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‘Our Brand is Crisis’ plays it too safe

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Rating: «« out of 4 Stars

Running Time: 107 min.

Based on the 2005 documentary of the same name, Our Brand Is Crisis fictionalizes the 2002 presidential election in Bolivia. Unlike the previous incarnation, the approach of this narrative is satiric. It makes for an unusual film; one that has to straddle the line between...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for October 30, 2015

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Happy Halloween to all you readers out there. It’s time for a look at the highlights coming your way on Blu-ray and DVD. Just because it’s the time for trick-or-treating doesn’t mean there aren’t options in all kinds of different genres. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try.

Big New Releases!

A Borrowed Identity - This co-production between Israel, Germany and France follows a Palestinian teen who is sent to a boarding school in Jerusalem. He struggles to fit in but eventually finds his place, only to run into further complications when he begins dating a young girl from a different background. The press...

‘Rock the Kasbah’ could use some fine-tuning

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Rating: «« out of 4 Stars

Running Time: 100 min.

Director Barry Levinson has had a storied career filled with plenty of strong titles (Diner, The Natural, Rain Man, Bugsy, Wag the Dog) and a few misfires (Toys, Sphere, Bandits). His latest, Rock the Kasbah, falls somewhere in between. The flick features an entertaining Murray and some impressively shot locales, but struggles when it comes to the more serious elements and delivering its overall message.

Richie Lanz (Billy Murray) is an aging rock tour manager, struggling for cash and working out of a motel in Van Nuys, California. To make some fast money, he accepts an offer to take a client (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO military tour...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for October 23, 2015

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Wow, it’s another busy week with all sorts of interesting material hitting the shelves, including the year’s biggest box office hit. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

Big New Releases!

About Alex - Promoted as a comedy/drama along the lines of The Big Chill, this independent feature involves a group of twenty-something friends who reunite. When one of them has a breakdown, it forces the others to deal with the various personal conflicts they have with each another. Reaction was very split - while some found it to be an honest look at the troubles of its generation, others felt that many of the characters...

Crimson Peak: Both Sweet and Sour

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Rating: «« out of 4 stars

Running Time: 118 min.

I’ve often wondered why the spirits of the deceased are so darn vague in their warnings to loved ones in the movies. They make such a big deal about their appearance, often startling the party being haunted. But then, instead of explicitly stating the threat, warn that one should “beware” of something vague on the horizon. Perhaps they’re on a schedule and can’t float around for very long, or are just taking a wild guess themselves (although their calls always seem to come true), or maybe they simply enjoy messing with people.

Crimson Peak has its share of these moments. On a technical level, the ghosts are rather fantastic...

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