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  • Neighbors

    Neighbors

    ★★½

    www.lawrence.com/weblogs/scenestealers/2014/may/9/neighbors-and-stage-fright/

    The tried-and-true comedy setup of the hard-partying fraternity vs. the stuffy adults has been a staple of American films ever since the classic “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” “Old School” put a new spin on it by having middle-aged men relive their college heyday, but for the most part, it’s been diminishing returns for the genre ever since.

    “Neighbors” changes the formula ever so slightly, but is a surprisingly lazy, mixed bag that relies too heavily on the likability and…

  • Stage Fright

    Stage Fright

    ★★½

    www.scene-stealers.com/reviews/print-reviews/horror-musical-mashup-stage-fright-not-as-inventive-as-it-sounds/

    Opening this weekend at the Screenland Armour and on-demand/VOD outlets is Stage Fright, a hybrid musical-slasher film that sounds like a lot of self-aware fun in theory.

    Unfortunately, writer/director Jerome Sable fills his script full of so many leftover plot elements and references to other movies that it chokes the life right out of it.

    Allie MacDonald is the girl at the center of a bunch of killings that are even more nonsensical than usual, at a summer camp…

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  • Sabotage

    Sabotage

    ½

    www.scene-stealers.com/reviews/video-reviews/sabotage-a-miscalculated-attempt-at-adult-drama/

    There is a moment in David Ayers’ moving police drama End of Watch when the two affable and dedicated LAPD officers played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña discover a pile of dismembered bodies in a house. It is an uncharacteristically gruesome moment in a movie filled with rich characterization — and it was jarring to say the least.

    I am particularly saddened to report then that with Ayers’ newest film Sabotage, it seems that the writer/director has given…

  • Tim's Vermeer

    Tim's Vermeer

    ★★★½

    www.lawrence.com/weblogs/scenestealers/2014/mar/20/if-youre-truly-divergent-you-should-see-/

    It may be a documentary, but “Tim’s Vermeer,” opening at Liberty Hall this weekend, unfolds like a mystery novel and then plays like a suspense thriller.

    Directed by Teller and narrated by his partner-in-illusion Penn Jillette (who also appears on camera), it’s a crackling how’d-he-do-it — rather than a whodunit — that follows an American innovator/technologist named Tim Jenison on his curious quest to solve one of the art world’s biggest mysteries: How might 17th-century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer…