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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 05.01.2009
at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday Movie Roundup: Same Old Summer

The summer movie season officially kicks off today with the release of Wolverine, a spin-off of Hugh Jackman’s character from the successful X-Men series.

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by Jason Gargano 01.18.2011
at 06:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Uneasy Night at Golden Globes

What does it say when Golden Globes’ host Ricky Gervais is getting more post-show attention than the night’s winners (or January Jones’ gravity-defying dress)? Sure, Gervais’ sharp-tongued shots at various targets — from the easy (Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson) to the slightly less so (Steve Carell, Tim Allen and God) — were often insensitive and sometimes crass, but none of them were necessarily untruthful or even far from what most viewers would say about each recipient.

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by Jason Gargano 07.24.2009
at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Oxford Film Festival

Our largely uneventful summer movie season gets a kick in the ass this week with the arrival of not only one of the best films of 2009 — Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker — but also the third annual Oxford International Film Festival (OIFF), which moves to Cincinnati this year.

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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 04.02.2010
at 04:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: McFly Revisited

The amusing, curiously lo-fi comedic diversion known as Hot Tub Time Machine revisits a moment in time not known for its significant cultural contributions (especially on a mainstream level). Who better, then, to appear in a movie that looks back with a nostalgic eye to the 1980s than Crispin Glover, one of the great, under-appreciated oddballs of that or any era?

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by Julianne Warren-Novick 02.08.2010
at 07:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Valentine's Day Affliction

In 2008 there was Definitely, Maybe. Last year, there were Confessions of a Shopoholic. And now, with only six days left before Valentine’s Day is actually upon us, a movie baring the same name is set to hit theaters. 

Valentine’s Day, this year’s most blatant bid for romantically charged girls to drag their boyfriends down to the theater, and spend gobs of money to found out whether or not Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, and a fistful of other stars will live happily ever after. For anyone with a remotely decent sense of cinematic taste, this would be something to avoid. And yet, in the deep recesses of my otherwise logical brain, there lives a tiny little blob of girly power that screams, “Go see this movie!”

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by Jason Gargano 05.27.2011
at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Long Live Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff is the opposite of a summer blockbuster: stylistically spare, elliptical, emotionally nuanced and told from a distinctly female perspective. It's the antithesis of the garish big-budget behemoths currently crowding the multiplex, a film that has zero interest in delivering a typical audience-pandering moviegoing experience.

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by Jason Gargano 06.11.2010
at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Back to the Future

What's up with all the 1980s love currently spilling out of multiplexes?

Sure, Hollywood and marketers of all sorts have long mined nostalgia as a powerful enticement tool in the marketplace. But is 20 years enough time to generate sufficient yearning for a period whose mainstream culture is best represented by the rise of stupid action movies and/or creatively bankrupt sequels (see the career of Sylvester Stallone for examples of both), acutely disposable Pop music (see everything from Hair Metal to Milli Vanilli), ludicrous clothes (see Miami Vice) and the presence of a two-term president whose nefarious policies laid the groundwork for our current economic meltdown?

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by Jason Gargano 03.01.2011
at 07:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Snooze of an Oscars

The Academy has been trying in recent years to move its awards show into the 21st century without dissing its tradition-rich past. The results have been mixed.

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