Chip Hourihan

Chip Hourihan

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Frozen River Review


Excellent
This film couldn't really be more timely if it tried, as it traces the length to which a fractured family is willing to go to survive financial turmoil. And each situation and relationship is beautifully rendered on screen.

In upstate New York, Ray (Leo) is struggling to cope after her husband ran off with their house-payment savings. Her sons TJ (McDermott), 15, and Ricky (Reilly), 5, don't really understand what's happened but want to help. Then Ray meets the Mohawk native Lila (Upham) and teams up to make some quick cash by driving across the frozen river to Canada and smuggling illegal immigrants back into the USA. But this is very dangerous business, and both woman will have to examine the risks they're taking.

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Frozen River Review


OK
In Courtney Hunt's Frozen River, two mothers begin smuggling illegal aliens across the Canadian border by way of the St. Lawrence River. One of them is white American, the other is Native American. The white mother wants to rekindle the trust between her and her two sons. The other mother simply wants her son back from her erstwhile mother-in-law.

Shot on DV and acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for under a million, River won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic Competition at this past year's Sundance Film Festival, beating out Lance Hammer's upcoming, hypnotic Ballast and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden's Sugar, Fleck's follow-up to the enthralling Half Nelson.

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You Belong To Me Review


Very Good
A tip of the reviewer's hat to Sam Zalutsky, the writer/director of You Belong to Me for keeping his thriller short, tight, and remarkably free of clichés that could easily have swamped his tense little story. Yet another drama about New York real estate that turns into a nightmare (we New Yorkers can't get enough of these), it's a film about apartment obsession and crazy landlords. Welcome to Manhattan!

Jeffrey (Daniel Sauli) is a young gay architect so dazzled by a one-night stand with a rakish Frenchman named Rene (Julien Lucas) that when Frenchie dismisses him coldly, Jeffrey doesn't care and sets off on a bit of a stalking mission to see if he can meet him again. His efforts lead to Rene's apartment building, where he meets the landlady, Gladys (Patti D'Arbanville), who points out a vacancy. What a great idea, Jeffrey thinks. I'll move in here and be close to Rene. He'll have to love me then, right?

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You Tell Me Review


OK
I like slacker comedies... a lot, actually. You Tell Me is typical of the genre: A gaggle of twentysomethings, relationship crises, obsession over irrelevant minutiae, and no plot to speak of.

Here we find three best buds, each dealing with relationship troubles and largely involving infidelity and feelings of inadequacy. Some of this is quite amusing: One of the guys is a birthday clown, which can't help matters in the bedroom department. Hey, that's funny. Of course, it's no wonder the fellas are having trouble with the ladies: All they do is talk about their troubles with the ladies, leaving them little time to actually interact with them. Emotional paralysis, anyone?

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Mind The Gap Review


Very Good
Pleasantly patching the lives of five disparate characters, Eric Schaeffer's Mind the Gap is a richly textured study of simple interconnections that weave a provocative emotional terrain without ever veering too far into overly sentimental soap operatic situations.

Sam (Eric Schaeffer) is a single father who purchased an egg off the internet to fulfill his paternal needs after being left at the altar a decade before. Malissa (Elizabeth Reaser) takes care of an invalid mother who is embittered by thoughts of the life she could have had if not becoming a mother. Jody (Jill Sobule) is a soulful singer/songwriter with a pacemaker who refuses to leaves the New York borough of Queens until she gets a gig in the big city. John (Charles Parnell) is undergoing separation anxiety from his young son, who now lives in New York with his mother and a new father figure. And Herb (Alan King) is a cranky old-timer on a mission to reach the highest point in Manhattan to relive what he and his brother loved about New York's past.

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Mind the Gap Movie Review

Mind the Gap Movie Review

Pleasantly patching the lives of five disparate characters, Eric Schaeffer's Mind the Gap is a...

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