Europa Report (2013)

Posted on November 13, 2013
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Nov 13, 2013
by Mr. Nau

Six astronauts travel to Europa, the ice moon of Jupiter, in this documentary-style found-footage science fiction thriller, on a privately funded mission to drill through the surface to probe the liquid core beneath. The talented cast, tight minimalist storytelling, and scientifically-plausible plot keep the audience in suspense.

Grade: A-.

IMDB: Europa Report.

Amelia (2009)

Posted on November 10, 2013
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Nov 10, 2013
by Mr. Nau

Hilary Swank and Richard Gere lend their considerable talent to a star-studded cast in a poorly-scripted attempt to dramatize the life of Amelia Earhart. Somehow, whoever wrote this picture turned an amazing life full of dramatic accomplishments into a tepid retelling of facts, completely unworthy of its namesake.

Grade: C.

IMDB: Amelia.

A Girl Walks Into a Bar (2011)

Posted on November 8, 2013
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Nov 08, 2013
by Mr. Nau

In this drama that takes place in a series of Los Angeles bars, multiple stories interweave through the lives of a handful of eccentric characters. Despite a few strange twists and turns, this small humorous noir picture holds together as a character study, with smart hip writing and solid acting.

Grade: B.

Dakota Skye (2008)

Posted on November 7, 2013
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Nov 07, 2013
by Mr. Nau

Dakota Skye has a superpower: the ability to see the truth any time somebody lies. When her boyfriend’s best friend comes to visit, she can’t figure out why it doesn’t work on him. This sweet indie romance doesn’t take itself too seriously, but features plenty of endearing and funny moments.

Grade: A-.

IMDB: Dakota Skye.

Kon-Tiki (2012)

Posted on October 31, 2013
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Oct 31, 2013
by Mr. Nau

This Norwegian picture dramatizes the long voyage of Thor Heyerdahl aboard the balsa raft, Kon-Tiki, breathing new life into the historic journey. While the original expedition carried a film camera and shot an Award-winning documentary, this engrossing modern retelling fleshes out this story and gives it new depth.

Grade: A.

IMDB: Kon-Tiki.

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Posted on October 26, 2013
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Oct 26, 2013
by Mr. Nau

An immature staffer drags two interns to a small town Washington to investigate the author of a classified ad seeking a partner for time travel. One of the interns, Darius, finds the traveler and finds herself training with him. This quirky indie comedy has a very amusing, yet unusual, story.

Grade: B.

TiMER (2009)

Posted on October 25, 2013
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Oct 25, 2013
by Mr. Nau

In this science fiction romantic comedy, Oona, played by Emma Caulfield, has a timer installed that’s supposed to tell her when she’ll meet “the one,” but it’s blank, resigning her to hopeless frustration. First-time director, Jac Schaeffer, helms this quirky little piece and coaxes good performances from the cast.

Grade: B-.

IMDB: TiMER.

Greenberg (2010)

Posted on October 23, 2013
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Oct 23, 2013
by Mr. Nau

Noah Baumbach directs this independent comedy-drama, full of flawed, authentic, engaging characters. Ben Stiller stars as Roger Greenberg, an awkward neurotic misanthrope who stays in his brother’s house to do some work and begins a strained relationship with his brother’s quiet and lonely assistant, Florence, played by Greta Gerwig.

Grade: B.

IMDB: Greenberg.

The Vicious Kind (2009)

Posted on October 22, 2013
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Oct 22, 2013
by Mr. Nau

In this ISA-nominated drama, Caleb, a wounded misogynist, offers his younger brother, Peter, and Peter’s new girlfriend, Emma, a ride to their hometown. Caleb’s interest in Emma grows into stalking infatuation, behind his brother’s back. The broken, flawed characters are utterly real in this character drama, sometimes painfully so.

Grade: A-.

Persons Unknown (2010)

Posted on October 16, 2013
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Oct 16, 2013
by Mr. Nau

Seven strangers from all across America are abducted and wake up in a hotel in an abandoned town with no clue how they got there or what their captors want. The pressure builds as they try to escape. Good writing and characters make this single-season series worth a look.

Grade: A-.

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