Day: February 25, 2015

Film Review: ‘Greenery Will Bloom Again’

February 25, 2015

As the son of a WWI vet, Ermanno Olmi has a personal connection to the “war to end all wars.” Perhaps that’s why his “Greenery Will Bloom Again” is so reverential — reverential to the point of being frozen. Beautifully lensed scenes in the snow-covered trenches of northern Italy testify to the master’s 55 years in the […]

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Film Review: ‘A German Youth’

February 25, 2015

Prominent shorts helmer Jean-Gabriel Periot makes a welcome transition to feature-length documentaries with “A German Youth,” a thought-provoking look at the Baader-Meinhof group and the political debates of the era. While the people and events are hardly cinema newcomers, this entirely found-footage work takes a different tack, situating the clique and the Red Army Faction within postwar […]

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Film Review: ‘Stereo’

February 25, 2015

A successful mix of straightforward suspense and gallows humor, Maximilian Erlenwein’s sophomore feature, “Stereo,” is in some ways an inversion of his 2008 debut, “Gravity,” wherein guilt-inducing trauma unleashed an ordinary schmoe’s hitherto-unknown dark side. Here, Jurgen Vogel plays a man whose nice-guy ordinariness might be a form of denial, with Moritz Bleibtreu on hand as […]

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Film Review: ‘Out of the Dark’

February 25, 2015

Ghosts are scary and stuff in “Out of the Dark,” a horror opus just as generic and forgettable as its title. This Colombia-shot supernatural suspenser with American/British leads and a mostly Spanish creative team offers professional polish but no interesting ideas or atmospherics, feeling like a rote echo of numerous already overmilked genre conventions from […]

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Film Review: ‘The Search for Weng Weng’

February 25, 2015

A 2’9” footnote in cinematic history is investigated to surprisingly rewarding ends in “The Search for Weng Weng.” Andrew Leavold’s documentary pokes at the puzzle of a long-neglected novelty Filipino movie star, gaining insights into not just his forgotten subject’s ill-chronicled life, but also the nation’s “Second Golden Age” of cinema in general. It’s a winding, […]

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Film Review: ‘Accidental Love’

February 25, 2015

At one point in “Accidental Love,” the movie’s crusading heroine flips on a TV and catches a glimpse of George A. Romero’s seminal 1968 zombie opus “Night of the Living Dead.” And, like one of Romero’s own restless undead, this mirthless, misshapen social satire cum romantic comedy has managed to crawl out of the early […]

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Film Review: ‘Tracers’

February 25, 2015

Leaping through skylights and surfing down stairs, Taylor Lautner and his parkour crew elevate old-fashioned cat burglary to a feat of high-speed, anti-gravity showmanship in “Tracers,” a project that takes what’s anarchic about the sport and runs, jumps and double-somersaults with it. The plot may be as creaky as an old-timer slinking across rooftops in a […]

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Film Review: ‘Focus’

February 25, 2015

Every movie star is a con artist of sorts, seducing audiences into forking over millions by adopting a character bigger than him- or herself. But what to do when the streak falters? Will Smith made his film debut as a high-society scammer in “Six Degrees of Separation,” and now, a bit more than 21 years later, […]

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