Archive for October, 2013

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Escape Plan

October 21, 2013

directed by Mikael Håfström, 2013

Escape Plan

The bruising and clunky Escape Plan runs high on thundering fists and low on stimulating thrills. Featuring two action titans (Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger) who are now pushing 70, Mikael Håfström’s prison break thriller shows early promise, but results in a forgettable throwback exercise about aged action stars who still show a taste for mischief and upheaval. Though it’s refreshingly slight regarding its meta eye-winking surrounding the career’s of its stars, Escape Plan’s brawler mentality isn’t enough; this is essentially a lowest common denominator action outing, but even at its best, there’s not much that charms or excites.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine

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All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

October 11, 2013

directed by Jonathan Levine, 2006

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Only now seeing the light of day after playing at the Toronto International Film Festival some seven years ago and finding itself locked up in distribution hell, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane turns out to be a consistently unimpressive debut from director Jonathan Levine, who has since gone on to make such films as The Wackness (2008), 50/50 (2011) and this year’s Warm Bodies. For all of its attempts to play around with the familiar tropes of the slasher genre, Levine’s film never really finds its own distinct identity amid all the bloodshed and clichés.

Read full review at In Review Online

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I Used to Be Darker

October 4, 2013

directed by Matt Porterfield, 2013

Darker

With exacting emotion pouring out of its bruised and faded surface, I Used to Be Darker represents director Matt Porterfield’s most mature work yet—a film that plays like a soft-spoken folk song, one in which we can’t help but identity with the internal struggle of its rough and worn subject. Though it’s more conventional in its narrative structure than his previous films, Hamilton (2006) and Putty Hill (2010)—both of which took a non-narrative approach in exploring the dynamics within their respective Baltimore communities—this third film of his still showcases the same sort of poetic grace while eloquently highlighting similar shades of pain and loss.

Read full review at In Review Online