Archive for March, 2014

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Breathe In

March 28, 2014

directed by Drake Doremus, 2013

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Director Drake Doremus showed early signs of promise with Like Crazy, the 2011 Sundance Grand Jury prize winner that offered glimpses of a new age no-holds barred love story, but ended up registering as a dopey romance that failed to burrow deep into its characters and their mission to sustain a long distance relationship. With Breathe In, the director’s latest, it’s clear that Doremus has failed to capitalize on the miscues of his earlier film, this time churning out a non-descript and easily telegraphed portrait of infidelity and longing. Caught in the crosshairs of Doremus’ excruciatingly tepid affair are a solid group of actors, who, despite their best abilities, are incessantly hampered by the director’s unrewarding improvisational aesthetic.

Read full review at Movie Mezzanine

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Cheap Thrills

March 21, 2014

directed by E.L. Katz, 2013

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While there’s no telling how original or shocking Cheap Thrills might have seemed if it had been released a few decades earlier, E.L. Katz’s film shows no shame in arriving fashionably late to the table of sadistic social satire. Having won the Audience Award and Best First Feature prize at last year’s South by Southwest film festival, Cheap Thrills works best as a solid showcase for its handful of character actors who breeze right through the familiar material, selling it persuasively at every turn. What Katz’s film lacks in nuance, it mildly makes up for in its timely portrait of bankrupt morals and escalating violence amid financial ruin. If Austrian auteur Michael Haneke offered a measured and clinical look into class divisions and audience chastising in both his 1997 and 2007 versions of Funny GamesCheap Thrills offers the cartoony midnight-movie inverse of that template, with mixed results.

Read full review at In Review Online