Take Slippery Slope. Here we have Gillian (Kelly Hutchinson), who is such a radical feminist that she made a documentary about feminism. The doc is accepted into Cannes for screening... but she still owes the film lab $50,000, and they won't release the print until she pays up. She's broke, of course, so what will she have to do to earn the money? If you said the thing she hates the most -- porn -- you're well on your way to a bustling career in Hollywood.
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More than enough, it turns out.
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The second season is no different. It's riveting television that pulses with realism, intelligence, and harrowing drama. If by chance you've stumbled upon this review without having watched the first season, update your Netflix queue immediately, with The Wire: Season One at the top. Like nearly all of today's best hour-long dramas, its multilayered storytelling technique demands a great deal of attention to detail from the viewer. The show can't be fully appreciated without understanding each character's nuanced backstory and the history of interactions and conflicts everyone has with one another. So start at the beginning and enjoy.
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Based on the play by Joan Ackermann (and adapted by Ackermann for the screen), Off the Map recalls one summer in the life of an offbeat family living off the land in rural New Mexico. It's essentially a series of dialogue-driven scenarios that actors like Joan Allen and Sam Elliott can sink their teeth into; Scott guides them there while avoiding any unnecessary scene-chewing or melodrama that could come with the subject matter. That's an accomplishment in itself -- but the visual dreaminess and charm that Scott weaves into, and wraps around, his performances elevate the film into a poignant and thoughtful work of art.
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Unfortunately Normal Life is a dud from a story and pacing standpoint, as it attempts to combine Bonnie and Clyde with a sexed-up Skinemax movie, plus a touch of Girl, Interrupted. Judd is an emotional basketcase with a penchant for cutting herself (named, ahem, Pam Anderson), while Luke Perry (sure, you remember him!) is a cop who falls for the poor lass (first spotting her smashing a beer mug in a bar -- great sign!).
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