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Talking With Veronica Ferres of ‘SALT AND FIRE’

From the Peruvian rainforest to the Katmai Alaskan Wilderness, the depths of the Chauvet caves of Southern France to McMurdo Station in AntarcticaWerner Herzog is a journeyman who has long questioned man’s relationship with nature. In Salt and Fire, Herzog takes us to Bolivia’s sprawling Salar de Uyuni, the worst’s largest salt flat. A desolate beauty of biblical proportion, here transpires a kidnapping and desertion in this eco-minded quasi-thriller that feels  like a natural extension of Herzog’s last documentary, Into the Inferno. The auteur again twisting his most recent obsession (volcanoes) into narrative form to varying success.  Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘NOCTURNAL ANIMALS’

In 2009, Austin, Texas native and noted fashion designer Tom Ford made his feature film debut with A Single Man. A delirious and stunningly photographed vision quest through loss and grief, A Single Man defined Ford as a filmmaker whose haute couture background greatly influenced his aesthetic and in turn his very process. Earning a Best Actor nomination for Colin Firth, A Single Man also established Ford as an actor’s director and helped in turn attract the likes of two of Hollywood’s finest, Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams, for his latest feature, Nocturnal Animals. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘LOVING’

There is much to respect and admire about what Jeff Nichols has done with Loving. However its incredibly restrained tactics and slow as molasses narrative kept it at a bit of an arms length for me emotionally. But Nicols’ methodology is no mistake. Loving purposefully emulates its subjects – Richard and Mildred Loving, both of whom are played to quiet perfection by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga – an interracial couple who accidentally change the course of post-Jim Crow American history when they become embroiled in a critical constitutional law case. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘COMPLETE UNKNOWN’

An old flame forks her way back into the life of a married man in Joshua Martson‘s mysterious and somewhat satisfying Complete Unknown. Marston struck a chord with debut Maria Full of Grace, which played Sundance 12 years ago, giving a drug mule a face in performer Catalina Sandino Moreno. With Complete Unknown, the Californian director harnesses a selfsame ability to craft complex female leads but allows the narrative to come to tatters as it crests its many tonal shifts. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘MIDNIGHT SPECIAL’

Jeff Nichols is very quickly solidifying himself as a distinct and essential American voice. The 37-year old Arkansas native blends the mystic nostalgia of Steven Spielberg’s great wonders with the romanticized bayou lyricism of a Mark Twain novel. The result is often staggering,  the heavy, heady crossroads of lock stock ultra violence and meaningfully sentimental morality plays. In 2012, Nichols’ snaggle-toothed fable Mud sounded the starting gun for the McConaissance, just as he basically introduced the world to Michael Shannon as a leading man in 2011’s Take Shelter. More than just a emcee for introducing (or reintroducing) us to new or reinvigorated talent,  Nichols has emerged as a bold writer/director willing to take big risks and reap big rewards and Midnight Special, a work of great wonder and beauty, is blinding evidence of this fact. Read More

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SXSW ’16 Review: ‘MIDNIGHT SPECIAL’

Jeff Nichols is very quickly solidifying himself as a distinct and essential American voice. The 37-year old Arkansas native blends the mystic nostalgia of Steven Spielberg’s great wonders with the romanticized bayou lyricism of a Mark Twain novel. The result is often staggering,  the heavy, heady crossroads of lock stock ultra violence and meaningfully sentimental morality plays. In 2012, Nichols’ snaggle-toothed fable Mud sounded the starting gun for the McConaissance, just as he basically introduced the world to Michael Shannon as a leading man in 2011’s Take Shelter. More than just a emcee for introducing (or reintroducing) us to new or reinvigorated talent,  Nichols has emerged as a bold writer/director willing to take big risks and reap big rewards and Midnight Special, a work of great wonder and beauty, is blinding evidence of this fact. Read More

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Sundance ’16 Review: ‘COMPLETE UNKNOWN’

An old flame forks her way back into the life of a married man in Joshua Marston‘s mysterious and somewhat satisfying Complete Unknown. Marston struck a chord with debut Maria Full of Grace, which played Sundance 12 years ago, giving a drug mule a face in performer Catalina Sandino Moreno. With Complete Unknown, the Californian director harnesses a selfsame ability to craft complex female leads but allows the narrative to come to tatters as it crests its many tonal shifts. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘THE NIGHT BEFORE’

Mix one part holiday sentiment, two parts 21st century bromance and a healthy teaspoon of bath salts and you’ll have cooked up Jonathan Levine‘s latest comedic vision quest. The Night Before is packaged as a drug-fueled Christmas romp starring such likable actors as Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and works from a script from Levine and frequent Rogen collaborator Evan Goldberg. When the formulaic cocktail of easy chemistry and easier laughs is working, The Night Before is funny bone-shaking good, a zesty melange of manic humor, gross out gags and breezy charisma. At one too many of its Santa’s sleigh stops though, the bromance is invaded by bromides, making for an uneven and inconsistent holiday farce with uncomfortably obvious pacing problems. But, being a comedy, the essential question really boils down to: is The Night Before funny? Read More

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Out in Theaters: ’99 HOMES’

*This is a reprint of our Sundance 2015 review

Success and honesty have become diametrically opposed forces in 99 Homes, a one-percenter housing thriller that pits a wolf of real estate in the form of an e-cigarette munching Michael Shannon against a hardworking everyman day laborer (Andrew Garfield). Money though is a powerful drug. Opulence, an even purer form of intoxicant. And as Dennis Nash’s (Garfield) desperate catches the sweet whiff of greenback wafting from the depths of Rick Carver’s (Shannon) pockets, he becomes willing to trade in his common man status for the spade suit of an iniquitous property mogul.

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Sundance Review: 99 HOMES

Success and honesty have become diametrically opposed forces in 99 Homes, a one-percenter housing thriller that pits a wolf of real estate in the form of an e-cigarette munching Michael Shannon against a hardworking everyman day laborer (Andrew Garfield). Money though is a powerful drug. Opulence, an even purer form of intoxicant. And as Dennis Nash’s (Garfield) desperate catches the sweet whiff of greenback wafting from the depths of Rick Carver’s (Shannon) pockets, he becomes willing to trade in his common man status for the spade suit of an iniquitous property mogul.

Read More