Archive for August, 2011

Review: The Debt

The best spies usually work alone. There’s a reason James Bond and Jason Bourne fly solo, which is generally assumed to be that it lessens the margin for error and prevents emotional attachments. Perhaps it’s really because the we like to uncover the dark secrets that make a ruthless assassins tick, which isn’t too much […]

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Fall Movie Preview 2011: Thrillers

Normally with only five thrillers I might combine them with horror, but these five films have earned their own category this fall. From remakes to films based on true events to a hypothetical worldwide pandemic, these thrillers have a shot at being Fall 2011’s best films. Well, next to dramas that is.

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The Five Breakout Stars of Summer 2011

For the third year in a row, I present to you my list of five stars who are bound to break out after big roles or impressive performances this summer. Why do I sound so confident? Because my track record is pretty good. Here’s last year’s list, for example. Although strangely a lot of those […]

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Fall Movie Preview 2011: Horror

Let’s begin Fall Movie Preview 2011 with horror, a genre whose finest months come during the fall quadrant of the year. The fall opens this Friday with the first two films on this list, a couple summer holdover horror films, but then some intriguing options arrive come late September and of course October. — Apollo […]

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Summer Movie Superlatives 2011

Looking back at last year’s blockbuster season, other than the great “Inception Exception,” Summer 2010 stunk. This summer was packed to the gills with options to say the least, and despite maybe not having any excellent films like “Inception” or “Toy Story 3,” top to bottom, 2011 was 11 times better. Only August disappointed, but […]

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Review: The Help

Late-summer Civil Rights dramas don’t come around much. In fact, late-summer dramas don’t come around much period, but “The Help” has just the right pinches of humor and bright colors to keep it from becoming a weighty affair more suited for the winter awards contenders. Don’t assume, however, that come the turn of seasons that […]

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Weekend Movie Preview (8.26.11)

August: the Statue of Liberty of movie months. “Bring your tired, your poor, your huddle movies, yearning to be released.” Summer bows out with another three movies to make for 11 in the last three weekends. This weekend it’s the femme fatale revenge film “Colombiana,” Paul Rudd in “Our Idiot Brother,” and the Guillermo del […]

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On DVD: Hobo with a Shotgun

Pulp flicks can sometimes get a bit too ahead of themselves. Sometimes all you need is a hobo, a shotgun and a twisted sense of justice. Rutger Hauer stars in “Hobo with a Shotgun,” the second film after “Machete” to be derived from a fake trailer created for the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double-feature “Grindhouse.” Although […]

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Conan the Barbarian (1982) Review

A film of few words, “Conan the Barbarian” strays from the path of most action films as far as storytelling goes. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who would become notorious for delivering one- liners has only one or two opportunities in this film. But how can one possibly complain about an action/adventure film that doesn’t waste its time […]

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Weekend Movie Preview (8.19.11)

The August onslaught continues with yet another four new releases this weekend ranging from the kid-friendly “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” to the skull-crushing remake of “Conan the Barbarian.” Horror fans also continue to get fed with the remake of “Fright Night” starring Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell while hopeless romantics can […]

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Review: 30 Minutes or Less

Director Ruben Fleischer should call the “making of” documentary of this film “86 Minutes or Less.” The filmmaker who landed squarely on the Hollywood directing hot list with 2009’s rollicking sleeper hit “Zombieland” has crammed the action and laughs into another unusually short runtime. Distinct advantages exist to the “all business”  attitude toward filmmaking, but […]

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Weekend Movie Preview (8.12.11)

August would be the “Forrest Gump” proverbial box of chocolates in that you never know what you’re going to get. This weekend’s offerings say it all. On one hand, yet another R-rated comedy in “30 Minutes or Less,” but on the other, a historial drama in “The Help,” a horror franchise sequel in “Final Destination […]

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The 10 Dumbest Movie Criminals

Many a movie character has been made in the mold of the small-time crook. Ask the Coen brothers, for example; they’ve made a career on films about ordinary people trying to do brazen (and usually illegal) things. As morally outstanding movie-goers (perhaps I should speak just for myself), we identify with these characters because we […]

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On DVD: Insidious

Haunted houses and questionable children have composed many a horror film, but there’s a reason they work. When they do so despite years of being recycled, it’s usually thanks to talent. “Saw” director James Wan found something of promise in “Saw” writer Leigh Whannell’s story “Insidious” and the same must’ve gone for stars Rose Byrne […]

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First Look: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

After releasing an image of the “Man of Steel” yesterday, Warner Bros. has released the first image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Or should we say Selina Kyle?

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