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by Jason Gargano 07.15.2011
at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Harry Potter Edition

The Harry Potter movie series comes to a close this week with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which, if I'm not mistaken, represents the eighth movie adaptation of J.K. Rowling's wildly successful book series.

I confess: I've never watched a Harry Potter movie. I've caught a few minutes here and there on HBO or at a friend's or family member's house, but for some reason I've never been compelled enough to sit down and take in the entirety of even one of the series' movies.

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by Jason Gargano 11.06.2009
at 07:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Outside the Box

Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko might be the cult film of the new millennium.

The young auteur’s moody opus struggled to find an audience amid a post-9/11 climate that apparently had little patience for the film's head-scratching, reality-shifting narrative and apocalyptic overtones — it received a limited theatrical release about a month after the terrorist attacks and quickly faded from view.

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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 04.30.2011
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 04.30.2010
at 03:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Good, Bad & Ugly

A “re-imagining” of A Nightmare on Elm Street opens this week. Really? The original Freddy movie, which is now best known as Johnny Depp’s first big-screen role, not to mention its endless (and endlessly lame) sequels?

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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 08.27.2010
at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Is 3-D Here to Stay?

Before a recent Saturday matinee screening of Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D — which, for the record, is a unabashedly bloody excursion into B-movie mayhem — I took in trailers for no less than five new 3-D movies: Resident Evil: Afterlife, Tron: Legacy, Green Hornet, Jackass 3D and Saw 3D, all of which and more (including the next installments in the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia series) arrive on the heels of this summer's avalanche of like-formatted fare.

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by Jason Gargano 05.27.2011
at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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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 10.10.2010
at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Bounty of Options

After months of sparse and, more importantly, mediocre (if not abysmal) movie options, recent weeks have give us a bounty of worthwhile offerings in a variety of genres — from art-house fare like Catfish, Jack Goes Boating, Lebanon and A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop to multiplex stuff like The Social Network and Let Me In and Easy A. And this week delivers yet more of both: Buried, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Secretariat and Never Let Me Go.

Add in the Cincinnati Film Festival, which opens today and runs through Oct. 16, and we have a smorgasbord of cinematic offerings from which to choose.

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by Jason Gargano 01.21.2011
at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Borat Is Back Edition

It's kind of hard to evaluate this week's opening films when none of them were screened in advance for critics — or at least none of them were screened locally, a trend that's always more prevalent this time of year.

Surprisingly, early word on No Strings Attached — Ivan Reitman's sexually liberated romantic comedy featuring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher — is strong.

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