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As Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar opens with Leonardo DiCaprio's narration, I gulp. Uh oh, Leo with an accent? This can't be good. But boy oh boy did he prove me wrong. Growing Pains star no more, DiCaprio nailed it this time, proving his absolute brilliance as an actor. Man, I feel old. While in the 30's and 40's J. Edgar Hoover, first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, may have appeared a badass figure to young boys looking for a hero to emulate on their...
Documentary filmmaker Amy Oden is seeking support for her new project, Exotic, which she's hoping to start shooting next year. The film will follow women traveling from the mainland US to Guam to work as exotic dancers. Oden hopes to present a look at a kind of sex work not covered by other media outlets. The money she raises on Kickstarter will help fund her trip to Guam, as well as basics like tape stock and hard drives. Her goal is to raise $5000 by...

Have you ever been in one of those relationships where you feel like only you and the other person exist? If so, Drake Doremus' Like Crazy will evoke all your nostalgia, and suck you into the confined space that young lovers create for themselves.    You may recognize actor Anton Yelchin from Alpha Dog or Charlie Bartlett, but he has certainly taken a leap of maturity in this film. Yelchin plays Jacob, a college T.A. who receives a love note from British classmate Anna (Felicity Jones). An...

After Rachel Fleischer graduated from college she took out a loan for a video camera, and took to roaming the streets to create a project she was sincere about filming.  She would dedicate the next four years of her life to documenting the lives of homeless people on the streets of Los Angeles.  Through her very personal and compassionate documentary, Without a Home, she gives some of the people she met a chance to tell their stories honestly.  Fleischer explains how she spent most of...
                      Movies based on real life stories get people talking. It’s not very often though that those same movies get a government to rethink its laws. But that’s exactly what happened in South Korea after a movie based on the true story of a sexual abuse scandal at a school for the deaf was released last month. The movie, Do-ga-ni (The Crucible), takes a look at a teacher who starts working at a school in the southwestern city of...

John Fiske writes in his book Television Culture, "A representation of a car chase only makes sense in relation to all the others we have seen." This very notion is what makes Nicolas Winding Refn's  Drive, bewildering, as the film doesn't ascribe to the formulas of the past. It's mobster, meets 80's action, meets film noir, and audiences just aren't used to that. Ryan Gosling plays Driver, a stuntman by day and chauffeur for big time robbery at night. What immediately insights a post-modern feeling of...

In The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, a documentary airing tonight on HBO, Dee Dee Ricks is a wealthy, materialistic socialite who has everything--including breast cancer. She is lucky to have the money and health insurance to provide herself with her needed health care. But the piling medical bills are a sobering life changer for Dee Dee, as she becomes empathetic to women with breast cancer who aren’t as lucky as she is. Having cancer opens Dee Dee up...

Attention Madge fans, the new trailer for Madonna's movie W.E. has dropped.  Will it be her comeback into the film world?  From the looks of the trailer, the cinematography looks beautiful and the music is lovely.   The film, written and directed by Madonna, takes place in 1930s England, and is Madonna's take on the affair between American socialite Wallis Simpson and and King Edward VII.  King Edward later abdicated the throne to be with Ms. Simpson, and the whole thing was the height of celebrity...

"It's impossible," observes Nigel Slater, "not to love someone who made you toast."   So begins Toast, an odd, colorful new film about food and love, and based on the English chef's memoir of the same name.  Slater's observations on both topics, read in voice-overs, bring humor to what is otherwise the story of a very sad childhood.   The story opens in a grocery store, where young Nigel (played by Oscar Kennedy, then Freddie Highmore when he grows up) is following around his lovely mum (Victoria...
Tiffany Shlain, the filmmaker who brought us reproductive rights documentary Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and explored American Jewish identity via Barbie dolls in The Tribe, is back with Connected: An Autoblogography About Life, Death, and Technology.  It’s a film that touches on topics near and very dear to Shlain; as the founder of the Webby Awards, a ceremony recognizing the best of the Internet since 1996 (do you remember the Internet in 1996? Tiffany Shlain does, and while I was a ten...