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  • Before I Disappear 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Oct, 2014

    It was somewhere during the bowling alley dance scene that I realized I was absolutely in love with this involving and disarmingly unique picture from writer/director/star Shawn Christensen. He plays a total burn-out whose plans for suicide are unexpectedly waylaid by a plea from his estranged sister to look after his type-A, know-it-all niece (the dynamite Fatima Ptacek). Christensen's stylish direction has a dreamy, hypnotic quality, which is well-matched to the unpredictability of the subjective storytelling; he stumbles through this…

  • The Salvation 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 19 Oct, 2014

    A cast of our sturdiest character actors (Mads Mikkelson, Eva Green, Jeffrey Den Morgan, Jonathan Pryce) squints across the dusty, windy landscape in this bleak, visceral post-'Unforgiven' Western. It's a revenge tale with the kind of modern evil that borders on nihilism ("Once you've all had your way with her, cut her throat") and a terrific, Morricone-esque score by Kasper Winding. Co-writer/director Kristian Levring constructs a cat-and-mouse oater that's moody as all-get-out, though its effectiveness is diminished somewhat by the dodgy CGI of its otherwise-gripping climax.

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