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Cannes Review: Van Sant's 'Sea of Trees' is a Very Interesting Mess

Sea of Trees Review

Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. The Sea of Trees is the latest from Gus Van Sant, a filmmaker with a very eclectic track record that proves he's not afraid to put himself out there and experiment. His movies may not always hit their mark but the passion and unique creative voice is always there. Despite early negative buzz at the festival, The Sea of Trees is far from the disaster Cannes audiences have made it out to be. The film is a bit long and flawed in some areas but extremely watchable. Cannes always needs a high-profile whipping boy and with its lush pedigree, this year Van Sant's The Sea of Trees fits the bill but in reality the opposite is true. This film is Gus Van Sant's best since Milk.

 Posted May 24 in Cannes 15, Review | Comments

Cannes Review: 'Sicario' is a Fascinating Commentary on Violence

Sicario Review

Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve is quickly becoming a crucial voice in cinema, crafting human stories of immense power and durability. His one-two-three punch of Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy has been enough to get him noticed in film-savvy circles, but his latest film Sicario may be his best work to date. It's a bleak drug-trade thriller on the surface but deep down it's really a dense character study with comments on the violence in this modern world. It's in the same ballpark as other modern commentaries like Traffic and Zero Dark Thirty but with its own unique flavor.

 Posted May 24 in Cannes 15, Review | Comments

Cannes Review: 'Youth' Makes Growing Old With Caine & Keitel Fun

Youth Review

Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Most films depicting old age tell their stories slowly and move in a darker and depressing direction. While this isn't always a bad thing, director Paolo Sorrentino's new film Youth takes a more light-hearted approach to aging and it's a welcome departure. The Italian filmmaker recently won the Best Foreign Language Oscar for The Great Beauty and all the fun and whimsy of that previous endeavor is on full display here as well. Youth is also Sorrentino's second English-language film after the disastrous This Must Be the Place, a huge misfire that has paved the way for this return to form.

 Posted May 22 in Cannes 15, Review | Comments

Cannes Review: 'Inside Out' is a Stellar Return to Form for Pixar

Pixar's Inside Out Review

Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. The Pixar brand has lately been tarnished with unnecessary sequels and sub-par original fare making fans wonder if the magic has run out of the powerhouse. After all, this is the company that created classics like Toy Story, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Wall-E so after witnessing their recent output in the last few years, a cause for concern would make sense. The good news is the drought is over and Pixar has come roaring back with their latest Inside Out, which premiered in Cannes. It's an adventure built inside the mind of an eleven-year-old girl with her emotions as main characters. It's fast, funny and deeply touching in a way that will entertain kids and sucker punch adults.

 Posted May 21 in Cannes 15, Pixar, Review | Comments

Cannes Review: 'Carol' Exposes Raw Truths & Powerful Performances

Carol Review

Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Director Todd Haynes is best known for making the 2002 theatrical feature Far from Heaven and the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce", two works that probed deep into human emotion and hidden desires. His latest is the equally effective Carol, an unofficial companion piece that focuses on forbidden love in the 1950's and delivers top-notch performances from its two female leads. This should come as no surprise since Haynes is used to getting great performances from his actresses but this might be the first time the two ladies in question are so strong that they command the entire movie.

 Posted May 21 in Cannes 15, Review | Comments

Cannes Review: Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Isn't His Best Effort

Irrational Man

Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Two recurring themes in Woody Allen's filmography are murder and dangerous love affairs. His latest is Irrational Man and it continues this trend with mixed results. But mostly it will leave you with thoughts of revisiting Allen's better efforts like Crimes and Misdemeanors, Match Point and Cassandra's Dream. His latest film (which just premiered at Cannes) takes place in a concentrated college town where everyone seems to know each other and privacy is nonexistent. Insecure philosophy professor Abe Lucas (played by Joaquin Phoenix) has just been hired at the fictional Braylin College and it's treated like an atom bomb of gossip by the faculty and student body.

 Posted May 20 in Cannes 15, Review | Comments

'Gambler', 'Sniper', 'Vice', 'Eyes' - 2014 Christmas Week Movie Guide

Christmas Week Movie Guide

"One dream can change the world." Happy Holidays folks! Continuing our annual tradition of providing new release Thanksgiving and Christmas Week Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco-based contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together another comprehensive guide for Christmas 2014, providing a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing. Marco has seen almost everything out there, and while you may not always agree with him, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There's an interesting selection of movies playing this holiday.

 Posted December 24 in Editorial, Feat, Review | Comments

Our 2014 Thanksgiving Week Movie Guide - 'Rosewater' to 'Penguins'

Thanksgiving Week Movie Guide 2014

Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together a holiday movie guide for Thanksgiving 2014, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen everything playing, and while you may not always agree with his opinion, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are quite a few wonderful films now playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need extra tips, then look no further!

 Posted November 26 in Editorial, Feat, Review | Comments

Our 2013 Thanksgiving Week Movie Guide - '12 Years' to 'Philomena'

2013 Thanksgiving Week Movie Guide

Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together a holiday movie guide for Thanksgiving 2013, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen everything playing, and while you may not always agree with his opinion, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are quite a few wonderful films now playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need extra tips, then look no further!

 Posted November 27 in Editorial, Feat, Review | Comments

Our Complete 2012 Christmas Week Now Playing Movie Guide is Up

Christmas Week Movie Guide 2012

"You had my curiosity. But now, you have my attention." Continuing our tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco-based contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together another movie guide for Christmas 2012, providing a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing. Marco has seen almost everything out there, and while you may not always agree with him, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone. There are some good movies now playing, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch this week, look no further!

 Posted December 24 in Editorial, Feat, Review | Comments

Our 2012 Thanksgiving Weekend Now Playing Movie Guide to Peruse

Thanksgiving Weekend Movie Guide 2012

Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together another movie guide for Thanksgiving 2012, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen everything playing, and while you may not always agree with his opinion, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are quite a few wonderful films now playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need extra tips, then look no further!

 Posted November 21 in Editorial, Feat, Review | Comments

Our 2011 Christmas Weekend Movies Guide + Reviews Unwrapped!

Christmas Weekend Movies Guide

Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our resident San Fran contributor, Marco Cerritos, has again put together a movie guide for Christmas 2011, providing a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's truly worth seeing. Marco has seen almost everything out there, and while you may not always agree with him, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are some great films currently playing in theaters (average grade is a B+), so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch this Holiday, then look no further!

 Posted December 24 in Editorial, Feat, Opinions, Review | Comments

Our Complete Thanksgiving Weekend Movie Guide 2011 Has Arrived

Thanksgiving Weekend Movie Guide 2011

Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our resident San Fran contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together another movie guide for Thanksgiving 2011, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen almost everything out there, and while you may not always agree with him, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are some fantastic films currently playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need a few tips, then look no further!

 Posted November 24 in Editorial, Feat, Opinions, Review | Comments

Looking Back: Marco's Picks for the Best & Worst Films of 2010

Marco's Best & Worst Films of 2010

It's always a good feeling to take a second look at movies that inspired you throughout the year since that's what going to the movies is all about in the first place. To provide a joyful escape under a darkened theatre for two hours while the outside world drifts away. This is what good movies bring out in me, but bad movies are another matter entirely. Those are the kinds of experiences where I truly love my job because why else would I willingly subject myself to celluloid torture on a regular basis. In other words, a good movie is never long enough and a bad film is never short enough. Check out my lists of the Best & Worst of 2010 below!

 Posted January 11 in Editorial, Feat, Opinions | Comments

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