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by Jason Gargano 05.05.2011
at 04:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Dare You Enter 'The Room'?

The Room —a low-budget indie melodrama about a love triangle between a “successful banker,” his “beautiful blonde fiance” and his “independent best friend” written, directed and starring aspiring filmmaker Tommy Wiseau — has been called everything from the worst film ever made to the Citizen Kaneof bad movies. I've yet to experience it, but the film’s trailer brings to mind an overripe episode of Guiding Lightwith the production values and acting prowess of a late-night Cinemax C movie. (Curious side note: On the film's poster, Wiseau looks strikingly similar to Gene Simmons. Coincidence, or kismet?)

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by Jason Gargano 11.26.2008
at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Wednesday Movie Roundup: Turkey Shoot

The first disappointment of the holiday movie season has reared its head — Baz Luhrmann’s much-anticipated Australia fails to deliver on its high expectations. The Aussie director's long-gestating follow-up to Moulin Rouge founders despite the presence of bona-fide movie stars who can also act — fellow Aussies Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman — both whom deserve better than this well-meaning but bloated pastiche of numerous old-school genre epics.

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by Jason Gargano 11.06.2008
at 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

Politics: The Movie of the Year

Has there been a movie this year that even comes close to generating the drama and suspense that marked the 2008 presidential campaign?

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by Jason Gargano 10.30.2008
at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Joaquin Phoenix Calls It Quits

Sure, he’s always been uncomfortable in the spotlight — but retirement?

Joaquin Phoenix told an E! reporter at a recent red-carpet Hollywood event, “This will be my last performance as an actor. I’m not doing films anymore … I’m going to play music.

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by Jason Gargano 08.07.2009
at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Goodbye, John Hughes

John Hughes, the writer and/or director of such 1980s staples as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, died of a heart attack yesterday at age 59. That sucks for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that few filmmakers made popular entertainments with as much heart, authenticity and wit as Hughes, and fewer still did it in the largely vapid genre of teen comedy.

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by Stephen Carter-Novotni 03.31.2009
at 08:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

New Star Trek Trailer

Is anyone else as jazzed as I am about the new Star Trek film? It looks like a thrilling ride.

It's due in theaters May 8, and there's already a sequel planned.

Live long and prosper

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by Jason Gargano 08.26.2011
at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Horror: Hollywood's Breadwinner

I just finished reading Shock Value, Jason Zinoman's entertaining look at “how a few eccentric outsiders gave us nightmares, conquered Hollywood and invented modern horror.”

The book celebrates a genre and group of filmmakers often ghettoized when compared to the better-known New Hollywood revolution of the 1970s, a rightly celebrated period and movement — roughly between Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) — that was investigated in Peter Biskind's equally entertaining Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.

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by Jason Gargano 12.03.2008
at 05:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Spirit of Indie Cinema

The 2009 Independent Spirit Awards were unveiled yesterday. And while the Academy Awards' more adventurous little brother has been leaning toward higher-profile specialty films in recent years (like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine), the ’09 batch hearkens back to the awards’ early days when ultra-low-budget indies ruled the scene.

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by Jason Gargano 07.29.2011
at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Ryan Gosling x 2 Edition

We have a odd-ball batch of opening films this week, including a pair of documentaries (one about a fascinating 1970s experiment on a chimpanzee, the other about a money- and fame-hungry woman disguised as a political and cultural leader); a pair of genre mashups (one a sci-fi western starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, the other a romantic dramedy featuring yet another beguiling turn from Ryan Gosling); and a 1980s cartoon staple that probably should have stayed untouched by studio executives.

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by Jason Gargano 10.16.2009
at 01:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Curious Case of Spike Jonze

Spike Jonze is a curious case.

Born into the Spiegel mail-order catalog fortune (his given name is Adam Spiegel), the teenage Jonze found solace in the skateboard/BMX bike culture of the 1980s. A DIY-bred autodidact with an oddball sense of humor, Jonze’s filmmaking “career” kick-started with a series of crafty skateboard videos that caught the attention of the Beastie Boys, who eventually recruited him to direct their playful, refreshingly lo-fi video for 1994’s “Sabotage.”

A series of inventive music videos followed, all of which were informed by Jonze’s boundless imagination and complete indifference to the flashy, jump-cut-laden techniques that flooded other MTV fare.

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