing, an intimate disaster movie. Can't think of too many of those. It's also, for much of the running time, a post-apocalypse picture. Everything in this family's world is ripped from its moorings. They'll never be the same again.It's based on the true…Read More

Killing Them Softly review

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Directed by Andrew DominikWritten by Dominik, adapting the George V. Higgins novel Cogan's TradeKilling Them Softly is a sour pill of a movie. Adapting Higgins' 1974 crime novel and setting it during the financial crisis and presidential election of 2008, New Zealander Dominik—who wowed many, including myself, with his epic, languorous 2007 western The Assassination…Read More

Recommended: a blog and short film

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I have the good fortune of being part of a community of film lovers and filmmakers here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I just wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to a couple of those.Dave Howlett has written for Flaw in the Iris. His specialty is horror movies. He's got a great and…Read More

Life of Pi review

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Directed by Ang LeeWritten by David Magee from the Yann Martel novelAng Lee is a great humanist director, someone who finds authenticity in character no matter the genre. I was one of the few who really liked his Hulk, but no apologies necessary for his universally approbated Brokeback Mountain, Ride With The Devil, The Ice Storm,…Read More

Lincoln review

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Directed by Steven SpielbergWritten by Tony Kushner, adapting Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns GoodwinI walked into Spielberg's newest historical epic expecting a handsome, serious and somewhat sentimental movie (thanks to the director's undeniable skill and irrepressible mushiness), beautiful to see (thanks to cinematographer Janusz Kaminski) with an acting clinic…Read More

Silver Linings Playbook review

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Written and directed by David O RussellSelfishly, I think it's great to see talented writer/director Russell pick up his pace. The first movie of his I saw was the brilliant, anxious comedy Flirting With Disaster (his earlier, first feature film, Spanking the Monkey, remains unseen by me). FWD was in 1996. In '99 came Three…Read More