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Movie Review: Parker

January 25, 2013
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Movie Review: Parker

Parker starts out strong, spends the next hour doing nothing, then it ends with a good-enough set piece. That’s pretty much the review right there, and it’s going to be a struggle to think of anything more to say. There’s a lot of things I can expect a Jason Statham action movie to be,...
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Movie Review: Broken City

January 18, 2013
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Movie Review: Broken City

Broken City is no Chinatown. It takes many of the 1974 Polanski classic’s basic elements – both protagonists are private eyes who used to be cops and specialize in extramarital affairs. Both get involved in schemes to bilk to poor schlubs of a major city (both schemes being land deals, no less). Both have...
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Movie Review: Gangster Squad

January 12, 2013
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Movie Review: Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad! doesn’t actually include an exclamation point in its title, but it should. It really, really should. When you open your film with a guy being gorily drawn and quartered and then savaged by wolves, you’ve earned some punctuation. And since the rest of the film is as messy as that poor sap’s...
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Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

January 12, 2013
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Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

On May 2, 2011, special forces from the United States stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound at Abbottabad, Pakistan. That I had to look up the precise dates and location and confirm that they were our own special forces (and not, say, some coalition) testifies to my ignorance. However, I don’t think I’m alone in...
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Frothygirlz Best and Worst of 2012

January 7, 2013
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Frothygirlz Best and Worst of 2012

Happy New Year! We laughed, we cried, we hurled. We saw Denzel take Flight, Liam punch wolves, and Cronenberg take something…Anyway, here’s our Best of the Year Picks for 2012. Shannon’s Top Ten: 1. Beasts of the Southern Wild 2. Life of Pi 3. Silver Linings Playbook 4. Argo 5. The Impossible 6. Magic...
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Movie Review: Django Unchained

December 29, 2012
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Movie Review: Django Unchained

About 15 minutes in I decided I wanted some popcorn, and upon looking at my phone, it appeared that an hour and a half had passed. From what I understand, that hasn’t been the standard reaction across the Internet, but for me at least, Django was incredibly easy to watch, and not for a...
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Movie Review: Promised Land

December 28, 2012
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Movie Review: Promised Land

So far as I’ve seen, the kerfuffle surrounding the funding and production of Promised Land has received more attention than the film itself. So in case you haven’t heard, the film portrays the process of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in a negative light. People such as Phelim MacAleer, director of the documentary FrackNation, and...
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Movie Review: Jack Reacher

December 21, 2012
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Movie Review: Jack Reacher

Dammit.  All I wanted for Christmas was Die Hard.  I wanted Bruce and bare feet and crunching chards of glass.  I wanted foreign scoundrel Hans Gruber, complete with a team of rogue terrorists, implementing a devious heist, all encased in a skyscraper set to blow, with the calvary coming from within.  I wanted YIPPIE-KAY-YAY and...
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Movie Review: This Is 40

December 21, 2012
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Movie Review: This Is 40

It’s a sort of sequel to 2007′s Knocked Up in the sense that it focuses on the supporting characters Debbie (director Judd Apatow’s real-life wife Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd), both turning 40 the same week and juggling a handful of personal and financial problems. Paul manages a near-bankrupt record label, signing such...
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Movie Review: Les Misérables

December 19, 2012
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Movie Review: Les Misérables

I’ve read a lot of novels, and I’ve heard that Les Misérables is the best. I hadn’t read it, and I didn’t believe it. After seeing Les Misérables, I’m starting to. The film is based on the musical, but its chief accomplishment is adapting the depth and breadth of an immense work. Like the...
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Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

December 14, 2012
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Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

It’s been nearly ten years since Middle Earth unfurled across the screen, and in that time, the Lord of the Rings films have cemented their place in cinematic history. The actors have aged, technology has evolved, and the influence of Peter Jackson’s trilogy is evidenced in all the three-plus-hour epics we’ve seen over the...
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Movie Review: Hyde Park on Hudson

December 14, 2012
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Movie Review: Hyde Park on Hudson

The fundamental problem with Hyde Park on Hudson is that it promises so many interesting characters and so many spirited performances, and then focuses its attention on the dullest one. That’s not a reflection on Laura Linney’s performance as Margaret Suckley either; rather she has nothing to work with. When, early in the film,...
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Movie Review: Playing for Keeps

December 7, 2012
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Movie Review: Playing for Keeps

About halfway through Playing for Keeps, I noticed that I hadn’t laughed yet but so far had found it pretty watchable. Having Uma Thurman parade around in her frillies certainly doesn’t hurt, and added to that are the ever-delightful wiles of Judy Greer, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jessica Biel. The movie treats them as basically...
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Movie Review: Killing Them Softly

November 30, 2012
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Movie Review: Killing Them Softly

In 1993, Quentin Tarantino’s True Romance instantaneously humanized both a quirky stoner played by Brad Pitt and a violent assassin portrayed by James Gandolfini.  Six years later, David Chase used Gandolfini again to help America fall in love with The Sopranos, blending the nuances of upper-class suburbia with the chilling realities of being a...
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Movie Review: Liz & Dick

November 27, 2012
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Movie Review: Liz & Dick

Not quite the cinematic event of the year that Lifetime proclaims, Liz & Dick, if nothing else, reinforces my idea that Brian Cox, Brian Dennehy, and Rip Torn stuffed in a room with only their gruff and eight quarts of Yukon Jack for an hour and a half would make a terrific movie. Of...
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Movie Review: Red Dawn

November 23, 2012
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Movie Review: Red Dawn

I feel like I’ve been writing the sentence, “I’m not sure whether the world was clamoring for a x remake…” and that’s probably more due to my utter lack of creativity than anything else. I’m sure most people in my generation, who have seen the original Red Dawn, already dislike the movie, so I...
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Movie Review: Life of Pi

November 21, 2012
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Movie Review: Life of Pi

It’ll be interesting to see how audiences who haven’t read Life of Pi, Yann Martel’s 2001 novel respond to director Ang Lee’s vision of the colorful tale. Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel is a twice-strangely-monikered, religiously insatiable 16-year-old Indian boy immigrating by freighter from Pondicherry to Canada with his parents, brother and the animal inhabitants of their...
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Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

November 16, 2012
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Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

I’m not even going to pretend that this is a review for anyone other than true fans of all the Twilight books and all the Twilight films.  There won’t be a bunch of plot exposition or the like, so if you’re looking for that kind of review, these are not the droids you are...
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Movie Review: Lincoln

November 16, 2012
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Movie Review: Lincoln

At numerous points in the watching of Lincoln, Steven Spielburg’s new ode to America and Americana, I was reminded of Tableau Vivant, a kind of staged group charades that was a popular entertainment of the 19th century. In Tableau Vivant, costumed enactors wordlessly enact a story, freezing in a series of familiar scenes or attitudes. And so...
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