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by Jason Gargano 02.13.2009
at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Tarantino and His Basterds

A teaser trailer of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which is still in production, has made its way to cyberspace. It’s being billed as his ensemble war flick/spaghetti western, and if the tone of this teaser is any indication, look for Basterds to lean toward the genre-pillaging frivolity of Death Proof and the Kill Bill films. (Personally, I was hoping for a return to Tarantino’s more emotionally satisfying heyday, especially the underrated Jackie Brown.)

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by Jason Gargano 01.23.2009
at 05:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Round-up: Local Alternative

The post-holiday/awards season dumping ground is upon us — just two films hit theaters this week, neither of which are likely to pique the interest of more discerning moviegoers.

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by Jason Gargano 06.29.2011
at 02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Wednesday Movie Roundup: Michael Bay Edition

Some say Michael Bay is the devil, the man responsible for the death of cinema as we know it.

It seems the director behind such crass mainstream entertainments as The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harborand the Transformers films — the third of which, subtitled Dark of the Moon, opens today — has no shame when it comes to his particular brand of slam-bam cinema. Bay specializes in disaster movies, the kind of stories where nothing less than the entirety of civilization hangs in the balance. His CGI-driven, ADD-addled films revel in big explosions, big visual flourishes and big emotions. Subtle he is not.

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by Jason Gargano 04.23.2010
at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: No Wave, Wine & Socialism

A trio of “event” screenings boosts this week’s mixed bag of new releases (of which Bong Joon-Ho’s Hitchcockian thriller, The Mother, is the clear winner).

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by Jason Gargano 02.22.2009
at 04:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Oscar Predictions

I'm through bitching about how clueless the Academy is for overlooking my favorite films in favor of "geriatric coffeetable dogshit" (aka The Reader), as Christian Slater put it in True Romance. (To be fair, The Reader is slightly better than dogshit, mostly due to the presence of Kate Winslet.) Yes, I've finally accepted the Oscars for what it is: an industry wank-fest punctuated by a few moments of genuine spontaneity and/or emotion. Look for Slumdog Millionaire to clean up tonight despite not garnering a single acting nomination, which is almost unheard of for a Best Picture nominee. And look for an elaborately coiffed, sunglasses- and chain wallet-clad Mickey Rourke do something wonderfully eccentric while accepting the Best Actor Oscar.

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by Jason Gargano 04.30.2011
at 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Summer Starts Now

As a child weaned at the entertaining teat of 1980s blockbusters like The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future, I have a soft spot in my movie-snob heart for a good summer popcorn movie.

The key word there is “good,” an adjective that doesn't often describe modern summer movies, most of which are lowest-common-denominator products laden with special effects instead of interesting characters. We're now lucky if one or two transcend mediocrity each summer — last year Toy Story 3 and Inception were the big exceptions.

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by Jason Gargano 07.09.2010
at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Art House Strikes Back

The worst summer movie season in memory gets a kick in the ass this week with the opening of a pair of small-scale, Sundance-approved art-house gems: the Duplass brothers' Cyrus, an unexpectedly touching, hilariously awkward comedy featuring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill in an odd love triangle of sorts, and Debra Granik's Winter's Bone, a tension-laced thriller that is likely to stand as young actress Jennifer Lawrence's breakout role.

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by Jason Gargano 03.05.2010
at 11:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Oscar Baiting

The 82nd Academy Awards telecast is Sunday night. Will you be watching?

Yes, I will again succumb to its guilty pleasures, no doubt groaning every 10 minutes or so at the lavish, self-important nature of it all (please don’t let James Cameron win — the only thing worse than his creepy, flowing gray hair is the inevitably pompous speech that will spill from his lips if Avatar wins him a Best Director or Best Picture Oscar, which it likely will).

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by Jason Gargano 02.04.2011
at 05:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Last Call for Coppola

It's another slow week in movieland, as only one of the four new releases was made available to us in advance, and that one, The Company Men, delivered mixed results. Rather than whine about something we have no control over, let's turn your attention to a film that sneaked into the Kenwood Theatre last week: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere.

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by Jason Gargano 10.29.2010
at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Dilemma of Sam Rockwell

Why can't Sam Rockwell find a movie that fully takes advantage of his singular talents?

Long one of our most expressive, instinctual and interesting actors, the 42-year-old Rockwell has added spice as a supporting player in a string of high-profile studios movies (Iron Man 2, Everybody's Fine, Frost/Nixon, Matchstick Men, Charlie's Angels and The Green Mile, among others) and has been compelling as a central figure in a handful of smaller films (Choke, Joshua, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Lawn Dogs and Box of Moon Light).

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