Eric Thal

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Mouth To Mouth Review


OK
Mouth to Mouth has enough going for it that you want to like it. But, try as you might, writer-director-dance choreographer Alison Murray's youth cautionary tale will likely leave you frustrated, and exhausted by the effort. Murray's movie rides on a thin dramatic premise: Sherry (Ellen Page), a teenager alienated from her mother (there's something new) runs away and joins a radical youth cooperative (read: cult) made up of society's backwash, i.e. junkies, runaways, and former prostitutes.

The group's fist-in-the-air acronym is SPARK (Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge), and the creed they rally around is "intellectual self-defense" -- a catchphrase that should ring a bell with anyone familiar with the 1992 Noam Chomsky documentary Manufacturing Consent. Apart from weaning addicts off drugs, SPARK's shaven-headed principal members, none of whom apparently owns a shirt, operate with no bigger political purpose in mind. Largely, the group exists as a generic narrative device -- an aimless, visionless organization of Murray's concoction solely to run Sherry through her paces.

Continue reading: Mouth To Mouth Review

The Shaft Review


Weak
In a perverse way, you might consider The Shaft to be a kooky prequel to The Ring. (Get it?) Both feature possessed/demonic household items (elevator/videotape) and both star Naomi Watts as a reporter.

You might also consider that if you decide to watch a movie with a title like The Shaft, that's exactly what you'll get... the shaft.

Continue reading: The Shaft Review

Mixing Nia Review


Weak
Nia is a mixed-race ad executive who just can't come to grips with her life, particularly her place in the social strata of New York City. Ostinsibly, you are supposed to care about whether Nia chooses vegetarianism, or whether she chooses to segregate her books based on the color of the writer. Unfortunately, Nia is so plainly shallow, not to mention pretty stupid, that you will probably have little luck caring about her at all. A few funny moments redeem the picture from drecksville, but overall the movie is a throwaway.
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