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NEW THIS WEEK
Letter to Momo, A 5
Planes: Fire & Rescue 3
Purge, The: Anarchy 1.5
And So It Goes 1
Sex Tape 1
Video Games: The Movie rate me!
Five Star Life, A rate me!
Mood Indigo rate me!
Among Ravens rate me!
Master Builder, A rate me!
Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory rate me!
Persecuted rate me!
Wish I Was Here rate me!
I, Origins rate me!
ALSO IN THEATERS

COMING NEXT WEEK
25-Jul Fluffy Movie, The
25-Jul Happy Christmas
25-Jul Hercules (2014)
25-Jul Ironclad: Battle for Blood
25-Jul Lucy
25-Jul Magic in the Moonlight
25-Jul Most Wanted Man, A
25-Jul My Man is a Loser
25-Jul Very Good Girls
30-Jul War Story

DVD RELEASES
22-Jul Appleseed Alpha  
22-Jul Blue Ruin  
22-Jul Cesar Chavez  
22-Jul Dom Hemingway  
22-Jul Heaven Is for Real  
22-Jul Sabotage (2014)  
22-Jul Suspect, The  
22-Jul Transcendence  
22-Jul Tyler Perry's Single Mom's Club  
29-Jul Cuban Fury  
29-Jul Noah  
29-Jul Other Woman, The (2014)  

TOP 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Jackpot 5
Letter to Momo, A 5
Like Father, Like Son (2014) 4.75
Life Itself 4.63
Human Race, The 4.43

BOTTOM 5
MOVIES IN RELEASE
TITLE RATING
Sex Tape 1
And So It Goes 1
Third Person 1.14
Purge, The: Anarchy 1.5
Tammy 1.73

2012 Tribeca Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Trishna 3.71
Hysteria 3.11
Resolution 4
Fairhaven 3.5
Marvel's The Avengers 4.43
MORE MOVIES

2013 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Confession of Murder 3
World's End, The 4.46
Secretly Greatly 3.8
Dead Experiment, The 3
Thermae Romae 4
MORE MOVIES

2013 Toronto International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Past, The 4.56
Prisoners 2.2
Sacrament, The 3.21
We Are the Best! 4.86
Double, The (2014) 4.75
MORE MOVIES

2013 New York Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Blue Is the Warmest Color 4.08
About Time 2
Captain Phillips 4
Invisible Woman, The (2013) 4.78
Wind Rises, The 4.93
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2013 Chicago International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Lasting 3
Cheap Thrills 3.14
Fifth Estate, The 2
With You, Without You 3
Heli 4
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2014 Sundance Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Camp X-Ray 4.8
Raid 2, The 4.88
Signal, The (2014) 2
White Bird in a Blizzard 3.29
Obvious Child 4.86
MORE MOVIES

2014 Chicago Critics Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Congress, The 4
Starred Up 3
Obvious Child 4.86
Calvary 5
OXV: The Manual (aka Frequencies) 4.18
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2014 Nantucket Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Life Itself 4.63
Art and Craft 5
Calvary 5
Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart 3.5
Break Point 4
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2014 Los Angeles Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Land Ho! 3
Starred Up 3
Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest, The 5
Young Kieslowski, The 4
Earth to Echo 2.11
MORE MOVIES

2014 Maui Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Grand Seduction, The 2.29
Skeleton Twins, The 4
Obvious Child 4.86
God Help the Girl 4.14
Breath of Life 5
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2014 AFI Docs Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Life Itself 4.63
Art and Craft 5
Internet's Own Boy, The: The Story of Aaron Swartz 3.14
Search for General Tso, The 3.78
MORE MOVIES

2014 New York Asian Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Aberdeen (2014) 3
Public Enemy 3.88
Why Don't You Play in Hell? 4.62
Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, The 3.71
Uzumasa Limelight 5
MORE MOVIES

2014 Fantasia International Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Ghost in the Shell 4.32
Huntresses, The 3
White Bird in a Blizzard 3.29
Something Wicked This Way Comes 4.19
Fatal Encounter, The 4
MORE MOVIES

2014 Black Harvest Film Festival MOVIES
TITLE RATING
Forgotten Kingdom, The 3.29
DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till 4
MORE MOVIES

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SPOTLIGHTED FEATURES REGULAR COLUMNS
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Movies & Money with Erik Childress (WCIU-TV)
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LATEST REVIEWS
KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER
"'Fargo' seems to be inspiring filmmakers (and their characters) these days."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: As much as people lauded "Fargo" when it came out, it was a singular, stand-alone picture that did okay at the box office as opposed to a blockbuster, so two different spin-offs of sorts appearing nearly twenty years later has to be considered kind of peculiar. Even more so: Both this movie by the Zellner brothers and Noah Hawlsey's semi-sequel television series leave the original more or less alone and are excellent besides." (more)
AND SO IT GOES
"Shit Sandwich"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "What the hell happened to Rob Reiner? I have asked this question several times before and I fear that I will have opportunity to ask it again several times in the future but it is one that bears repeating. This is the guy who shifted from a successful acting career into directing and immediately launched one of the most incredible hot streaks of any filmmaker of our time. "This is Spinal Tap," "The Sure Thing," "Stand By Me," "The Princess Bride," "When Harry Met Sally," "Misery," "A Few Good Men"--these were smartly conceived and wonderfully executed films that were brimming with humor, drama, interesting characters and any number of memorable scenes. Any one of these films would be the feather in the cap of most normal filmographies and to see him just pump them out one after another was an astonishment to behold. Even when he stumbled, as he did with the notorious "North," it was with a film that, for all of its numerous sins, was certainly never boring--the sheer weirdness of the entire enterprise made it a curiosity." (more)
IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
"Revenge as deadpan comedy."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Where is the exact line between a movie being a darkly funny revenge story and a full-on, pitch-black dark comedy? In the case of "In Order of Disappearance", I think it is crossed early on in a gag that will recur throughout the movie, although it may seem to waver back and forth as the story unfolds. By the time it's over, though, this reunion of the team behind "A Somewhat Gentle Man" has produced something that is both darker and funnier than that impressive movie." (more)
CHEATIN'
"Another good reason for Bill Plympton fans to remain loyal to the man."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Cheatin'" is the new Bill Plympton movie, his first feature since 2008's "Idiots and Angels", and it's a fine demonstration that over thirty years as an independent animator, he hasn't dulled his edge much while carving out his niche. It's funny, strange past the point of eccentric, and has a style that is unmistakable for anyone else. Longtime fans should be pleased; and it wouldn't be a particular surprise if showing it to friends created new fans." (more)
WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD
"Does many things well but leaves me cold."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: I saw "White Bird in a Blizzard" referred to as a coming of age movie, and I don't necessarily think that designation fits. Not every drama where the characters haven't graduated from high school yet needs that label; sometimes bad things just happen when teenagers are around. That's sort of what happens here, and it's why a movie that's very strong in some ways, but is oddly hands-off enough in others that it's not quite as good as the surface suggests it should be." (more)
BUTTER ON THE LATCH
"I did not want the main characters to be eaten by bears. That's something."
2 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Butter on the Latch" was listed in the program as playing before director Josephine Decker's prior film, "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely", as if it was a short film rather than a 63-minute feature. The programmers and projectionists mercifully flipped the order; I can only imagine how the audience might have revolted if this had played first. The properties that make it not a very good movie would have made it even more of an endurance test if the audience was sitting through the whole thing to get to the film whose name actually appears on the ticket." (more)
THOU WAST MILD AND LOVELY
"Sometimes the line between 'striking' and 'bizarre' is thin. Not this time."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2014 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Before Joesphine Decker's "Thou Wast Mild and Lovely" starts to be a weird, creepy sort of movie in a way that has real certainty and direction, it's got two scenes that kind of warn the audience what it's getting into. In the first, farmer Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet) and his daughter Sarah (Sophie Traub) are rolling around in the grass, throwing a headless chicken back and forth, getting blood all over their clothes. In the second, Sarah narrates, describing a strange, ethereal, perfect lover while the camera slowly zooms in on her increasingly agitated dog. Decker quickly moves on to other things, and maybe I'm reading things into that latter juxtaposition that aren't meant, but even if that's the case, what the hell is the deal with everything else?" (more)
BOYHOOD
"A masterwork 12 years in the making."
5 stars
Brett Gallman says... "I was 18 and on the verge of my high school graduation when Richard Linklater started production on “Boyhood,” which is coincidentally where the film leaves its subject, Mason (Ellar Coltrane). By that time, we’ve watched twelve years of his life unfold over the course of 160 minutes, and it’s not the profound changes that amaze so much as Linklater’s ability to capture the authenticity of this moment: the excitement, the anxiety, the sheer relief of having made it through childhood and adolescence relatively unscathed. All of this resonated within me even with the distance of the twelve years I experienced since 2002—perhaps, more than anything, “Boyhood” is a reminder that life is sometimes just about finding a place where you can simply be okay even after being presented evidence that things won’t always be okay." (more)
MORE REVIEWS

LATEST FEATURES
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION EDITION
by Peter Sobczynski
"Due to contractual obligations, I am unable to offer full-length reviews of most of this week's new releases. Instead, please enjoy short looks at "I, Origins," "Lucy," "Magic in the Moonlight," "Mood Indigo" and "A Most Wanted Man." Most are pretty good and one is a masterpiece--see if you can guess which one it is." (more)
SILLY WALK RIGHT IN AND SIT RIGHT DOWN...
by Greg Ursic
"On July 15th there was a parrot sighting at Potters Field Park in London; but this wasn’t just any avian, it was a 50 foot Norwegian blue. The ornithological oddity wasn’t the product of science run amok or a pending birdnado, rather it was an homage to the four decade long partnership of Monty Python, sketch comedy’s terrifically twisted troupe and heralded their return to the stage (and quite likely their last…)." (more)
CAPSULE REVIEWS: JERSEY BOYS, BAD WORDS & THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
by Daniel Kelly
"Jersey Boys (Clint Eastwood, Warner Bros., 2014) Clint Eastwood’s musical gets off to a vivacious and energetic start, mixing warmth and wit with surprising aplomb, but goes off the deep-end somewhere around the halfway mark. The film’s characters weave in and out of the action satisfactorily, Eastwood using a potentially hackneyed but oddly effective “fourth wall” smashing address to keep audiences engaged. It’s as if he read Walter Benjamin’s “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, moving to maintain some of the theatre’s “aura” through a means of faux-immediacy and soul, allowing his characters to bust the screen and intrude on a space they shouldn’t be aware of. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but the concept works, especially when combined with the enigmatic likes of Vincent Piazza’s roguish Tommy, the most memorable of the film’s assortment of young dreamers. The ease and grace of the opening doesn’t carry much further though, Eastwood’s stiff direction of the musical numbers and a selection of ham-fisted subplots slacking the pace and sobering the buzz. When the end credits roll, we get a sense of what might have been, Eastwood unleashing a fearsomely executed encore, replete with fantastic energy and pageantry. It’s a pity that the hour leading up to that point should dither so aimlessly, and fill itself so distractingly with diversions aborted before they conjure up sufficient nuance. A curiosity peppered with worthy highlights, but hardly a certifiable return to form for Clint. Grade - C" (more)
FILMS I NEGLECTED TO REVIEW: PONY MEN
by Peter Sobczynski
"Please enjoy short reviews of "A Brony Tale," "Dormant Beauty" and "Video Games: The Movie."" (more)
INTERVIEW: RICHARDLINKLATER ON "BOYHOOD"
by Peter Sobczynski
"The director of such cult favorites as "Slacker," "Dazed and Confused," "Waking Life" and the "Before Sunrise" trilogy talks about his latest masterpiece, the intimate epic "Boyhood," and its unusual journey to the screen." (more)
MORE FEATURES

'I GOT A 9.8 FROM THE CANADIANS, A PERFECT 10 FROM THE AMERICANS, AND MY MOTHER, DISGUISED AS AN EAST GERMAN JUDGE, GAVE ME A 5.6. MUST HAVE BEEN THE DISMOUNT.'
- Harry, When Harry Met Sally
 
 

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