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by Brandon Barb 04.13.2012
at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Movies In Question: 'The Raven' and 'Stooges'

John Cusack an odd choice for Edgar Allan Poe; Larry, Moe and Curly finally go big screen

When I first saw the trailer to the upcoming John Cusack movie The Raven I wasn't quite sure what to think. At first, I was excited because it is a movie based on Edgar Allan Poe’s work, but I'm still skeptical. The English major side of me jumped for joy (but then remembered he was an English major and went back to brooding).


Everything was fine until John Cusack walked in from the shadows. Don't get me wrong, his movies are some of my favorites and I love his work, but Cusack playing Poe is a strange combination. Maybe they wanted to have the same dark character they saw in Identity. There are a few people that I could see playing Poe. Off the top of my head, Sam Rockwell, Edward Norton and Gary Oldman are three guys who could pull off the dark character that Poe was. At least Cusack resembles Poe in the movie.

Maybe it is just the trailer that turns me off to Cusack filling the boots of the late American poet. In it, Cusack’s delivery is dry and stiff. I don’t feel any kind mystery that surrounds Poe. Some of his writings are real disturbing when looked at closely, but with Cusack the character appears to be deflated. I guess this hesitation comes from Poe being one of my favorite writers. For all I know, the trailers don’t do the movie justice, which I hope is the case. Cusack is known for his obscure roles and disturbed characters, so this is probably a perfect fit.

The premise for the film has been done before, but since it's Edgar Allan Poe it gives the movie somewhat of a different angle. Some man is committing murders based on stories written by Poe, and then Poe has to figure out who the murderer is with the help of Detective Fields played by Luke Evans. If you're worrying about spoilers, don't be — all of that is in the trailer. I think I know who the murderer is already, but it’s Hollywood so anything can happen.

Movies based off of literature are good as long as they keep true to the source material. It will be interesting to see what happens with The Raven. It feels like a mixture of the Sherlock Holmes movies and the Johnny Depp picture From Hell. We will all find out on April 27.

Another movie is being released today and me torn as to whether to watch it or not. The idea of a The Three Stooges film has bounced around for years, but now it has finally limped its way to the screen. Leave it to Hollywood to take a beloved comedic classic like the Stooges and churn out a mediocre-looking movie.


There have been many names were attached to this project, including Jim Carrey, Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg and Paul Giamatti. Actually filling the shoes of the Stooges are Sean Hayes as Larry, Will Sasso as Curly and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe. To me the only choice that makes sense is Sasso because he made a name for himself with physical comedy on Mad TV.

I’m surprised this is actually a movie, because it just looks horrible. I don’t want to watch it but I probably will end up in the theater because the original Stooges are a great gift to slapstick comedy — I’ll even give Curly’s replacement Shemp a nod and say he wasn’t that bad, either. But any movie that incorporates the Jersey Shore should just go straight to DVD.

The tagline for the movie is “Just say Moe” but someone should have told the Farrelly brothers to just say no. They are known for great comedies like Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary and Me, Myself & Irene, but their trek into classic slapstick comedy appears to be anything but. As much of a fan as I am of the Stooges I hope I'm wrong with this one, and that at least Will Sasso is just as good as he was on Mad TV.

 
 
by Jason Gargano 10.02.2009
at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Fall Season Kicks In

The fall movie season gets a much-needed kick in the ass this week, as no fewer than a half-dozen worthwhile (or at least intriguing) films in a variety of genres hit movie houses.

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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 01.14.2011
at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Winona Ryder Edition

There was a time when Winona Ryder could do no wrong. Simultaneously intelligent, beautiful and creatively savvy, Ryder burst onto the scene with a series of late-1980s roles informed by a refreshingly offbeat sensibility best exemplified by her adorable goth-girl breakthrough in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and her career-defining performance as Veronica in Heathers, a scathing black comedy that still holds up 20 years later.

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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 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 09.29.2011
at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Film Festival Opens Tonight!

New Cincinnati Film Festival (CFF) Director of Programming Brandon Harris isn't shy about pimping the quality of his choices for this year's fest: “This represents the most ambitious and internationally acclaimed program of films ever screened in Cincinnati.”

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by Jason Gargano 11.14.2008
at 04:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Eternal Neuorsis of Charlie Kaufman's Mind

According to The New York Times recent “Holiday Movies” calendar, 12 films are scheduled to open in New York City today. In contrast, just two new films are set play in a Cincinnati movie house: Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York and the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace.

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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 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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