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Movie Review: Pain & Gain

April 26, 2013
Movie Review: Pain & Gain

I’m not sure whether the appropriate genre for Pain & Gain is either comedy or thriller, but I am sure that it’s a story that the cosmos made specifically for Michael Bay. There’s bulked-up dudes, strippers, midgets, stereotypical gay guys, Miami, explosions, slow-motion, and cocaine and the ’90s. Mark Wahlberg is Daniel Lugo, a...
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Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

April 5, 2013
Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

The opening, a long tracking shot that follows motor stuntman “Handsome” Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling), as he makes his way through the carnival, lighting cigarettes, pushing through the crowd, enterting the appointed tent, fastening his helmet, and buzzing in the cage with two others, is one of the best — and will likely remain...
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Movie Review: Jurassic Park 3D

April 5, 2013
Movie Review: Jurassic Park 3D

It’s Jurassic Park. I still have my toy T-Rex from 1993 — and it still roars! I know pretty much all of Jeff Goldblum’s lines by heart and am working my way through memorizing Wayne Knight’s. I, like many others, am still pissed that Muldoon gets treated the way he does. Jurassic Park was...
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Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

April 4, 2013
Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

The first time I met Roger was in the Lake Screening Room. I had just moved to Chicago and done a few reviews at the AMC East and on Michigan and the old Kerasote. This was a guy I’d been reading all my life, writing down notes about which “Great Movies” to see, which...
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Movie Review: The Host

March 29, 2013
Movie Review: The Host

When I told my girlfriend I was off to review to the new Stephenie Meyer movie and that, having seen one of the Twilight movies, I had low expectations, she responded, “It could be worse. She could have teamed up with Nicholas Sparks.” “Good point!” I said, and then, a half hour into the...
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Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

March 28, 2013
Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

I had a soft spot for 2009′s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and I have a soft spot for this, even with its flaws. If you remember the end of the last film (and never mind if you didn’t), Zartan is impersonating the President of the United States in one step of Cobra...
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Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen

March 22, 2013
Movie Review: Olympus Has Fallen

Die Hard on a White House. That’s basically it right there. You have your former law enforcer — here his name is Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) and he used to be Secret Service assigned to protect the President (Aaron Eckhart). During a snowstorm, Some Damn Thing hit the Presidential Limo’s windshield and fishtailed the...
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Movie Review: The Croods

March 22, 2013
Movie Review: The Croods

Silly, silly fun. There’s not much of a plot — The Croods are a family of cave-dwellers whose home is threatened by earthquakes; the dad Grug (Nicolas Cage) is over protective; the daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is curious; they meet up with a smarty-pants guy named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who teaches them the secret...
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Movie Review: Admission

March 22, 2013
Movie Review: Admission

Despite having a poster that looks as dangerously banal as The Switch, Admission is so charming that it doesn’t need many jokes. The star, of course, is one of the most charming people working today, Tina Fey, who really should play Dorothy Parker some time. Here, however, she’s Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at...
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Documentary Review: No Place on Earth

March 22, 2013
Documentary Review: No Place on Earth

The film opens with Chris Nicola, a government employee with a passion for cave-diving. During one of his trips exploring the “gypsum giants” of the Ukraine, he discovers a handful of artifacts — a boot, a lantern — that have no business being there. Back in town, he asks the locals if they know...
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