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by Jason Gargano 05.08.2009
at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Business Is Good ... But Are the Movies

Nearly 30 years ago, in an essay entitled “Why Are Movies So Bad? Or, the Numbers,” film critic Pauline Kael wrote that “the movies have been so rank the last couple years that when I see people lining up to buy tickets I sometimes think that the movies aren’t drawing an audience — they’re inheriting an audience. They’re stung repeatedly, yet their desire for a good movie — for any movie — is so strong that all over the country they keep lining up.”

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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 11.20.2009
at 05:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Parsing Precious

Lee Daniels’ Precious, which won audience awards at both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, has drawn largely positive reviews for its unblinking look at a 16-year-old black female dealing with myriad challenges, including but certainly not limited to a serious weight problem, a monstrous mother, an incestuous father and an ineffective school system.

Yet Precious also has its detractors, none more vociferous than The New York Press’ Armond White, a critic who has never shied away from airing his contrarian views.

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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 12.31.2008
at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Threatened at Chopstick Point


I was having lunch with a friend yesterday when the topic of my favorite movies of 2008 came up. She had read my Top 10 list in this week’s CityBeat and complained about the fact that I presented them in alphabetical order instead of ranking them from 1 to 10.

I tried to explain my reasons for doing so — something pretentious about how ranking art devalues it and the fact that the order could change based on my mood on any given day — but she wasn’t hearing it.

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by Jason Gargano 11.22.2010
at 07:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Polarizing Cinema of Harmony Korine

Harmony Korine is a polarizing filmmaker. One either finds his films — Gummo (1997), Julien Donkey Boy (1999) and Mister Lonely (2007) — intriguing pieces of art or complete rubbish, the work of a jerk-off provocateur who represents the “end of cinema.”

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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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by Jason Gargano 01.29.2010
at 03:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Jewish & Israeli Film Festival

As we head into the post-awards, pre-summer period known as The Dead Zone (see Legion, The Spy Next Door, The Tooth Fairy, as well as a dumpster-load of upcoming titles), the 2010 Jewish & Israeli Film Festival should be an oasis for filmgoers seeking fare that strays from Hollywood formula. And while the festival obviously centers on films that fall in line with its namesake, viewers of any faith or nationality are likely to appreciate and enjoy its humanist-leaning, character-driven offerings.

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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 08.28.2009
at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Summer of Fading Stars

The New York Times published a story Aug. 21 that attempted to dissect why so many established movie stars have failed generate their once-golden numbers at the box office this summer.

Among those mentioned were Denzel Washington (The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), Eddie Murphy (Imagine That), Will Ferrell (Land of the Lost) and Tom Hanks (Angels and Demons).

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