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by Jason Gargano 02.05.2010
at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Oscar Nominations

Oscar nominations for the yearly industry wankfest known as Academy Awards were announced on Feb. 2. As expected, James Cameron’s Avatar and Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker did well: Each yielded nine nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Best Director. (Curious side-note: Bigelow and Cameron were once married; for the record, she made the better film.)

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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 01.22.2010
at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: King of the World Strikes Again

The Golden Globes remain a guilty pleasure marked by fashion faux pas (Sandra Bullock’s uninspired dress looked like something my prom date wore back in the day), longwinded speeches (Drew Barrymore and Mo’Nique could learned a thing or two from the pithy Robert Downey Jr.), a few pleasant surprises (including Christoph Waltz’s supporting actor win for Inglourious Basterds), cringe-worthy moments (alcohol-imbibing host Ricky Gervais’ dis of Mel Gibson) and just plain oddities (what was up with Harrison Ford’s stunted delivery?).

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by Jason Gargano 01.15.2010
at 12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: A Curious Collection

A curious collection of filmmakers populates this week’s opening films — from well-established veterans to foreign masters to newbies to practitioners of Hollywood product.

Pedro Almodovar’s entertaining Broken Embraces is laden with the Spanish master’s now signature traits: a rich narrative rife with emotional u-turns and sex galore; a healthy splash of mood-altering color; beautiful females, including longtime muse Penelope Cruz; and ample technical chops informed by a clear nod to film history.

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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 12.18.2009
at 05:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Awards Season Mania

The movie awards season kicked into overdrive Dec. 15 with the announcement of the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards nominations. I’m typically the first one to criticize the Globes’ often banal, stars-and-studio-influenced nominations, but this year’s crop seems more discerning than usual.

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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 12.04.2009
at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Dilemma of Being Robert DeNiro

Many people have complained in recent years (including Scott Renshaw in his review of Everybody’s Fine below) that Robert DeNiro is not the actor he used to be. Maybe, maybe not.

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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 11.13.2009
at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Dig Deeper

I know we’re in the midst of an economic recession not seen since before The Wizard of Oz — but we only have one Hollywood studio release this week? And the one is 2012, the latest effects-driven, apocalyptic nonsense from Roland Emmerich?

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