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13 November

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Films That Should Satisfy

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Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson
Review [13.Nov.2009]
13 November
Oh yeah! Oh HELL yeah! This is the one we’ve been waiting for since the trailer promised infinite end of the world destruction back in June. Roland Emmerich is a lot of things—hack, copycat, incapable of an original idea—but he sure can level a combination CG/miniature landscape. Just watching LA sink into the Pacific, the White House wiped out by a huge aircraft carrier carrying tsunami, or space arks flooded as humans struggle to escape Earth is just too (guilty) pleasurable. Granted, the recent EPK’s attached to AMC’s First Look promos (featuring Woody Harrelson and John Cusak) are laugh out loud awful, and one expects a lot more meandering dialogue than F/X money shots in a film such as this. But Emmerich may be onto something here, fulfilling the fantasies of millions of doomsayers who actually believe that everything will end on 12/20/2012. As long as we get to see this amazing looking movie before then, who cares what happens two years from now.

Films That May Leave You Starving

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The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Jarvis Cocker, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe
13 November
The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson loves to keep ‘em guessing. After his brilliant brotherly love travelogue The Darjeeling Limited wrapped, many wondered what his next film would be. Few could have figured it was a stop motion animation take on Roald Dahl’s darkly comic tale of a fox, his family and friends, and the farmers intent on killing him. Pretty intense for a kid’s film, right? Only Anderson is apparently aiming higher up the audience food chain. He had wanted to collaborate with A Nightmare Before Christmas’ Henry Selick (who worked with the filmmaker on his The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), but Coraline called, leaving Anderson to fend for himself. The results look a little less polished than other similarly styled films, but we’re betting the sense of humor and artistic flourishes offered by this unique auteur will make up for any production limitations.

The Ala Carte Menu

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Women in Trouble

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Cast: Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Berkely, Cameron Richardson, Adrianne Palicki, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
13 November
Women in Trouble

When it premiered back in March at the South by Southwest Film Festival, critics praised this outrageous comedy as a true female-oriented tour de force—and looking at the talent involved, they had a lot to champion. Writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez has taken a cast including Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton, Elizabeth Berkeley, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Simon Baker and tossed them into a series of interlocking stories that center on…you guessed it, girls in trouble. We get porn stars, stewardesses, and random housewives and career gals, each character given ample room to grow and explore their own particular problems thanks to Gutierrez’s ensemble approach. While some may see a bit of Altman in the style, this is really more of a high camp soap opera with oddball touches and tendencies.


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The Young Victoria

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Cast: Emily Blunt, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Rupert Friend
Review [26.Apr.2010]
Review [18.Dec.2009]
13 November
The Young Victoria

Boy, do the British love their costume dramas. Every year they can be guaranteed to deliver yet another adaptation of a classic novel, a famous play, or more often than not, a factual/fictional look at one of their many royals. This time around, it’s Queen Victoria (yes, AGAIN! ) and her young life and romance with Prince Albert. Emily Blunt plays Her Majesty, while Rupert Friend is her soulmate paramour, with Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée behind the camera. Some have criticized the film for being less than honest with the actual events in the famed queen’s life, including Albert’s part in thwarting an assassination attempt. Still, with plenty of pomp and compelling circumstance, this should be a well intentioned and well received drama, providing insight into a world seldom have ever seen, or will see for that matter. 

Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.

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