THE INVISIBLE WAR – Review by Jennifer Merin

A real shocker of an expose about the frequent incidents of rape of both men and women — but mostly of women — soldiers in the U.S. military, Kirby Dick’s Invisible War presents on camera testimony by several victims, who report systematic cover-ups imposed by superior officers, and ongoing persecution by U. S. military authorities. The documentary is a compelling call to action to make for change in the current system of injustice. Read more>>

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MARINA ABRAMOVIC: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT – Review by Jennifer Merin

Marina Abramovic isn’t a household name, yet her attention-getting and controversial art installations have garnered headlines. Marina is actually her own work of art, and she is usually at the center of her installations. This documentary chronicles her biggest installation to date, at the Museum of Modern Art, where viewers lined up around the block, waiting to get in. Read more>>

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Margaret Atwood on “PAYBACK” – Anne Brodie interviews

In “Payback,” Margaret Atwood, one of the greatest writers of our time, has abandoned fiction to look at a topic that’s as loaded and emotional as any love affair – debt and revenge. The book gets the documentary treatment in a film by the same name. Atwood, who appears in the film, comments on the subject and on being the inspiration for a documentary. Read more>>

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THE HUNGER GAMES – Review by Susan Granger

How well does this movie accomplish what it sets out to do? That’s the primary question that propels my writing each review. In cinematically adapting the first of Suzanne Collins’s young adult novels, the answer is superbly.

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FOOTNOTE – Review by Ann Lewinson

Joseph Cedar’s comedy about father and son Talmud scholars has so many loose threads you could take it in for shatnez testing. Read more>>

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FRIENDS WITH KIDS – Review by Susan Granger

Social commentary makes relevant filmmaking, as evidenced by perceptive writer/director/producer Jennifer Westfeldt, who reveals how parenthood defines character in this witty, contemporary romantic comedy.

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GERHARD RICHTER PAINTING – Review by Jennifer Merin

In this mesmerizing art documentary, filmmaker Corinna Belz focuses on the intensely personal artistic process of famed German abstract painter Gerhard Richter. Read more>>

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Many Deaths and Nine Lives of Film Criticism – Carrie Rickey comments

Like the movies themselves, movie criticism has migrated from analog to digital. Some thoughts. Read more>>

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THIS IS NOT A FILM – Review by Jennifer Merin

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, an internationally acclaimed director of narrative features, makes this not-a-film to show what his life has been like since he was arrested in July, 2009, charged with planning to make a film against the ruling regime, and prohibited from making movies for 20 years. Read more>>

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“DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX – Review by Ann Lewinson

This Lorax speaks for the trees — and SUVs. Read more>>

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DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX – Review by Susan Granger

The 3-D animated adaptation of this iconic, cautionary environmental fable focuses on taking responsibility for the devastating effects of industrialized society on the environment.

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THE BALLAD OF GENESIS AND LADY JAYE – Review by Jennifer Merin

Filmmaker Marie Losier’s first feature documents the singular relationship between musician and performance artist Genesis P’Orridge (nee Neil Andrew Megson in 1950) and his wife and creative partner Lady Jaye (nee Jacqueline Breyer). Read more>>

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WANDERLUST – Review by Ann Lewinson

David Wain’s latest is an amusing recessionary comedy — until it loses its nerve. Read more>>

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THE LADY – Review by Susan Granger

Don’t confuse this biopic with “The Iron Lady,” starring Meryl Streep as Britain’s Margaret Thatcher. This stars Michelle Yeoh and is about Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s iconic freedom fighter, known as South Asia’s “steel orchid.”

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JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI – Review by Jennifer Merin

David Gelb’s documentary takes us to Tokyo’s most famous, most expensive sushi restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, a snug twelve-seat counter-only eatery in the basement of a Tokyo office building. The purveyor is 85 year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, considered by sushi cognoscenti to be the world’s most accomplished sushi maker. Read more>>

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CORIOLANUS – Review by Ann Lewinson

Ralph Fiennes updates Shakespeare for our short-attention-span era. Read more>>

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IN DARKNESS – Review by Susan Granger

In 1943 during W.W.II, the Jews of Lvov (now Lviv in Ukraine but then part of Poland), were under siege. Crammed into a ghetto, they’re relentlessly hunted and brutally killed. A desperate group led by wealthy Ignacy and Pauline Chiger (Herbert Knaup, Maria Schrader) and their two young children and friends escape underground,

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SHAKESPEARE HIGH – Review by Jennifer Merin

In Southern California, a mixed demographic of high school drama student teams from several schools scattered across the areas diverse neighborhoods, prepare to compete in the 90th Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival. Over the years since its inception, the annual Shakespeare competition has, over the years, become just as popular as sports events, and members of the schools’ drama groups are campus stars. Read more>>

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THIS MEANS WAR – Review by Ann Lewinson

A romantic comedy made by men who seem to have never met a woman, much less asked her what she wants. Read more>>

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FRIENDS WITH KIDS – Review by Carrie Rickey

Jennifer Westfeldt’​s “Friends with Kids” is the most fun you can have without sex. The writer/actress makes her directorial debut with this edgy comedy about a couple with a new design for living. Read more>>

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CORMAN’S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL- Review by Jennifer Merin

If you have any interest in Hollywood history and love Tinsel Town lore, this comprehensive biodoc about the life and career of Roger Corman, the legendary ‘King of B-movies,’ will entertain and fascinate you — even if you’re not a big fan of the B-movie genre. Read more>>

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JOHN CARTER – Review by Susan Granger

You’ve already seen this sci-fi thriller – many times before. Based on “Tarzan” creator Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first installment of his 1912 pulpy adventure series about a Civil War veteran who winds up battling evil forces on Mars, it combines recognizable elements of “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Dune,” “Flash Gordon” and, above all, “Avatar.”

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DVD Update, March 2, 2012 – Susan Granger

Slick, smart “Tower Heist” is a timely comedy caper with Ben Stiller as the infuriated manager of one of New York’s most luxurious residences who’s determined to wreak revenge against a Wall Street tycoon (Alan Alda) who masterminded a Ponzi scheme that swindled the employees’ pension fund.

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Lindsay Lohan – Carrie Rickey comments

Give Lindsay Lohan an A for effort, a B for execution and extra credit points for bravery…and wonder why the tabloids are hog-tying her in double-binds and

double-standards. Read more>>

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A SEPARATION – Review by Susan Granger

Acclaimed as one of the best foreign films of 2011, writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s meditation on marital conflict is set in contemporary Iran, where two couples are dragged before a judge to defend themselves and their legal, moral and religious beliefs in a family court.

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