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Armstrong

A thorough and thoroughly conventional, look at the first astronaut to set foot on the moon.

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Sword of Trust

A likable throwback to the kind of rambling, character-driven 1990s indie comedies that the U.S. film industry barely releases to theaters anymore.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Michael Mirasol

Michael Mirasol

Michael Mirasol is a Filipino independent film critic who has been
writing about films for the past eleven years. He briefly served as film
critic for the Manila Times and now writes occasionally for Uno
Magazine
and his blog The Flipcritic.

Kathryn Bigelow's uncanny "Strange Days," by Michael Mirasol of the Philippines

May Contain Spoilers

2009 was a great year for Kathryn Bigelow. After a 7-year hiatus from filming K-19: The Widowmaker, she returned to direct The Hurt Locker, a suspense and war film set in Iraq that has deservedly been recognized by critics and award bodies alike, and is expected to be one of the primary contenders for the Academy Awards. Bigelow is known for her superb work in the action genre, which is rarity among female directors. Her skill in filming tension and violence is as good as any of today's directors.

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Michael Mirasol from Manila:WALL-E is the best film of the decade

May Contain Spoilers

I was born on February 6, 1975, into a quiet family in San Juan, Metro Manila (Philippines). I barely remember anything in that time before we moved at the turn of the 80s. From what I recall, I grew up in a fairly middle class neighborhood, but my mother would tell you that we were always poor. Thanks to mom and dad though, it never felt that way.

My mother grew up in much harder conditions, having only a pair of shoes to walk several kilometers to get to school in the province. Though she was a local beauty, she was smart and tough, working hard all the way to high school. Once she got the chance to move to the city to study at the University of the Philippines , she never looked back. It was still pretty tough for her even after she finished, helping support her 6 sisters. But she did find her way to work as a secretary for several government offices.

My father grew up in the same kind of environment (same province, Bicol region) with his three brothers. He told of childhood memories dating back to the

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