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Making Connections

FilmDayton is a family reunion for area filmmakers and audiences

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 18, 2011
From Dayton/For Dayton is the theme for this year’s FilmDayton Festival, but you could just as easily think of it as FilmDayton’s family reunion because the focus of this event is the film community, the film family born and raised in the region.  

The Big Uneasy (Review)

Harry Shearer looks at why the New Orleans levies failed

0 Comments · Friday, May 13, 2011
Harry Shearer, the 'This Is Spinal Tap' actor and humorist, has decided to get serious about the reasons New Orleans' levies failed during Hurricane Katrina in this muckraking documentary. It’s a worthy effort, filled with great insight into the making of the flood and the troubling revelations about the arrogant way the Corps does business and is protected by the U.S. Congress. Grade: B.  

Bridesmaids (Review)

Kristen Wiig shines in raucous comedy

0 Comments · Friday, May 13, 2011
Just because 'Bridesmaids' walks down the box-office aisle a few weeks before the second edition of 'The Hangover,' don’t assume that this is a golden bridal shower before that big event. Of course, there’s an ensemble gang and they are most certainly ready to par-tay. Grade: B-plus.  

Everything Must Go (Review)

Will Ferrell brings dramatic chops to the world of Raymond Carver

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Everything comes crashing down on Nick Halsey (Will Ferrell). The functioning alcoholic loses his upper-level management position due to a questionable after-hours situation with a female employee and it’s obvious that Halsey has used up all of his lifelines with the firm. When he arrives at home, he finds all of his possessions on the front lawn and he quickly realizes that his wife has changed all the locks, cancelled access his credit and banks cards and basically frozen him out of his own life.  

Jumping the Broom (Review)

Soapy drama contains too many subplots

0 Comments · Friday, May 6, 2011
Veteran television director Salim Akil helms this tricky, overstuffed marriage of subjects and styles with verve and requisite sass, thanks in large part to a pair of seasoned matriarchs, Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine. Grade: C-plus.  

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Review)

Werner Herzog illuminates the world's oldest cave paintings

0 Comments · Thursday, May 5, 2011
Werner Herzog's latest fascinating documentary (shot in effective 3-D) enters Southern France's usually sealed Chauvet Cave, which holds the world's oldest known artwork — rock paintings from nearly 33,000 years ago. Grade: A-.  

I Am (Review)

Tom Shadyac's documentary an exercise in self-absorption

0 Comments · Thursday, May 5, 2011
This clumsy talking-head-heavy documentary raises some interesting ideas, but director Tom Shadyac isn't content to simply let his interview subjects speak for themselves. Grade: D-.  

Potiche (Review)

French comedy is a lightweight but tasty morsel

0 Comments · Thursday, May 5, 2011
Francois Ozon's 'Potiche' never acquires any psychological depth or narrative flourish but the film’s delightful performances and brilliant color palette see it through any rough patches. Grade: B.  

Something Borrowed (Review)

Annoying protagonists mar conventional romantic comedy

0 Comments · Thursday, May 5, 2011
An adaptation of Emily Giffin's novel faces a fundamental problem: Can you create a sympathetic center for people doing a morally indefensible thing? Apparently the answer is “no.” Grade: C.  

Thor (Review)

Thor sticks to a superhero formula while providing a few satisfying twists

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2011
If you want to know how many reasons the makers of Thor have for not messing with the Marvel Comics movie formula, the answer is “3.3 billion.” That would be the cumulative North American box office in dollars for movies based on Marvel Universe characters since X-Men launched the current wave in 1999 — which makes the genre about as sure a thing as there is in the uncertain world of theatrical exhibition.  

In a Better World (Review)

Susanne Bier’s Oscar winner examines life and how we live it

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Susanne Bier’s latest film, In a Better World, recently earned the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. The Danish filmmaker makes films that challenge audiences to consider questions of morality and ethics in daily life — how we treat other living souls, how the living survive and carry on after the death of loved ones.  

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (Review)

Neo-noir tale needs more pulp

0 Comments · Monday, May 2, 2011
Post neo-noir meets 'Shaun of the Dead' with the intention of producing something that might approach the inspired fanboy reverence that Guillermo Del Toro brings to his outings. That's a hell of a lot to ask for from Kevin Munroe, the writer-director of 'TMNT.' Grade: B-plus.  

Hoodwinked Too! (Review)

Animated sequel fails to engage

0 Comments · Monday, May 2, 2011
The follow-up to the Miramax sleeper from 2005 swaps out Anne Hathaway for Hayden Panettiere as the voice of Red Riding Hood who hooks up with The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) as part of the team to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel. Granny lends a hand, but this is supposed to be all about Red and the Wolf, and unfortunately that’s the problem. Grade: D.  

Fast Five (Review)

Action series' latest is mindless, B-movie gold

0 Comments · Monday, May 2, 2011
After a quick rise on the indie scene with 'Better Luck Tomorrow,' Justin Lin helms his third outing in this fast-paced franchise and brings together an all-star team of players from the past installments to pull off a ludicrous job in Rio. Grade: B-plus.  

Winter in Wartime (Review)

World War II drama is efficient, absorbing

0 Comments · Saturday, April 30, 2011
Updated for a skeptical age, this new World War II movie comes impeccably groomed in period-attentive tans and grays; is written in non-heroic dialogue to suggest ambiguities in the good-evil dichotomies of war stories past; and is sufficiently hopped-up with thrills. Grade: B-.