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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Slight Sting

There should be no doubt that director Michel Gondry ( Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ) is a genius; unfortunately, his 3D action/comedy spectacle, The Green Hornet , isn’t. It’s really more of a by-the-book bro-mantic comedy at heart, which is no surprise since it was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg ( […]

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DVD Discovery: Lie Space

Although 2010 won’t go down as The Greatest Year of Filmmaking Ever, it is becoming more and more notable as The Year that Documentaries Blew Our Minds. The latest evidence supporting this assertion is Catfish , a compelling and timely documentary that is nearly impossible to describe without spoiling it for everyone. Freshly released on […]

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I Beg to … Mostly Agree

Like the stereotypical Transylvanian numerologist on “Sesame Street,” I am transfixed by counting. Specifically, I am “Call Dr. Drew” addicted to top 10 lists. The best part is getting worked up; like “How dare that critic leave out the brilliant German relationship film Freudenschnitzel ?” Sadly, this year most critics agree. Although I find deviations […]

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Long Live the Dude

Omaha native and Emmy Award-winning documentarian Gail Levin profiles actor Jeff Bridges in a new film kicking off the 25th season of “American Masters,” a series produced for PBS by New York Public Media THIRTEEN in association with WNET. Levin, an Omaha Central High graduate long based in Manhattan, says the project has been on […]

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Down on the Farm

French-born director Claire Denis grew up in Africa, and her latest film, White Material, is her first set on that continent since her 1988 debut Chocolat . Since ’88, Denis has become probably the greatest French filmmaker currently working, and White Material is an example of her observational, often dreamlike style at its peak. Somewhere […]

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Cocky Dude Will Shoot

If it rhymed easier, “You don’t remake a classic John Wayne movie” might have squeezed in after “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape” in Jim Croce’s hummable cautionary tale. The cinematic equivalent of a fish’s bicycle, those writin’ and directin’ Coen brothers’ choice to revisit True Grit seemed at best unnecessary and at worst an […]

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