Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Knives Out” & “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”

Posted September 9, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  KNIVES OUT (Lionsgate – November 27):  Rian Johnson’s delectable reinvention of the old-fashioned puzzle whodunnit wears its convoluted plotting on its sleeve, weaving and circling about so that when you think you know what’s going on, he can bang his trap shut.  Johnson isn’t shy about his influences here.  The murder victim, Harlan Thrombrey […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Dolemite Is My Name,” “My Zoe” & “Briarpatch”

Posted September 8, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  DOLEMITE IS MY NAME (Netflix – October 4 in theatres/October 25 streaming): Putting aside his strong dramatic turn in Dreamgirls, it’s been an incredible 20 years, dating back to 1999’s Bowfinger, since Eddie Murphy’s work inspired the kind of joy that typified the first two decades of his career, joy that’s been diminished with […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Just Mercy,” “Pain & Glory,” “The Personal History of David Copperfield” & “Varda By Agnes”

Posted September 7, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  JUST MERCY (Warners – December 25):  As the release date suggests, this is a straight-down-the-middle Oscar play, and it may have some success in that arena (although Warners will also be campaigning for The Goldfinch and Joker).  Destin Daniel Cretton’s film, co-written with Andrew Lanham, belongs to the Innocent Man On Death Row subgenre, […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Review: “The Farewell”

Posted February 3, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  THE FAREWELL (A24):  Lulu Wang’s The Farewell is what could be called Sundance Classic, a small, very personal film nurtured by the festival into wide enough attention that A24 paid $6M to release it.  It’s based on Wang’s own life, so much so that it would be a spoiler to reveal the caption to […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Late Night” & “Paradise Hills”

Posted February 3, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  LATE NIGHT (Amazon):  It’s legitimate to note that the thoroughly mainstream and commercial Late Night belonged at Sundance just about as much as The Devil Wears Prada would have, since to a large extent it transposes Prada from fashion to the world of late-night talk shows.  The festival’s decision to host Late Night (which paid […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Luce” & “Sonja: The White Swan”

Posted February 3, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  LUCE (Neon):  Julius Onah’s film was one of the most gripping and provocative of the festival, combining a tale about social and racial tensions with the suspense of a psychological thriller.  Based by director Julius Onah and JC Lee on the latter’s play (as adapted, the drama isn’t in any way stagebound), it centers […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Official Secrets” & “Greener Grass”

Posted February 3, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  OFFICIAL SECRETS (IFC):  Film festivals have a way of creating unintended double features when thematically similar films are seen in close proximity, and it’s hard to watch Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets without thinking about Scott Z Burns’s The Report.  Both are stories of whistleblowers and cover-ups involving the lead-up to the war in Iraq, […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “State Of the Union” & “Fighting With My Family”

Posted February 3, 2019 by Mitch Salem

  STATE OF THE UNION (Sundance Channel):  The lines between narrative visual media continue to blur, and State Of the Union is an A-list talent contribution to a genre that doesn’t exactly exist yet.  It’s a story told in ten 10-minute episodes, all of them written by the novelist and screenwriter Nick Hornby and directed […]

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