Star Empowerment

Film icon Catherine Deneuve’s first major role was as an umbrella shop sales girl in the 1964 Jacques Demy film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Now, nearly a half-century later (with a enormously successful career in between), she can be found playing the unappreciated wife of an umbrella factory owner in Potiche, the latest picture from […]

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Hair of the Dawgs

A working theory: There is no script for The Hangover Part II . There is only a script for the first Hangover with white out on some of the verbs and nouns. After their first unabashed gross-out out-grossed all other comedies ever made, writer/director Todd Phillips and writers Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong dropped a […]

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The Oregon Fail

The epitome of form as message, the silent and sparse first seven minutes of director Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff quietly contrasts the brutality of life on the Oregon Trail in 1845 with lyric and beautiful glimpses of unspoiled American landscapes. The film’s fitting first spoken words, a Christian dinner prayer recited by a child, gracefully […]

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Gotta Serve Somebody

Although Of Gods and Men, a dramatization of the fate of Trappist monks in a civil war-torn Algeria in the mid-‘90s resonates deeply with recent history in the Middle East, its power and scope is much broader than that. French director Xavier Beauvois and co-writer Etienne Comar combine themes of colonization and rebellion, poverty and […]

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Girl’s Club

Bridesmaids is the anti-chick-flick. There are no hopeless romantics here; no star-crossed lovers or coincidental interventions from Cupid. It’s a picture about love, friendship and change, but without any of the frothy cuteness or frilly emotional waste. There is, however, plenty of tennis court violence, mile-high pill-popping and girl-on-girl vomiting. And, believe it or not, […]

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Mjolnir? I Hardly Knew Her!

Someone tell the soulless, suit-wearing executive of suck who perpetually insists upon shoehorning a wafer-thin, nausea-inducing love story into each and every action-heavy motion picture that he’s basically dropping a turd into a pool party. The lasses and dudes who comprise the core audience have never swayed an uninterested buddy into attending a comic book […]

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The Bald and the Sweaty

In each installment of the long-running 007 series, you anxiously anticipate hearing the deliciously droll namedrop: “Bond, James Bond.” In each installment of the inexplicably long-running Fast and Furious series, you anxiously anticipate the moment in which the two bro-tastic, muscle-milk-enhanced non-characters look like they’re about to finally drop the pretense and make out. If repressed […]

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Graphic Novel Concept

As snot bubbles billow and pop while tears trek down his moon-pie face, Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) wails to God, demanding he be told why the divine creator cursed him to be so oddly shaped and socially inept. Then, about five minutes later, he has a vision in which tentacles come out of the wall, […]

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Street Art

What fashion magazines and reality TV shows expose in design studios and on the runway, 82-year-old photographer Bill Cunningham has found on the streets, night and day, of New York City. Vogue , Elle , “Project Runway,” “All On the Line” and their ilk may have the cachet and ratings, but Cunningham’s weekly photo essay, […]

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