Netflix Pick: “Mary and Max” Will Break Your Damn Heart

If there’s any place better known for availability of quirky independent films than the eclectic library of titles available on Netflix’s instant streaming service, it’s the Sundance Film Festival. Held annually in Park City, Utah, the festival is the premier location for a wide and varied selection of independent films. In 2009, the festival opened with a strange, Australian stop-motion film called “Mary and Max.” Often, the opening film is not one of the strongest of the festival, but I remembered hearing how surprisingly fantastic this one managed to be. Did this weird little film deserve such praise? Find out after the break! Read more of this post

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The Adventures of Tintin

I can quite honestly say that I would not be as enthusiastic about the medium of film as I am today without the films of Steven Spielberg. Specifically, that enthusiasm would be nonexistent without the Indiana Jones trilogy (that’s right, TRILOGY). I can remember seeing “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” for the first time as if it was yesterday (yes, I saw them out of order, don’t judge me). Even on a crappy VHS on a small TV, I was swept up in the globe-trotting, treasure-hunting adventures of Dr. Jones and his affable gang of companions. Recently, Spielberg gave us a return to that kind of film with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” but the results were lacking in a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Actually, je sais precisely quoi; it was lacking in heart and character and quality setpieces and any appearance of genuine giving-a-shit. Thankfully, Spielberg has been given a second chance at producing that brand of cinematic adventuring (this time sans the confused mind of a 2012-fearing George Lucas) with the animated motion-capture spectacle “The Adventures of Tintin.” Was Spielberg able to find redemption this time around? The answer is a surprising “Pretty much, yeah.”

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