Ice Station Zoiks!

Most modern filmmakers prefer two-headed CGI alien-monsters over spooky atmospheric tension, assuming that too much atmosphere would leave today’s younger demographic texting “bored lol” until the theater was lit to daylight by their phones. Matthijs van Heijningen Jr, director of The Thing, is no exception. Although he has created a serviceable prequel to the 1982 […]

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Purell Madness

Not to advocate violence, but anybody who cannot control their coughing while publicly watching Contagion, a movie about super sniffles that nearly destroy humanity, is either too sick to be around others or desperate for negative attention — that is to say, they’re either sick or “sick.” You know who I’m talking about, people. With […]

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Strangers with Candy

Several recent documentaries have mined a vein of nostalgia for New York City’s East Village art scene of the ‘70s and ‘80s. For example, with its obligatory still photos of the artist chillin’ with a number of as-yet-undiscovered artists (Madonna being one of them), The Radiant Child shed light on Jean Michel Basquiat’s life and […]

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School 57, Where Are You?

You don’t need Facebook in Moscow. Keeping track of classmates is easy — you simply stomp up the stairs to the cramped apartment where your old friend used to live and, odds are, they’re still there. What’s hard is keeping up with the capitalist pace of new Russia while having grown up back in the […]

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Brontë-saurus

Jane Eyre gets around a lot. I’m referring, of course, to the oft-told story of Jane Eyre. The chaste, highly moral character of Jane Eyre, created by Charlotte Brontë and first published in 1847, doesn’t get around at all; in fact, she yearns to be her own woman. But Jane’s story has legs — at […]

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Pet Project

Citing the need to do a smaller film after his work on the bigger-than-life Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, director Gore Verbinski managed to once again rip Johnny Depp loose from Tim Burton’s greedy grasp in the hopes of creating a slightly goofy animated Western. With its painstakingly precise animation and a giant cast of […]

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German Engineering

Forget Harley-Davidsons and 20-something girlfriends — the newest trend for male leads having their second mid-life crisis is action films. Two years ago, 50-something Liam Neeson starred in the surprisingly OK Taken , a high-body-count revenge flick that had him practicing his “combat roll and reload” sequences. His latest foray is Unknown , a good-enough-for-February […]

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Monsters Vs. Illegal Aliens

Don’t let the generic title of Monsters fool you — it’s really a pretty unique film. With an estimated budget of $800,000, which is the latte and donuts budget for most Hollywood movies, Monsters offers some surprisingly big-time special effects. But the real story behind the film’s creation is its super-cheap on-location guerilla shooting style, […]

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Heartbreak Motel

Last year’s indie relationship flicks mostly kept the mood light. Both Jack Goes Boating and Cyrus tempered their weighty moments with socially awkward central characters who were good for a tension-breaking chuckle. Viewers loved these characters at arm’s length, not because they weren’t real or wonderfully crafted, but because we like to think of ourselves […]

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