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by Ashley Cooper

1 Oct 2009


Zombieland wants to make zombies funny. Other zombie/infected people films have done so, some intentionally (Shaun of the Dead) and others not (Doomsday). It’s a hard feat because the idea of being devoured by a creature is anything but funny, but the fine line is successfully drawn and tip-toed on by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.

Inspired to make the film by the aforementioned Shaun of the Dead, Fleischer says that it is America’s turn to laugh at the grunting, moaning and bloodthirsty creatures that scared us so in the landmark film Night of the Living Dead He promises that his zombies are not the slow, mumbling and easily defeated creatures of the original Romero presentation, but more the 2004 Dawn of the Dead version, who can run, sprint, climb, and are strong enough to be formidable foes and also have the ability to solve logical problems, like opening and unlocking doors.

The film takes place in an post-apocalyptic United States, where a super virus is turning most of the population into zombies. A group of uninfected survivors begin to fight back. The movie focuses on the dynamic between two men, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) who is a fear-driven coward, and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a gun-toting lover of killing zombies who is on a quest to find and eat the last Twinkie before it expires. They join up with sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) to seek solace in an old amusement park that they believe to be free of zombies, but with plenty of shooting and maiming to be had along the way.

by Tyler Gould

1 Oct 2009


Adam Goldberg and Marley Shelton engage in what appears to be feature-length japery at the expense of the contemporary art world. One character in the trailer says, of an artist’s work, “What attracts me to his work is how uncomfortable it makes me feel.” Goldberg’s character centers his performance art around the kicking of a metal bucket. If you are of a mind that thinks “contemporary art is impenetrable nonsense”, you’ll probably find a few chuckles at a culture depicted as being as self-important as it is asinine, but if you find that notion frustrating to no end, maybe avoid (Untitled) when it hits theaters October 23rd.

by Eleanore Catolico

23 Sep 2009


An adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road will be released on October 16th in theaters. The film stars Viggo Mortenson, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce as survivors amidst a wasteland caused by an unknown natural disaster, and centers on the story of a man (Mortenson) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they trek the desolate landscape. Their journey is not devoid of hazard as they must escape the clutches of cannibalistic tribesmen. Monochromatic and dirty, The Road‘s barren visuals have a distinct numbing effect. Hillcoat gives The Road an undeniably haunting and biting realism.

by Tyler Gould

22 Sep 2009


From Paris With Love
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Melissa Mars
Opening: 5 February 2010
Distributor: Lionsgate

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a greenhorn at the U.S. Ambassador’s office, and John Travolta is a (possibly crooked) secret agent. The movie algebra on this one is pretty transparent: take the inverse of Training Day, subtract any modicum of authenticity, and add as many explosions as possible. The bouncing brass and rakish shuffle of the soundtrack, the Bond-aping title, and the references to The Transporter strongly suggest that this film is all shot, no powder.

Travolta plays what might be termed a “bad ass” for the umpteenth time, and watching him in the role is, as usual, perverse and uncomfortable. He gives the impression of an unsettled man, not in a villainous, sinister way, but in a slimy, insecure way. Like in the wretched remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, he will swear copiously as his wormy muscles striate all over his body, and it will all seem very forced. The typical John Travolta rogue has bought into tropes of coolness and masculinity to such a degree that he exists only as a wrongheaded approximation of a man, a socially mutated human being, seething with misplaced hatred. He is such an unconvincing brute that I suspect if he does many more of these roles, scholars in later generations are going to think he’s a great satirist.

by Eleanore Catolico

22 Sep 2009


Coco Before Chanel
Director: Anne Fontaine
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola
Opening: 25 September 2009
Distributor: Warner Bros. (France) Sony Pictures Classics (U.S.)

Audrey Tautou, star of the beloved indie classic Amelie, returns to the screen as Coco Chanel in the upcoming movie Coco Before Chanel. The film centers around Chanel during her youth, before her name became the iconic fashion label for the chic modern woman. Seen as a social mischief in her era, Coco allures a few prominent suitors, who vie for her heart and become intrigued by her eccentricity. Coco Before Chanel has already hit screens in France, Australia, and the U.K., and will see a limited Stateside release on September 25th.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Double Take: The African Queen (1951)

// Short Ends and Leader

"What a time they had, Charlie and Rosie. They'll never lack for stories to tell their grandchildren. And what a time we had at Double Take discussing the spiritual and romantic journey of the African Queen.

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