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Monday, Jul 28, 2014
With the release of the new teaser trailer, Fifty Shades of Grey proves that what might work in the boudoir just doesn't translate to the big screen.

Let’s talk about sex, shall we? Frankly. Honestly. Without adolescent snickers or contemporary Puritanical embarrassment. Let’s talk about the biological act, the physical intimacy between two people. Let’s not throw gender or orientation into the mix. Instead, let’s focus on the real issue at hand: the recently released teaser trailer for the upcoming big screen adaptation of British author E.L. James’ bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey.


Born out of that most incendiary of literary laughing stocks, fan fiction, it is the oft-criticized scribe who is now giggling, all the way to the bank. And it’s a book about sex. Sort of.


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Friday, Jul 25, 2014
Rob Reiner fuels this old hat hokum with below-grade over-earnestness.

Linda Ellerbee remains a media radical. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, she was part of a the highly acclaimed NBC news show, Weekend, before headlining the cult phenomenon, Overnight. In 1986, she published an amazing memoir of her time in the spotlight. Entitled And So It Goes, it covered… what, wait? That’s not what we are talking about here? No?


Oh, it’s the new movie, And So It Goes, starring Oscar winners Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, from a script by As Good As It Get‘s co-writer, Mark Andrus, and directed by former quality filmmaker Rob Reiner. Damn. TV back then was so much more scintillating. Ellerbee’s story is a billion times more interesting than this tired RomCom trope featuring aging adults of divergent backgrounds coming together over a kid.


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Friday, Jul 25, 2014
If you surgically grafted a snippet of Flowers for Algernon and a low-end documentary about the human brain onto a Cliff Notes summary of La Femme Nikita, the result might approach the lazy schizophrenia of Luc Besson's latest fembot warrior fantasy.

Luc Besson has been impatient when it comes to shootouts ever since 1990’s La Femme Nikita. A typical scene that we’ve seen him repeat from that film to 1997’s The Fifth Element to his newest, Lucy, goes as follows: a lone armed hero or villain walks swiftly into a room filled with many other characters with guns. The lone gunperson lets off many, many rounds in the blink of an eye. Everybody else falls down dead.


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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
In these two films, Robbe-Grillet hones in on the plastic and empirical qualities of film, which expose entirely subjective and unreal states.

Dead women tied to bedposts can be found at the center of the hall-of-mirrors plots in these two popular hits from postmodern fetishist Alain Robbe-Grillet. In light of the female nudity, forgiving French audiences didn’t object to the teasing pseudo-narratives.


As himself, Robbe-Grillet rides on the titular train in Trans-Europ-Express, inventing and revising a narrative in which actor Jean-Louis Trintignant (also on the train as “himself”) plays a drug courier on an endless cycle of transfers and messages. Shot in gorgeous black and white, the movie borrows a page from Alphaville or Shoot the Piano Player in its cavalier mockery of pulpy plots. Amid the narrative feints, the filmmaker’s unconscious (or too conscious) fantasies rise to the surface as the story zeros in on a prostitute-spy (Marie-France Pisier), whose primary function is more femme fatality than femme fatale.


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Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man franchise is supposedly in trouble. Why?

Apparently, the future of a certain Marvel mainstay is currently “up in the air”. No, not any character from the Avengers or some of the second tier offshoots like the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not even proposed players like Ant-Man or Dr. Strange.


While the X-Men chug along mightily and Disney continues to distribute the wealth to its multi-franchised property, Sony has stumbled—big time, according to reports—on where Peter Parker and The Amazing Spider-Man should go next. There are even rumors that the franchise may be dead, having dropped significantly since the studio decided to reboot the webslinger shortly after giving Sam Raimi and company the boot.


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