Jeff Sharp

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The Night Listener Review

I'm going to give Robin Williams the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is so detached and distant in The Night Listener because it's how his character goes through life, not because, if he's not wrestling wildlife in a tacky Winnebago, the actor has no clue what to do with his face.

I will also assume that the episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent I saw ages ago with this same story - only much juicier, with extortion and murder in that one - was inspired by the same source material, rather than the film being a watered-down version of a crime show franchise.

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Lift Review

This Sundance-played look at the life of a shoplifter is above par when it's focusing on Niecy's (Kerry Washington) life of crime, but her family drama (pregnant out of wedlock, abrasive mother, etc.) is run of the mill at best. Unfortunately, the engaging moments are far outweighed by urban cliches, though Washington is a charismatic lead.

P.S. Review

Dylan Kidd's first film, Roger Dodger, conquered the rarified nation of two-character drama, anchored by Kidd's punchy dialogue and Campbell Scott's commanding lead performance. Kidd's follow-up, P.S., suggests he's not quite ready to expand. Not that this is a bad thing. Nor does Kidd actually repeat himself -- as there are a good deal more than two important characters in P.S., and that's the problem.

The two we care about are Louise (Laura Linney) and F. Scott (Topher Grace), an admissions officer at Columbia University and a prospective student, respectively. Their relationship hangs on a fascinatingly awkward hook: F. Scott is the spitting image of Louise's long-ago first love (now deceased): in body, mind, soul, and some other ways that are even harder to fake, like handwriting. Louise, a lonely divorcee, latches onto F. Scott's eerie familiarity. F. Scott, as a young man, latches onto Louise's cautious older-woman hotness.

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Dark Harbor Review

Reminiscent of the Joseph Losey-Harold Pinter collaborations in the '60s, or Roman Polanski's psycho-sexual thrillers of that same era, Dark Harbor is an understated thriller rippling with forbidden passions under a veneer of false calm.

David (Alan Rickman) and Alexis (Polly Walker) are suffering through an unhappy marriage where every look and gesture has fifteen shades of meaning, most of it tinted with frustration and hostility. Taking a page from Polanski's Cul-de-Sac, these characters are taking their vacation on a remote island off the coast of Maine.

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Boys Don't Cry Review

Boys Don't Cry, the first film that I have paid for without the promise of immediate compensation in quite a while, cost me $9.50 for a matinee.

It was worth every penny.

Continue reading: Boys Don't Cry Review

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