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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 02.18.2011
at 05:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Odd Week Edition

We've a very odd collection of movies this week. Liam Neeson is back in yet another dark-hued action thriller, while Paul Giamatti headlines a period drama in which he gets to woo and/or interact with a trio of attractive ladies (Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike).

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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 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 01.08.2010
at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Terry Gilliam's Imagination

There’s no denying that Terry Gilliam has a vast imagination. But is that a good thing for his films and those who have to watch them?

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by Jason Gargano 04.03.2009
at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Cinema in Color

This week’s new releases are a curious hodgepodge ranging from a big-budget studio retread (Fast & Furious) to an experimental feature by a 79-year-old enfant terrible (Pere Portabella's The Silence Before Bach, which opened in New York City more than a year ago). Lodged in-between is a pair of movies that debuted to mixed responses at the Sundance Film Festival (Sunshine Cleaning in 2008, Adventureland earlier this year), both of which feature strong casts and capable directors.

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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 09.25.2009
at 10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Fantastic Mr. Fox

The fall movie season has gotten off to a pretty mediocre start, and this week’s slate of new multiplex offerings does little to reverse the trend: a pair of ho-hum-looking sci-fi thrillers, Pandorum and Surrogates, and what looks to be a glossy remake of Fame, the 1980 movie musical that would serve as the senior play for yours truly many years later (I played Ralph Garcy.) Not coincidently, all three screened after our print deadline, typically a sign that they’re not ripe for much critical love.

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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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