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by Jason Gargano 05.06.2010
at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Getting Past 'The Very Worst Thing'

On the morning of Feb. 28, 1958, a school bus carrying 48 elementary and high school students ran over an embankment and plunged into the Big Sandy River in Prestonsburg, Ky. Twenty-six kids and the bus’ driver lost their lives in the crash, forever altering the small, close-knit Floyd County town’s inhabitants.

Michael Crisp’s appropriately somber documentary, The Very Worst Thing, meticulously re-creates the events surrounding the accident via vintage radio recordings and photos and modern-day interviews with people — from a survivor of the accident to those who want to keep the victims’ legacy alive — connected to that day more than 50 years ago.

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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 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 04.16.2010
at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Movie Trailers, Yankee Wankers

Contemporary movie trailers suck. Not only are they — like most of the movies they pimp — typically lowest-common-denominator dumb but they also mislead viewers about a given movie’s true nature in an attempt to entice the broadest possible audience. (For example, check out the stupid, disjointed Inglourious Basterds’ trailer, which tried to sell Quentin Tarantino’s arty, longwinded, multilingual revenge epic as a straightforward Brad Pitt-centered World War II action flick.)

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by Jason Gargano 04.09.2010
at 02:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: I Love Joan Jett

I loved Joan Jett when I was a kid. I listened to side one of I Love Rock N’ Roll almost every day — often multiple times a day — for more than a year. I turned the volume up on my crappy little radio every time the title song came on Q102 — which at the height of its popularity, was about once an hour.

The collision of simple, classic guitar chords, her tough-girl voice and her sexy, goth-informed visage staring out from the album’s cover left me endlessly fascinated. As a pre-teen, early-’80s suburbanite, I’d never experienced anything like her.

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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 Jason Gargano 03.26.2010
at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: Sony Classics, Greta Gerwig & the 1980s!

The local cinematic universe gets a much-needed shot of adrenaline this week. Even the Hollywood studio efforts look palatable.

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by Jason Gargano 03.19.2010
at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday Movie Roundup: The Most Dangerous Man in America

The post-awards/pre-summer movie season trudges on with a curious collection of releases in a variety of genres: we’ve got another romantic comedy starring Jennifer "I Do Movies to Get a Boyfriend" Aniston (The Bounty Hunter), a futuristic thriller (Repo Men), a family-friendly teen thing (The Wimpy Kid Diaries) and even a 3-D IMAX documentary (Hubble).

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by Jason Gargano 03.12.2010
at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday Movie Roundup: All Hail, Kathryn Bigelow

We didn’t need the Academy Awards to tell us that Kathryn Bigelow is a really good director — she’s been that for more than 30 years.

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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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