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17 and 22 September

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Jack Goes Boating

Director: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, Lola Glaudini, John Ortiz , Ricky Garcia, Elizabeth Rodriguez
17 September
Jack Goes Boating


Philip Seymour Hoffman does double duty as star and director of this adaptation of the Off Broadway play of the same name. The synopsis reads like a combination of working class Woody Allen and When Harry Met Sally: The Schlep Version. It’s all about established couples, lonely friends, and well meaning first dates, burgeoning relationships and inevitable divorces. While he’s untried behind the lens, we trust Hoffman can bring out the best in his cast. It’s the other elements of filmmaking—like narrative drive, continuity and coherence, as well as visual basics—that have us concerned.


 

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Catfish

Director: Henry Joost,Ariel Schulman
Cast: Nev Schulman

17 September
Catfish


When you hear the set-up—young ‘Net savvy man falls for the innocent plea of an online tween, only to try and hook up with her older sister—it sounds like an outtake from To Catch a Predator. From the unsettling age situation to the eventual cross country meet and greet, we prepare ourselves for something unseemly. But then documentarians Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman pull the rug out from under us by taking the true story in a whole other, equally unusual direction. The results may remains a cautionary tale about web-based bait and switch, but the people involved are so intriguing you forgive the fixed finale.


 

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Alpha and Omega

Director: Ben Gluck, Anthony Bell
Cast: Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper, Eric Price, Chris Carmack, Vicki Lewis

17 September
Alpha and Omega


CG wolves, one from the right side of the pack (Panettiere) and the other (Long) whose a good-hearted goof, suddenly find themselves far from home and ordered to fall in love and procreate. Naturally, such divergent curs can’t cotton to each other—at first. By the time they’ve fall head over paws for each other, they must return to their respective families and save the day. Nothing like a mediocre meshing of Romeo and Juliet with Lady and the Tramp to keep the wee ones happy. Granted, it is in 3D, but that might not be enough to keep the cynical underage mindsets engaged.


 

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Director: Oliver Stone
Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan

22 September
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps


While it seems especially timely, given our current countrywide financial crisis, do we really need another dose of Oliver Stone’s “root of all evil” ruminations. In the ‘80s, when the first Wall Street arrived, it was a fiery foreshadowing of things to come. The sequel, picking up 23 years later with Gordon Gecko’s release from prison, feels like preaching to the already converted and downtrodden. Michael Moore faced a similar problem with his far more timely Capitalism: A Love Story. Stone is still capable of greatness, and if anyone can pull it off, however, it’s the original bad boy of moviemaking mavericks—Shia Lebouf aside. 


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 Gibron.com 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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