The 86th Oscars recap through tweets …

Welcome to the 86th Annual Academy Awards everyone! If you didn’t watch the festivities that occurred Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre you are probably a lot better off than most of us because it was a very lackluster affair. We all hoped Ellen DeGeneres would bring a fun, smart, witty return to her success with the 79th installment, but the reality ended up being one of the most dull and safe presentations in quite some time. I guess it wasn’t all bad, though, considering the Academy actually got most…

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REVIEW: Enough Said [2013]

“I like your paddles” While many are quick to label it as James Gandolfini‘s final cinematic role, Nicole Holofcener‘s Enough Said shouldn’t be dismissed as mere eulogy. The writer/director’s first foray into the studio world—albeit with indie shingle Fox Searchlight—it retains the voice and sensibility her fans have enjoyed over the past two decades regardless of any compromises she may have needed to acquiesce. A tale of middle-age and the struggles it brings to married couples, divorced bachelorettes, fathers of college-aged daughters, and career-minded sophisticates, perception becomes a driving force…

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INTERVIEW: Geoffrey Fletcher, writer/director of Violet & Daisy

Oscar winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher has kept busy post-Precious as a Columbia University and NY Tisch School adjunct professor, the driving creative force behind Bombay Sapphire’s Imagination Series, and collaborating with Doug Liman on a new film entitled Attica about the 1971 prison rebellion. Despite all this, however, it’s his directorial debut Violet & Daisy that has him in the spotlight once again. I had pleasure of speaking with the soft-spoken and introspective artist about the film’s genesis, its journey to the big screen, and the essence of cinematic storytelling.…

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REVIEW: Violet & Daisy [2013]

“I never really talked to a job before” Just because you’re an assassin doesn’t mean you can’t still be a girl too. The titular Violet (Alexis Bledel) and Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) don’t let their work get in the way of gossip, pop music, laughter, or dance. Murder is simply a way to pay the rent and retain some semblance of the childhood young women their age should have. They make a great team and provide a service with the same amount of detachment as any other. Each victim is a…

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REVIEW: Down the Shore [2013]

“And the hero gets the girl, right?” After a longtime career as acting coach for the likes of Jet Li, Harold Guskin heads behind the camera for his directorial debut Down the Shore with the help of a contemporary acting giant at its lead. For James Gandolfini, life after “The Sopranos” has seen moderate success in roles not too far removed from his iconic Tony besides a much heavier infusion of comedy. In that vein, his boisterous, crude, and psychologically tormented assassin in Killing Them Softly showed a softer side…

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REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone [2013]

“Pretend I’m still here and tell me all about it” I’m a big magic fan—always have been. Armed with a set of tricks needing extensive instructions before allowing my parents to feign astonishment at my implementation, I watched every David Copperfield special and even went to a weekly magic class one summer as a kid. There is something about making the impossible possible through hard work and dedication that is utterly satisfying. Who wouldn’t enjoy witnessing the look in someone’s eye when they’ve been genuinely surprised by a flawless illusion…

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REVIEW: Zero Dark Thirty [2012]

“Some hummus, tabouli—I don’t know what that is—some figs” I have a very clear recollection of the day Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan because I was having dinner in India when a friend Facebook messaged me from America with the news. With no fanfare or announcement, Hindi reporters on TV were my only point of confirmation before bed. Naively (stupidly) while waiting to leave Jaipur for Ahmedabad as lobby televisions played soaps instead of breaking news the next morning, I allowed a local paper to interview me about…

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REVIEW: Killing Them Softly [2012]

“America’s not a country. It’s just a business.” Now I know why writer/director Andrew Dominik changed his film’s name to Killing Me Softly. It’s not because star Brad Pitt uses the phrase to describe his preferred method of murder; that just supplied the words. I’d like to believe he did so because he knew how different a beast it was from the novel by George V. Higgins on which it’s based, Cogan’s Trade. Written in 1974, the book obviously couldn’t have had our recent global recession in mind let alone…

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REVIEW: Mr. Wonderful [1993]

“Find her another husband” Have I seriously been wired to assume I know how romantic comedies will end because so many of them are carbon copies of each other these days? It is like every entry to the genre now has the boy and girl with the wild card ex serving as the plot point for which to break them up and eventually get them back together. It’s been so formulaic for the past decade and a half that I went into 1993’s Mr. Wonderful with the end already played…

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REVIEW: Where the Wild Things Are [2009]

“Will you keep out all the sadness?” A few weeks back I went into Barnes and Noble to acquire a novel with a friend. While she was in the children’s section seeking some Spanish books to use with her students I moseyed on over to the illustrated nook whereupon I spied Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Remembering the cover image and very little else, I decided to flip through the pages and refresh my mind before catching the new adaptation in theatres. Surprising to me, each spread contained…

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REVIEW: In the Loop [2009]

“An anti-war shag?” There is something about British comedy that resonates with me. I don’t know if it is because we in the States experience so little of it, or maybe because Hollywood rapes and pillages the material for their own water-downed versions, but the humor just seems fresh, uncensored, and hilarious. When I first came across the new political black comedy In the Loop, I will admit to being less than interested. The marketing materials were using the whole Obama silkscreen poster look and I really wasn’t interested in…

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