Just Get it Over With

Just Go With It is the latest Dennis Dugan–directed Adam Sandler vehicle. Standing at the ticket counter, the title reads more like a desperate plea for audience members. That probably isn’t the case, since it was basically designed to make lots of money. But it’s such a benign and unnecessary movie that it’s nice to […]

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Less Than Some

Devoid of music or dialogue, the opening frames of Somewhere capture a sports car driving repeatedly in a circle for, like, a really long time before the car stops and an obvious douchebag exits the vehicle and stands there … for, like, a really long time. Had writer/director Sofia Coppola rolled credits immediately thereafter, the […]

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Don’t Laugh at Tiny Projections

Oscar pleasure is usually reserved for grouches or award show addicts. As both, one of my favorite weekends has finally arrived: Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater (FilmStreams.org) presents its annual screening of the year’s Oscar-nominated short films. These proud members of the itty-bitty cine committee are pint-sized powerhouses proudly packaged together for ease-of-viewing […]

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Heartbreak Motel

Last year’s indie relationship flicks mostly kept the mood light. Both Jack Goes Boating and Cyrus tempered their weighty moments with socially awkward central characters who were good for a tension-breaking chuckle. Viewers loved these characters at arm’s length, not because they weren’t real or wonderfully crafted, but because we like to think of ourselves […]

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The Murderer’s Apprentice

Things you’ll never hear: “I want to see that new Victorian-era romance starring Oscar-winner Jason Statham.” J-Stat is so synonymous with cinematic violence, someone should update the Wikipedia entry for “action movie” so it’s just a picture of his grimacing, bald cabeza covered in blood. In an ever-changing world, the only constant is Jason Statham’s […]

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Tchai-Kafka-sky’s Swan Lake

Director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is just your run-of-the-mill “girl haunted by doppelgangers while turning into a human/swan hybrid” ballet movie with elements of bisexual experimentation. In other words, writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin are a collective Dr. Frankenstein, standing over a creation that is part horror, part pure beauty. Firmly entrenched […]

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Fact and Diction

Remarkably unremarkable and tonally mundane, director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech was seemingly genetically engineered by a mad scientist named Juan Tan-Oscar. Quasi-historical and wholly predictable, the film would have been dismissible as icky chum for suit-wearing Academy sharks were it not for Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth. Their tête á têtes are more frosty […]

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Falling in Lust

Director Ivan Reitman is best known for ridiculous, male-dominated comedies like Ghostbusters and Stripes , but his latest, No Strings Attached , is like a romantic-comedy masterclass. Not that it’s a masterpiece of the genre, but it so expertly strikes all the right nerves that it’s still a little irresistible. One drunken night and one […]

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DVD Discovery: Mama’s Family

Let’s give it up for the ladies. Once the purview of mustachioed men with Italian last names, the “cops and crooks” movie genre has flung open the doors to the clubhouse. Last year gave us several films in the genre with strong female leads instead of damsel-in-distress love interests. Playing an Aussie-accented version of The […]

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