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Friday, Mar 28, 2014
Sabotage won't set any new standards, but it's a serviceable entertainment for those who don't mind being misled.

When you look back over his career, when you consider the movies he made in the mid-‘80s and early ‘90s, there’s no denying one thing: Arnold Schwarzenegger was a major league movie star. Not a dime a dozen A-lister, but an international draw of such amazing box office appeal that he could greenlight anything just be expressing interest in it. His run was phenomenal. His desire to enter politics questionable. In the end, however, Schwarzenegger came out unscathed, a love child with his maid merely reducing him to a representative industry icon. Now, in the effort to rebuild his brand, he’s going back to what made him a myth: violence, action, and familiarity. With his latest, Sabotage, the former Mr. Olympia comes up trumps in the writer (Skip Woods) and director (David Ayer) department. Where he fails, however, is in fine-tuning this material to be anything other than weird whodunit where a lunk-headed mystery is far more important than any kind of ass kicking or fire fights.


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Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014
He was the King of '80s/'90s action. Now, while attempting a comeback, we look at the 10 best films in Arnold Schwarzenegger's onscreen action legacy.

He’ll be back on the silver screen this weekend in an oddball amalgamation of drug cartel crime thriller and murder/mystery whodunit entitled Sabotage, but the fact is that Arnold Schwarzenegger never really went away. Even while serving two terms as Governor of California, his legacy shifted while staying most ingrained in moviegoer’s hearts. After vowing a return to his previous place in the pop culture lexicon, he’s tried teaming up with other past action heroes (The Expendables 2), doing a duo piece with an equally ‘relevant’ rival (Escape Plan with Sly Stallone) and even going back to his “one man vs. many” mainstay dynamic (see below). In each case, new generations have mostly ignored this once celebrated superstar, leaving those of us in the outskirts of the biz wondering why this former box office behemoth has lost his way. That got us looking back at his past catalog and, suddenly, it all became clear. When he was on, there was nobody better. But that was then, and this is now.


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Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014
The Sabotage audiences see on Friday will have very little to do with the version being pimped in the promos.

In his continuing effort to be a relevant post-political career movie star again, Arnold Schwarzenegger has tried almost anything. He added his name to the aging action icon franchise The Expendables, then set out on his own for the High Noon-lite of The Last Stand and the lax buddy prison effort (with Sly Stallone) Escape Plan. This week he will be amping up his game, taking on the latest from Training Day‘s David Ayers and Swordfish‘s Skip Woods. Entitled Sabotage, it’s being sold as a quasi-realist DEA vs. drug cartels standoff. Lots of gun raised raids for Arnie and his co-stars Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Max Martin, and Mireille Enos, among others. The trailer tells us the plots revolves around a group of high intensity Feds who run afoul of a cartel, putting Schwarzenegger’s family in jeopardy…


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Friday, Mar 21, 2014
Luckily, Muppets Most Wanted is "almost" as good as the first go around, a rousing entertainment which pales only slightly in comparison to its predecessor.

He was born around 1955. Legend has it he was crafted from a discarded coat and two halves of a ping pong ball. While the inspiration for the name has been a long debated source of contention, one thing remains clear: the minute Kermit the lizard (???) made his first appearance on Jim Henson’s localized Sam and Friends TV show, he became an instant icon. One slight species shift to frog-dom prior to cementing his status as part of Sesame Street and the next thing you know, the world has gone wonky for a simplified green amphibian. Indeed, along with his many Muppet friends, Kermit continues to be a bastion of bravery, a minister of wit, and an intensely popular and easily merchandisable combination of wire armature and felt.


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Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014
He's both beloved and berated by film fans around the world. Yet, for us, these 10 examples explain why Lars Von Trier is one of the artform's best.

When you mention the name Lars Von Trier, you get a decidedly diverse set of reactions. Many mainstream film fans have no idea who he is. They’ve never seen his work, perhaps could name check a movie or two they’ve “heard” about, and are perhaps better versed in his various recent tabloid tales than anything he’s done on celluloid. Others may be a bit better informed, mentioning his no-frills filmmaking ideal Dogme ‘95 or his controversial Cannes outbursts. On the other hand, it will be the rarified cinephile who can walk through the man’s output over the last few decades, delineating his output in both specifics and subtextual generics. Indeed, Von Trier is that kind of artist, an auteur with a singular vision that occasionally gets carried through (and away) within stark expressions of his own personal complexities. He doesn’t shy away from the difficult or the contentious, but he does occasionally let it do too much of the talking.


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