It's hard to keep an open mind when the synopsis - celebrated author Truman Capote heads to Kansas after a quadruple homicide rocks a rural town, where he becomes obsessed with one of the killers as he pens his book In Cold Blood - perfectly describes not only the new release Infamous, but last year's Capote just as well. To try to look at Infamous in a vacuum is disingenuous at best; no one who will see this movie has not at least heard of the other.
Continue reading: Infamous Review
When Richard Linklater released Waking Life in 2001, he became the granddaddy of a whole new kind of filmmaking process. The film had been shot and edited like a normal feature, then sent to computer jocks who basically painted over each frame, giving the images a surreal quality of undulating colors that fell somewhere between photography and animation -- an acid-trip philosophy lesson.
Linklater returns to the same technique once again (and for the last time, from what he has said, due to rampant production difficulties) for a much more literal acid trip. Based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, A Scanner Darkly is a feature-length PSA on the evils of drugs and the potentially-as-damaging efforts to ferret them out of society.
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Tape is based on a play by Stephen Belber, and the playwright contributes the clunky script, full of obvious dialogue and silly posturing. With one strike already against them, the experienced, name cast (Hawke, Leonard, and Thurman) then take the problem a step further, apparently not realizing that performances need to be taken down a notch on video, as the medium tends to overexpose every movement and moment. (While Thurman's performance is good, the trio need to watch Brad Anderson's Session 9 for a good example of subtle acting on video.)
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The four young guys that our lovable preteens came to gawk at are McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich, and Vincent D'Onofrio as Willis, Jess, Joe, and Dock Newton respectively. The Newton boys are you're stereotypical cowboys turned bank robbers who have decided that a home on the range isn't enough for them.
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I have scarcely seen such genuine emotion portrayed on the screen, and the blooming romance between the two actors is absolutely believable. Unfortunately, often the dialogue is not. The hallmark of any Linklater film, people talk out of character as often as not, causing a number of the vignettes to fail with the audience. Also, the film's gruelingly slow pace made me check my watch far too many times. Thankfully these flaws don't detract from the film overmuch, but there are a few blemishes on this otherwise nice work.
Continue reading: Before Sunrise Review
Most people will not understand Waking Life. Some will find it to be one of the most brilliant pieces of film ever produced. I found it to be beyond words; a combination of film, groundbreaking computer animation, and a difficult and profane script that produces a sublime interpretation of existence.
Continue reading: Waking Life Review
Now, the pair meets again in this unlikely sequel that reunites the two stars with writer/director Linklater, returning to his do-it-yourself roots after the wild commercial success of his School of Rock. In Before Sunset, he stays true to his original characters while bringing them into an updated world where their lives may not be what either expected.
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