MY OLD LADY – Review by Susan Granger

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At age 75, prolific playwright Israel Horovitz makes his feature film directing debut with this adaptation of his own 2002 play about a thrice-divorced, almost-60 year-old, recovering alcoholic from New York who inherits an apartment in Paris from his late father – from whom he was long estranged. Read on…

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TIFF 2014, An Overview – Julide Tanriverdi Reports

It was that time of the year again. Film lovers came in droves to Toronto to spend the last few sunny days of summer inside theaters. The Toronto International Film – TIFF for short – showed over 350 films. Usually known for their distinguished selection that paves the way to the award season, this year they were a little bit overshadowed by other festivals. Cannes, Venice and Telluride showed many of the highly anticipated films already and very few movies celebrated their world premiere on Canadian soil. Read on…

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THE BOXTROLLS — Review by Kristy Puchko

TheBoxTrollsLaika Entertainment has earned a reputation for crafting captivating handcrafted stop-motion animation with Coraline and ParaNorman. The intense detailing that goes into their films makes them an instant must-see for animation lovers. But it’s their distinctive look and challenging storytelling that capture the imagination of children of all ages. By my count, The Boxtrolls is their most daring and delightful film yet. Read more.>>

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THE BOXTROLLS – Review by Susan Granger

Like “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” this quirky concept emanates from Laika animation studio in Oregon, where hand-drawn images are meticulously integrated with RP (rapid prototyping) and CG (computer-generated) pictures. Their painstaking stop-motion process consists of filming frame-by-frame (movies use 24 frames per second) while subtly controlling the characters, props, sets, etc. And when using 3D, each frame is manipulated twice. Eventually, the thousands of photographed frames are artfully edited and projected together sequentially, making the characters come to life. Read on…

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THE ZERO THEOREM — Review by Kristy Puchko

TheZeroTheoremThe often underfunded yet always fascinating Terry Gilliam dives back into dystopian drama with The Zero Theorem. Its central story of an outsider fighting against the oppression of a smothering society is one we’ve seen before in Brazil and Twelve Monkeys. But splattered in a vivid color palette and rich with irreverent details that sneer at everything from the Christian faith to our obsession over superheroes, Gilliam’s latest dystopian tale feels fresh and necessary. Read more.>>

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THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU — Review by Kristy Puchko

ThisiswhereILeaveYouA couple of summers ago, there was a novel that at a point made my mother-in-law laugh so hard, we feared she might pass out from lack of oxygen. Naturally, as soon as she recovered, everyone on this family vacation asked to be the next to read this dangerously hilarious book This Is Where I Leave You. Next it was my father-in-law, who guffawed so loud it scared the birds nearby into taking flight. Then it was my turn to discover the moment in its first chapter that led me to laugh so hard I teared up. Unfortunately, the first act button that involved a birthday cake being used as a weapon has been cut from the Jonathan Tropper novel’s movie adaptation. Fortunately, the blend of heartbreaking moments and hilarity that made up the other 351 other pages of This Is Where I Leave You are largely in tact.Read more.>>

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A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES – Review by Susan Granger

Mystery novelist Lawrence Block’s world-weary detective Matthew Scudder comes to the silver screen, capably embodied by Liam Neeson (“Taken,” “Unknown,” “Non-Stop”) in an obvious attempt to start a new film franchise. The prologue, set in 1991, establishes Scudder as a former NYC cop, a recovering alcoholic who gave up booze after a shootout went tragically awry. By 1999, Scudder has become an unlicensed investigator, noting: “I do favors for people….in return, they give me gifts.” Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, Sept. 15-21: TRACKS

tracks posterOpening Sept. 19, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Tracks, an exquisitely filmed, fact-based adventure that is iconic in its validation of one woman’s dreams and determination. Mia Wasikowska stars as Robyn Davidson, who set out on a nine-month journey across Australia’s expansive desert, from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, with only her dog and four camels. Based on Davidson’s eponymous memoir, the film co-stars Adam Driver as a National Geographic photographer—and on-again, off-again romantic interest—who documents her journey. With its breathtaking cinematography and inspirational story, Tracks, is a richly satisfying cinematic experience. Read on…

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September Opening Movies, Part One – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

rory kennedy vietnam1Rory Kennedy’s Last Days in Vietnam tops movie openers in early September, along with Rocks in My Pockets, a soul-searching animation by feminist filmmaker Signe Baumane, and two deeply affecting dramas — My Old Lady and Sharon Greytak’s Archaeology of a Woman — about women coping with age and aging. There are also some very scary femme-centric horror flicks. All in all, a good September start for women in film. Read more>>

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HONEYMOON – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Very effective in creating an unsettling mood, but its horrific, fantastic speculation ends, frustratingly, just when it could have gotten really intriguing. Read more>>

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