THE BIJOU REVIEW: “Bad Teacher” – Passable

Posted June 24, 2011 by Mitch Salem

>    Worth A Ticket:  Grade It On A Curve In 1999, Jake Kasdan directed a project set in high school that starred Jason Segel and featured Dave (Gruber) Allen in its ensemble; it was called Freaks and Geeks, and it has its own special place in pop culture history.   His new BAD TEACHER… […]

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THE SHOWBUZZDAILY REVIEW: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

Posted May 2, 2012 by Mitch Salem

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL:  Worth A Ticket – A Different Kind of Dream Team Bear with me here. On Friday, Fox Searchlight will throw THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL directly into the path of the mega-buster that is The Avengers.  (Well, in 27 big-city theatres, anyway.)  It’s tempting, of course, to see this as […]

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Current Release

THE 11 BEST 10 FILMS OF 2014 and Other Movie Thoughts

Posted December 26, 2014 by Mitch Salem

  There was a distinct feeling in 2014 that movies–the business and art of mainstream American film–reached a kind of tipping point.  The industry seemed to collectively hit that moment in its flight when so much fuel has been burned that there’s no longer any realistic possibility of returning to home base. Trends that have […]

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Film Festival

TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 1 Capsule Reviews: “The Magnificent 7″” & “Free Fire”

Posted September 9, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  THE MAGNIFICENT 7 (Village Roadshow/MGM/Columbia/Sony – Sept 23):  Cinema survived in 1960 when Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece The Seven Samurai was transformed into an American western, and it will survive this new adequate but uninspired remake of the remake.  Despite a script co-credited to True Detective‘s Nik Pizzolatto (with Richard Wenk), and a promising match-up […]

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Current Release

THE SHOWBUZZDAILY REVIEW: “Oz the Great and Powerful”

Posted March 7, 2013 by Mitch Salem

  OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL:  Watch It At Home – Not All Yellow Brick Roads Are Golden The digital landscapes in Sam Raimi’s prequel OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL are gorgeous:  eye-poppingly colorful, and crammed with beautiful, intricate detail.  There’s also a flying, talking monkey and a living china doll, both generated in the […]

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Current Release


Posted April 5, 2013 by Mitch Salem

  TRANCE:  Watch It At Home – Tricky But Unsatisfying Thriller From Danny Boyle TRANCE is both extremely clever and remarkably stupid.  I wish I could explain exactly how, but Danny Boyle’s thriller, written by John Hodge and Joe Ahearne, has the kind of story that piles reversals on twists on reveals, so there’s not […]

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Posted October 18, 2011 by Mitch Salem

> Los Angelenos will have a chance to get advance looks at some of this year’s Oscar candidates at the AFI Film Festival, which begins in just about 2 weeks.  Today the Festival announced the Gala and Special Screenings, which typically make up the bulk of the high-profile titles, and they include quite a few […]

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Film Festival


Posted September 11, 2013 by Mitch Salem

  There’s no cutesiness to be found in John Curran’s film TRACKS, a bracingly non-Disneyfied true-life nature tale.  In the mid-1970s, a young Australian woman named Robyn Davidson decided to walk across almost two thousand miles of desert to the Indian Ocean, accompanied for the most part by only a few camels and her faithful dog. […]

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