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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014
Good Sam juxtaposes the reality its characters live in with a sort of Shirley Temple optimism.

One shot of Good Sam features Gary Cooper standing in the middle of two women. One cries in misery while the other laughs her head off, and they seem about equally at the edge of delirium. This moment defines the whole movie, which balances comedy, pathos, and irony so freely within each scene that you don’t know how the movie expects you to react. This ambiguity of affect marks the cinema of Leo McCarey. He’s so fascinated by observing the nuances of human reactions, and how the emotions of different characters feed and counterpoint each other, that he lets scenes run on quite long; you get the feeling he’d just as soon they never end. Were he active but few decades later, he might have been John Cassavetes.


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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014
Frank is an enjoyable, offbeat comedy about the least approachable band ever, the Soronprfbs, and how their newest member aspires to make them more likeable.

You don’t need to be aware of the fact that Frank is loosely based on a real life musician, Frank Sidebottom, and author Jon Ronson’s (who co-wrote the film) brief stint as the keyboard player with his band (the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band) to enjoy the quirky film. In fact, it isn’t even really relevant except for perhaps some insight into the screenplay, where you can find hints of film dialogue in this article by Ronson over on The Guardian.


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Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014
Four of the Apocalypse's stereotypical and almost satirical character depictions and its pilgrimage structured plot-line chronicles a voyage to redemption.

Lucio Fulci, the “Godfather of Gore,” had a knack for turning poorly structured and acted exploitation movies destined to die in the grindhouses into minor works of art. He did this by painting over their mediocrity with blood and guts in a aesthetically stylish manner. Although he is best remembered for directing a handful of cult-classics in the horror genre such as Zombi 2 (1979) and The Beyond (1981), he did make three Spaghetti Westerns: Massacre Time (1966), Four of the Apocalypse (1975), and Silver Saddle (1978).


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Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014
They're the reason to cheer or the inspiration for a jeer—and nobody does them better than Disney.

As long as there have been animated films, there have been heroes (and heroines) and villains. It’s the basis for the artform. Usually built on the backs of fairytales, themselves harbingers of the whole good vs. evil ideal, cartoons can often make human version of their good guys and bad guys look tame by comparison.


Nowhere is this more true than in the cannon of those famed managers of intense marketing, The Walt Disney Company. From the moment it set the standard for feature length pen and ink epics, it offered up both the sublime (Snow White) and the sinister (the Wicked Queen). Throughout their history, they have continued to use said formula, sometimes switching up the standards so that both men and women wear equally nice/naughty regalia. As a matter of fact, some of our most famous film faces come from these movies, be they memorable (Monstro the Whale, Ursula the Sea Witch) or minor (Governor Ratcliffe, Prince John).


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Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are reinvesting the so-called buddy comedy with the concept that, sometimes, friendship is not enough.

It seems like the best of all worlds: getting to travel, professionally, staying at some of the most scenic and inviting destinations along the Italian Riviera. Better still, you get to sample gourmet cuisine every step of the way, from entrees rich in Mediterranean tradition to piles of freshly caught and prepared seafood. The weather is magnificent, the populace beyond friendly, and the views awe-inspiring.


The only problem? You’re saddled with someone as a traveling companion whose a rival at best, a friend in frustrating terms only, and since you’re pushing 50, that so-called “midlife crisis” has turned into nothing more than mere angry aging.


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