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by Jason Gargano 10.08.2008
at 03:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dubya Gets Stoned

Oliver Stone has been out of sorts ever since he gave people an aneurysm with the over-the-top, frenetic football extravaganza Any Given Sunday (1999).

Now that I think about it, U-Turn (1997) blew, too. In fact, it’s been since the underrated (and under-seen) Nixon (1995) that Stone had me fully engaged.

Recent years have been especially tough on the onetime provocateur: World Trade Center (2006) seemed a naked attempt to prove he could make a standard studio picture after the unqualified disaster that was the bloated, thoroughly disjointed Alexander (2004). How far had Stone fallen? I didn’t even bother to catch World Trade Center or Alexander during their theatrical run — an unthinkable occurrence back when even his less successful films were at least intriguing in their mix of testosterone-laden spectacle, pungent dialogue and formal dexterity.

All that said, I can’t wait to see what Stone does with W., his take on the presidency of George W. Bush (as played by what looks to be an inspired Josh Brolin).

The movie opens Oct. 17

Here are a few trailers to tide you over.

by Jason Gargano 11.18.2011
at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: 'Twilight' Mayhem Continues

Movies must be able to stand on their own two feet; they can't rely on their source material for viewers to understand what's happening onscreen, which is a sin the Twilight series continues to make over and over again. Of course, when millions of females — the overwhelming majority of whom make up its rabid fan base — the world over have read the books, I guess that's less of a concern than it would be otherwise.

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by Jason Gargano 01.28.2011
at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Blue Valentine's Dedicated Duo

The recent double-barreled Robert De Niro developments of his Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes and the release of a 30-year anniversary Blu-ray edition of Raging Bull remind us how far the actor once went to portray his characters as authentically as humanly possible.

Few actors today go as deep as old-school De Niro in embodying their characters as Ryan Gosling (who just happens to be CityBeat's cover boy this week!).

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by Jason Gargano 03.19.2010
at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: The Most Dangerous Man in America

The post-awards/pre-summer movie season trudges on with a curious collection of releases in a variety of genres: we’ve got another romantic comedy starring Jennifer "I Do Movies to Get a Boyfriend" Aniston (The Bounty Hunter), a futuristic thriller (Repo Men), a family-friendly teen thing (The Wimpy Kid Diaries) and even a 3-D IMAX documentary (Hubble).

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by Jason Gargano 05.20.2011
at 05:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Cannes Controversy

Cincinnati is a long way from Cannes. And, barring a merger with Conde Nast or a hefty donation from George Soros, CityBeat will not be sending me to cover the Cannes Film Festival anytime soon. Lucky for us, our fellow AAN peeps at Village Voice Media still take film criticism seriously enough to send its lead film critics, The Village Voice's J. Hoberman and LA Weekly's Karina Longworth, to the grandaddy of all film festivals, which wraps up this weekend.

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by Jason Gargano 04.16.2010
at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Movie Trailers, Yankee Wankers

Contemporary movie trailers suck. Not only are they — like most of the movies they pimp — typically lowest-common-denominator dumb but they also mislead viewers about a given movie’s true nature in an attempt to entice the broadest possible audience. (For example, check out the stupid, disjointed Inglourious Basterds’ trailer, which tried to sell Quentin Tarantino’s arty, longwinded, multilingual revenge epic as a straightforward Brad Pitt-centered World War II action flick.)

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by Jason Gargano 03.12.2010
at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday Movie Roundup: All Hail, Kathryn Bigelow

We didn’t need the Academy Awards to tell us that Kathryn Bigelow is a really good director — she’s been that for more than 30 years.

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by Jason Gargano 06.24.2011
at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: 'Tree of Life' Edition

Terrence Malick's The Tree of Lifeis finally here.

Like everything the acclaimed 68-year-old filmmaker does, Malick's latest — just his fifth film in 38 years — has gone through a mysterious gestation, changing release dates and distributors numerous times (it was originally slated for a Dec. 25, 2009, release), all the while simultaneously revealing little about its contents. The film finally surfaced last month at the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned cheers, boos and the coveted Palme d'Or.

Now it finds its way into U.S. theaters.

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by Jason Gargano 03.18.2011
at 04:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Short(s) But Sweet Edition

A heads up for those who want like to mix a little creativity into your cinematic fix: Cincinnati World Cinema's most popular event, the annual Oscar Shorts & More, still has one more screening at The Madison Theater in Covington 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

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by Jason Gargano 12.11.2009
at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood might be one of the most overrated directors currently making movies — don’t get me started on the heavy-handed melodramatics of 2004 Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby — but you can’t call him lazy. The 79-year-old has made five movies since 2006, all of which can be admired for their thematic ambition and steadfast technical economy if not their narrative clumsiness and overly earnest emoting.

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