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    “RAGE” (Movie Review)

    RAGE’s hook is in its title. Yes, that hook is obvious in that it rhymes with the surname of its star. And that’s no coincidence. Cage signed on to RAGE when it was called TOKAREV, a name that suits its story best and yet would no doubt be a nightmare to market (a Tokarev is a Russian handgun). So instead, the middle-management suits retitled it RAGE to cater to the ever-expanding Nicolas Cage internet-based cult, directly alluding to the web meme that sees Cage channeling Billy Corgan.

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    “THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME” (Fantasia Movie Review)

    A cleverly constructed horror film, Alejandro Hidalgo’s THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME plays like a surprising short story on a rainy evening. A patient, reflective work that’s less concerned with ghosts than with how we haunt ourselves, the Venezuelan feature pores over the nature of regret and personal slights, and comes to a mature conclusion in the process.

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    “BLUE RUIN” (Blu-ray Review)

    A universal concept, the revenge film is a rightful staple of cinema that can emotionally connect with audiences of any generation around the world. We’ve all been wronged and as a result, we’ve all pondered the internal and external consequences of vengeance. As cinematic culture has progressed, the revenge tale has evolved into various directions; whereas U.S. cinema has opted for bloodier and spectacle-based revenge fantasies, international filmmakers have opted for bleaker and grim tales of unrewarding comeuppance. In fact, revenge films have become so formulaic that fewer powerhouse filmmakers have approached these stories, relegating the genre to winter dumping season or a quiet straight-to-DVD release.

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    “CITY OF LUST” (Movie Review)

    The indie thriller CITY OF LUST was shot under the title YELLOW; you know, “Giallo” in Italian. Obviously that titular nod should spell out exactly what kind of films were going through writer/director David A. Holcombe’s head when he began sculpting this stylish, sensual and amusing sex-stained psychodrama. A deliberate quote on some of the early 1970s, non-Argento (think more Martino) murder mysteries that overflowed from Italy like a cauldron of spaghetti, CITY OF LUST is bereft of budget but high on energy and imagination, and is absolutely worth a look.

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