Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Band Aid,” “The Discovery” & “Golden Exits”

Posted January 27, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  THE DISCOVERY (Netflix):  Charlie McDowell’s first film was the ingenious metaphysical farce The One I Love, so there was plenty of reason to eagerly anticipate his follow-up.  He (and, once again, co-writer Justin Lader) return to some of the same philosophical territory again with The Discovery, but with less pleasing results.  The main action […]

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Film Festival

ShowbuzzDaily Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Sidney Hall,” “To the Bone,” “The Little Hours” & “Beach Rats”

Posted January 27, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  SIDNEY HALL (no distrib):  Shawn Christensen’s literary drama (written with Jason Dolan) is initially engaging as a modern-day sort of J.D. Salinger story, told simultaneously across three time periods, with Sidney Hall (Logan Lerman throughout) presented as an arrogant but troubled teen, an acclaimed novelist, and a middle-aged man who’s run away from the […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “Rebel In the Rye,” “Newness,” “Landline,” “I Don’t Feel At Home,” “Ingrid Goes West” & “Walking Out”

Posted January 26, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  REBEL IN THE RYE (no distrib):  Danny Strong’s first film as a director is a biography of J. D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult), and it hits all the Salinger bullet points:  his early struggles to get published, his spectacularly doomed romance with legendary playwright’s daughter Oona O’Neill (he lost her to Charlie Chaplin), his difficult […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “The Last Word” & “Thoroughbred”

Posted January 25, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  THE LAST WORD (Bleecker Street):  Shirley MacLaine does the irascible codger thing.  She’s smart enough not to overplay the very familiar hand she’s been dealt by screenwriter Stuart Ross Fink and director Mark Pellington, but still there’s little here we haven’t seen many times before.  Harriet Lauler (MacLaine), while a holy terror to everyone […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Capsule Reviews

Posted February 2, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  When push came to shove, a choice had to be made between The Birth of A Nation and “the farting corpse movie” (AKA Swiss Army Man), and your faithful narrator has to confess that he went with the former, so apologies for that.  There are other films, as well, that I would have liked […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance 2015 Capsule Reviews

Posted February 4, 2015 by Mitch Salem

  Every year when I arrive at Sundance, I swear to myself that I’ll review each film there as soon as I’ve seen it, but after making the effort to keep up for the first day or two, a daily screening schedule that starts at 8:30AM each morning (earlier if you need to be on a Wait List line, and that […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance 2015 Review: “I Am Michael”

Posted January 30, 2015 by Mitch Salem

As an actor, James Franco often delivers performances that are packed in quotation marks, as though he’s an actor playing the role of an actor playing his role.  In I AM MICHAEL, however, he does serious, substantive work as Michael Glatze, a real-life one-time gay activist who became not just a fundamentalist Christian pastor, but a […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance 2015 Review: “Zipper”

Posted January 28, 2015 by Mitch Salem

  The title ZIPPER suggests something wittier and more enticing than Mora Stephens’ well-made melodrama turns out to be.  If a filmmaker is determined to reexamine the familiar story of a politician who can’t control his own personal excesses, some kind of new take or distinctive angle is advisable, but Stephens and her co-writer Joel Viertel […]

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