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Tag Archive | "Hollywood Reporter"

‘Mrs. Fang’: Film Review | Locarno 2017

Chinese documentarian Wang Bing chronicles the last 10 days in the life of the title character in his latest documentary.

Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing gets death ready for its close-up in Mrs. Fang, his Locarno Golden Leopard winner that’s as unflinching as it is gloomy. The film’s relatively fleet 86-minute running time is miniscule compared to the whopping 551 minutes […]

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‘The Wandering Soap Opera’ (‘La telenovela errante’): Film Review | Locarno 2017

Filmmaker Raul Ruiz, who died in 2011, shot a jocular commentary on and in his native Chile in 1990, and that film has now finally been finished by his widow, Valeria Sarmiento.

The late Chilean but Europe-based filmmaker Raul Ruiz died in 2011, after he had fully completed one of his best works, The Mysteries of Lisbon, and initiated another ambitious […]

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‘Overdrive’: Film Review

Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp play high-stakes car thieves who get mixed up with mobsters in this revved-up heist thriller.

The phenomenal success of the Fast and the Furious series has inevitably spawned a spate of rubber-burning copycats, from the deluxe nerd porn of Edgar Wright’s wildly overpraised Baby Diver to more nakedly obvious cash-ins like this glossy French heist thriller. […]

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‘The Song of Scorpions’: Film Review | Locarno 2017

Golshifteh Farahani and Irrfan Khan play a “scorpion singer” and camel peddler, respectively, in Anup Singh’s lush, Hindi-language drama.

A “scorpion singer” from the Rajasthan desert is pursued by a particularly tenacious camel trader in The Song of Scorpions, the third feature from Switzerland-based British filmmaker Anup Singh (Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost). After making films in Bengali and […]

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‘The Last Dalai Lama?’: Film Review

Mickey Lemle’s new film revisits the legacy of the Tibetan spiritual leader 25 years after his original documentary was released.

Perhaps no religious leader has been as consistently visible on the world stage over the past 50 years as the 14th Dalai Lama, the revered Buddhist monk who fled Tibet in 1959 to escape Chairman Mao’s communist regime. In the decades […]

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‘Once Upon a Time’: Film Review

Codirectors Zhao Xiaoding and Anthony LaMolinara team up to adapt a sprawling fantasy novel by Tang Qi.

An epic hybrid of storybook fable and good-versus-evil supernatural fantasy, Once Upon a Time would give prospective viewers a better hint at its convoluted nature if it wore the title of the Chinese novel on which it is based: Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten […]

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‘A Taxi Driver’: Film Review

In spring 1980, a South Korean cabbie awakens to the brutalities of his country’s government in a drama based on actual events.

Many Western filmgoers are probably unfamiliar with the Gwangju Uprising, a cataclysmic event in South Korea’s struggle for democracy. The fourth feature by director Jang Hoon brings the May 1980 revolt and its violent suppression to vivid life through […]

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‘Iceman’ (‘Der Mann aus dem Eis’): Film Review | Locarno 2017

German actor Juergen Vogel plays a Copper Age Alps-dweller who is out for revenge in this fictional take on what the life of wet mummy Otzi might have been like before he died.

It could be called the first murder mystery in human history: Who killed the man now nicknamed “Otzi,” an Eneolithic Alps dweller whose exceptionally well-preserved mummy was found […]

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‘Bedeviled’: Film Review

Teenagers realize their phones are making life hell in Abel and Burlee Vang’s thriller.

Filmmaking brothers Abel and Burlee Vang hope to reinvent boogeyman-centric thrillers in Bedeviled, in which an artificially intelligent phone app outgrows its users’ devices and comes to menace them in the flesh. Heavily influenced by A Nightmare on Elm Street by way of the Ring series, the […]

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‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’: Film Review

Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl and Maya Rudolph are joined by Jackie Chan for another chaotic animated romp in the park.

“You mean, there was actually a previous Nut Job?”
In response to the comment that often greets mention of The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, indeed there was one.
An animated adventure featuring a frantic menagerie of urban park dwellers, the feature […]

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‘The Ghoul’: Film Review

Ben Wheatley collaborator Gareth Tunley makes his writer-director debut with this eerie psycho-thriller about a haunted detective.

A British micro-budget nerve-jangler that keeps viewers guessing to the final frame, The Ghoul is a noir-flavored mood piece with grand ambitions beyond its minimal means. It marks the feature debut of actor-turned-director Gareth Tunley, known for his roles in Ben Wheatley’s early films Down […]

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‘Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Summer Edition’: TV Review

Michael Che and Colin Jost get a summer half-hour showcase that feels predictably like a padded Weekend Update segment.

NBC following up a resurgent season of Saturday Night Live with several weeks of what is being branded Weekend Update Summer Edition (but still listed as Saturday Night Live for your DVRing convenience) is a bit like like a restaurant celebrating the […]

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‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’: Film Review

Ryan Reynolds tries to convince Samuel L. Jackson he needs protection in Patrick Hughes’ late-summer action-comedy.

Having directed nearly every other male action star (and a slew of top-billed non-stars) in The Expendables 3, Patrick Hughes adds Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson to his stable in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, an action comedy that takes the Midnight Run template to The […]

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‘The Terms of My Surrender’: Theater Review

Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore makes his Broadway debut with this one-man show mixing politics and autobiography.

It seemed easy to predict what Michael Moore’s one-man Broadway show would be like — a two-hour political rally in which the left-wing provocateur/filmmaker would lecture the audience about the evils of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. That prediction turns out to be […]

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‘Lola Pater’: Locarno Review

Fanny Ardant (‘The Woman Next Door’) stars as a transgender mother hoping to reconnect with her son in this new drama from writer-director Nadir Mokneche.

A tenderhearted if rather formulaic drama of family reunion, Lola Pater marks a slight milestone in French cinema, telling the story of a trans woman reconciling with her long-lost son in ways that are more fitting […]

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‘The Ice Cream Truck’: Film Review

That tinkly earworm jingle stands for bloodshed in Megan Freels Johnston’s suburban slasher pic.

A young mother settling into her new home faces temptations and threats in The Ice Cream Truck, Megan Freels Johnston’s suburban slasher pic. Amid the familiar observations about the creepiness of middle-class conformity and the passing of youth, the sophomore filmmaker appears to be aiming for something […]

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‘Red Dawn’: THR’s 1984 Review

On August 10, 1984, MGM/UA unveiled the war drama Red Dawn, featuring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, in theaters. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below: 
While John Milius’ Red Dawn casts little constructive light on modern Anglo-Soviet relations, its rising at the height of our present Olympics-inspired patriotism represents a rather shrewd bit of capitalistic marketing strategy.
Reaction to the MGM/UA’s […]

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‘Good Manners’ (‘As boas maneiras’): Film Review | Locarno 2017

Brazilian writer-directors Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas’ horror-drama world-premiered in competition at the Swiss extravaganza.

The semi-moribund werewolf genre gets an flavorsome injection of Brazilian blood in Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas’s enjoyably ambitious Good Manners (As boas maneiras). Just as lycanthropes combine human and lupine aspects, the picture itself is a hybrid of art house and genre cinema, combining sharp social commentary […]

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‘The Dead Nation’ (‘Tara Moarta’): Film Review | Locarno 2017

Radu Jude’s documentary on anti-semitism in 1930s-40s Romania premiered in the edgy ‘Signs of Life’ section of the Swiss festival.

There are currently few more unpredictable careers in European cinema than that of Romania’s Radu Jude, who takes a quietly stunning segue into non-fiction territory with his fifth feature-length work, The Dead Nation (Tara Moarta). An essayistic juxtaposition of historical materials from Jude’s native […]

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‘What Happened to Monday’: Film Review | Locarno 2017

Noomi Rapace toplines a sci-fi thriller in seven roles, playing siblings targeted by a government ruthlessly enforcing its one-child policy.

Tommy Wirkola, who brought us Nazi zombies and turned Hansel and Gretel into witch hunters, casts his speculative gaze toward near-future dystopia in What Happened to Monday, a thriller that pits a septet of illegal siblings against an authoritarian regime. The […]

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‘The Farthest’: Film Review

Emer Reynolds’ documentary recounts the continuing story of the Voyager space mission.

You don’t have to be a science geek to love Emer Reynolds’ fascinating documentary about NASA’s landmark Voyager mission that launched two unmanned spacecraft to explore the outer reaches of the solar system. Being given a limited theatrical release in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the 1977 launch, […]

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‘Pilgrimage’: Film Review

Tom Holland plays a monk helping to deliver a holy relic to Rome in Brendan Muldowney’s violent, 13th-century-set drama.

Tom Holland fans shouldn’t expect the new Spider-Man to make any lighthearted quips in his latest film, in which he plays a taciturn Irish monk. A tale about a group of 13th-century monks attempting to transport a holy relic to Rome at […]

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‘Jungle’: Film Review | Melbourne 2017

Daniel Radcliffe plays a man lost in the Amazon in the latest feature from ‘The Belko Experiment’ director Greg McLean.

More than a decade after premiering Wolf Creek in Melbourne, director Greg McLean has returned to the festival that made his name with Jungle. Based on the memoir by Yossi Ghinsberg, an Israeli man who got himself lost in the Bolivian jungle in 1981, the new […]

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‘To Kill a Watermelon’ (‘Sha Gua’): Film Review

Chinese filmmaker Gao Zehao’s satire about a farmer’s growing awareness of the injustice around him will bow at the Montreal World Film Festival after its prize-winning premiere at China’s FIRST Film Festival.

In his director’s notes, Gao Zehao describes his latest film as “a story about reawakening of a rebellious consciousness among people in the lowest rung of society.” The message […]

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‘Rabbit’: Film Review | Melbourne 2017

‘Rectify’ star Adelaide Clemens anchors a psychological thriller about a young woman searching for her twin sister.

If Get Out was transplanted to Australia and had its sense of humor confiscated by customs, the result would surely look something like Rabbit. Making its debut in Melbourne but filmed in the leafy suburbs and surrounds of Adelaide, this debut feature from director […]

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‘Get Shorty’: TV Review

Epix launches its best series yet with this charming, addictive adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel and 1995 film.

Not only is the third time the charm for Epix and its adventures into scripted series, but the third time — in the guise of the improbable Get Shorty — is charming, addictive and an eye-opener of impeccable quality.
The premium subscription service jumped into […]

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‘Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde)’: Film Review | Locarno 2017

Isabelle Huppert stars as the title character and her prim alter ego in this wacky reimagination of the Stevenson novel, directed by Serge Bozon.

The physics-teacher protagonist of Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde), an offbeat, gender-swapped update of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale of split identities, explains to one of her students that in science, sometimes you can’t think in a […]

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‘Atypical’: TV Review

Netflix’s newest series stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport as the parents of an autistic teen.

If you want to see a good show with the potential to be a very good show suddenly shoot itself repeatedly in the foot and become a show you don’t want to watch anymore, then Netflix’s new dramedy Atypical, about an autistic teenage boy’s coming […]

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‘Savage Dog’: Film Review

British martial arts expert Scott Adkins stars in the latest low-budget feature from action director Jesse V. Johnson.

Former stuntman and genre expert Jesse V. Johnson (The Package, The Fifth Commandment) has been churning out low-budget actioners featuring a string of recognizable B-list names over more than a decade for a mostly niche audience. Savage Dog may marginally raise his profile […]

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‘The Battleship Island’: Film Review

Ryoo Seung-wan follows up ‘Veteran’ with a sprawling WWII epic starring Hwang Jung-min (‘Fists of Legend’).

While Western audiences’ enthusiasm remained focused on Dunkirk for a second weekend, South Koreans last week were flocking to The Battleship Island, another expansive WWII epic, propelling it to the top of the domestic box office. With its overly complex plot and sometimes strident tone, […]

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‘Tomorrow and Thereafter’ (‘Demain et tous les autres jours’): Film Review | Locarno 2017

Newcomer Luce Rodriguez stars with Noemie Lvovsky in writer-director Lvovsky’s family drama, opener of the long-running Swiss festival.

Happily disobeying W.C. Fields’ counsel against working with children and animals, writer-director-performer Noemie Lvovsky gamely lets herself be doubly upstaged in her sixth directorial outing, Tomorrow and Thereafter (Demain et tous les autres jours). A mildly fantastical tale of an eccentric mother, her […]

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‘Apologia’: Theater Review

Stockard Channing stars as a tough-minded radical intellectual in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s drama, directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Prolific theater director Jamie Lloyd (Doctor Faustus, The Maids) returns to Trafalgar Studios, his eponymous company’s home venue, with a new production of British playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell’s 2009 contemporary kitchen-sink drama Apologia, achieving an only partial victory. Although this production was presumably arranged […]

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‘The Glass Castle’: Film Review

Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts star in the big-screen adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ best-selling memoir about her unconventional upbringing.

The ties that bind often embarrass or even shame, a near-universal reality that writer Jeannette Walls explored, unforgettably, through the extreme example of her childhood. Her book The Glass Castle — plainspoken, vivid and unputdownable — is equal parts loving […]

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‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’: Theater Review

Winner of five Tony Awards, this innovative adaptation of the bestselling novel, staged by ‘War Horse’ director Marianne Elliott, doesn’t disappoint in its touring production.

In the second act of the eccentric and endearing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, there’s a hair-raising scene when Christopher, a 15-year-old likely afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, is plucked from the path […]

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‘Wajib’: Film Review | Locarno 2017

Palestinian writer-director Annemarie Jacir’s third feature competes for the Golden Leopard at the Swiss showcase.

An urban road-movie set and shot among the Arab community in the Israeli city of Nazareth, Wajib (“duty”) is a nicely low-key comedy-drama of fangled family and community ties from Palestinian writer-director Annemarie Jacir. Built foursquare around the charm and skill of co-leads Mohammad and Saleh Bakri, father and […]

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‘Let the Corpses Tan’ (‘Laissez bronzer les cadavres’): Film Review | Locarno 2017

Elina Lowensohn stars in the third feature by writer-directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani, a Franco-Belgian neo-western premiering at the Swiss festival.

Stylish swagger goes full-tilt boogie in Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez bronzer les cadavres), the latest delirious exercise in lovingly retro pastiche from Brussels-based writer-directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani. Having amassed a devoted cult following with luridly horror-flavored Amer (2009) […]

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‘The Only Living Boy in New York’: Film Review

Rising star Callum Turner plays a young Manhattanite who has an affair with his father’s mistress in Marc Webb’s drama, costarring Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan and Kate Beckinsale.

It’s quite a feat for a movie to deploy Simon Garfunkel’s “The Only Living Boy in New York” and somehow leave you cold. With its wistful melody, the cathartic swell and gentle […]

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‘Some Freaks’: Fantasia Review

Ian MacAllister McDonald’s relationship drama centers on three friends struggling with the transition from high school to college.

An affecting debut for anyone who has dwelled on the far outskirts of adolescent social life, Ian MacAllister McDonald’s Some Freaks captures high school/college agony without transmuting it into thank-God-we-survived-it nostalgia. Starring Thomas Mann (lead in the tragically underseen Me and Earl and […]

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‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’: TV Review

‘Wet Hot American Summer’ returns for its second season on Netflix, and while there are plenty of laughs, there are more misses than ever before.

It’s one of those odd modern programming miracles that Wet Hot American Summer, a movie that made under $300,000 at the domestic box office in 2001, built enough of a cult following to spawn the Netflix […]

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‘This Time Tomorrow’: Film Review

A Colombian family is beset by tragedy in Lina Rodriguez’s sophomore feature.

The sophomore feature by Colombian/Canadian filmmaker Lina Rodriguez (Senoritas) opens with a view of a majestic tree and closes with one of huge clouds floating across the sky. Each shot stretches on for minutes and seems to go on forever. These reminders of the permanence of nature serve as […]

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‘Unforgiven’: THR’s 1992 Review

On August 3, 1992, Warner Bros. premiered Clint Eastwood’s R-rated western Unforgiven. The film went on to win four Oscars, including best picture and director, at the 65th Academy Awards. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below: 
A pig farmer with two young mouths to feed and his swine dying of the fever has got to put some food back on […]

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‘Lycan’: Film Review

Dania Ramirez plays a misfit student on an ill-fated camping trip in husband Bev Land’s first feature.

A half-dozen students pick the wrong subject to research for history class in Lycan, a stuck-in-the-woods slasher film that flirts unsatisfyingly with werewolf themes. The debut feature for director Bev Land, husband of the picture’s star Dania Ramirez, it intends to introduce novelty to […]

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‘Chronically Metropolitan’: Film Review

Shiloh Fernandez, Chris Noth and Mary-Louise Parker appear in Xavier Manrique’s comedy about literary Manhattanites.

 
If you’ve had occasion to regret that your short story was published in The New Yorker to widespread acclaim but then had to face the wrath of friends and loved ones offended by the characters you’ve written based on them, then Xavier Manrique’s debut feature will […]

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‘In the Heat of the Night’: THR’s 1967 Review

On August 2, 1967, In the Heat of the Night, starring Sidney Poitier, opened in theaters in New York. The film would go on to win five Oscars at the 40th Academy Awards, including best picture. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below: 
In the Heat of the Night, a Norman Jewison-Walter Mirisch production for Mirisch Corp., for United Artists release, is a […]

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‘Kidnap’: Film Review

Halle Berry stars as a desperate mom trying to save her son from ruthless abductors in Luis Prieto’s thriller.

The limits of maternal instinct are relentlessly tested in Kidnap, a tightly wound actioner that draws on Halle Berry’s intense performance to power this fast-paced feature. Despite its rather generic TV-movie premise, a clever script and consistently gratifying plot twists provide plenty […]

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’68 Kill’: Film Review

A robbery leads to unexpected ultra-violent consequences in Trent Haaga’s blood-spattered dark comedy.

Writer-director Trent Haaga’s long tenure at shlock-oriented Troma Pictures serves him well for his sophomore feature that features enough grotesque sex and violence for a dozen B-movies. This tale of a hapless everyman led on a dangerous criminal path by his sociopathic, sexy girlfriend is so outrageously lurid […]

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‘The Dark Tower’: Film Review

After over a decade of attempts, Stephen King’s self-described magnum opus comes to the big screen via director Nikolaj Arcel.

For over a decade, some of Hollywood’s most successful storytellers have wanted to turn Stephen King’s eight-book Dark Tower saga into movies. Few, presumably, started out with the idea that the best way to wrangle this mountain of plot was to […]

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‘A Parallelogram’: Theater Review

A woman discovers she has the ability to change time in this new dark comedy by Bruce Norris, the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning author of ‘Clybourne Park.’

If you think grim subjects like the pointlessness of human existence and our inability to control our own destinies seem like ripe prospects for humor, then this new play by Bruce Norris is for you. […]

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‘What Would Diplo Do?’: TV Review

James Van Der Beek’s oddball lead performance is a highlight in a Viceland comedy still trying to find its own identity.

The title of Viceland’s new comedy What Would Diplo Do? comes close to asking the correct question, but a large percentage of viewers will be asking a somewhat modified, “What did Diplo do (to deserve this show)?”
It’s a loaded question […]

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‘Lowlife’: Fantasia Review

Ryan Prows makes his feature debut after winning a Student Academy Award for the short ‘Narcocorrido.’

The bloody, bizarro highlight of this year’s Fantasia Film Festival, Ryan Prows’ Lowlife lives up to its name and then some, spilling eccentric mayhem across several blocks of working-class Los Angeles and, among other unlikely things, eliciting sympathy for a man with a swastika tattoo […]

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