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Monday, January 27 2014

That Broken Penguin in ‘Bad Grandpa’s’ World Ain’t Never Getting Fixed

The Jackass ne’er do wells keep trying to squeeze another penny from the working class world of jerry-rigged skate ramps, overflowing testosterone, and homoerotic pranks.


‘A.C.O.D.’ Suffers from Overload Side Effects

A.C.O.D. is a movie with a lot of characters, and a lot of talent on hand to embody those characters. Too many and too much.


Friday, January 24 2014

‘Die, Monster, Die!’

This creature feature, based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, might have been more amazing had the makers not taken such pains to borrow from Edgar Allan Poe.


Thursday, January 23 2014

Three Doctors, One Special, and a Big (Blue) Box of Surprises!

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor leans towards the lighter side of the Whoniverse.


Wednesday, January 22 2014

What’s So Great About Being an Adult?

In the hands of James Ponsoldt, The Spectacular Now becomes a teen movie that resembles real life more than other teen movies.


The Rarest Element at the Bottom of the Atlantic Ocean!

While the premise is certainly exciting, the action in Raise the Titanic is hardly unsinkable.


Tuesday, January 21 2014

The Strange ‘Post Tenebras Lux’ Will Get Under Your Skin

Rare is the film that strives for rhapsodic innovation and achieves it without fail, but Mexican auteur Reygadas strives for such distinction, and mostly achieves it.


‘Cat People’ Warns that if You Lose Control It Can Ruin You

Cat People plays somewhere between exploitation and a fever dream, with the additional gore and extra-additional sexuality that couldn't be depicted 40 years earlier.


Monday, January 20 2014

‘Machete Kills’ is ‘Spy Kids’ Meets ‘Moonraker’... with Blood

Machete Cortez is back... and so over-the-top, he literally floats away.


Hard Work Ain’t Enough for the Gourds

Texas's the Gourds? Decent band, hard-working, reputable, and not quite ready for the big screen.


Friday, January 17 2014

Finally in the Spotlight: ’20 Feet from Stardom’

Backup singers don’t usually get to be in the spotlight, but 20 Feet from Stardom finally puts them front and center in this captivating documentary about pop music’s unsung heroes.


Mastodon: Live at Brixton

This is a well-made concert film of Mastodon at their best. And the 23-song setlist covers their whole catalog.


Thursday, January 16 2014

‘Fruitvale Station’ Is a Powerful Film That Demands to Be Viewed and Discussed

To what extent is Grant responsible for his life, and to what extent is he a product of a larger culture and society that thrives and survives on the institutional racism against African-Americans?


The Students of the Temple of Ineptitude

Those who grew up on the best of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan will have problems with the too jokey Shaolin Warrior, which looks like it was shot using Instagram.


Wednesday, January 15 2014

‘Shameless’ Keeps Proving That We Love Our Dysfunctionals

The Showtime comedy continues to surprise during its third season, demonstrating why its British counterpart lasted as long as it did.


There Are No Easy Answers for Feminism in ‘Riddles of the Sphinx’

Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen's seminal experimental film is an interesting synthesis of rigorous feminist film theory and avant-garde sound and music.


Tuesday, January 14 2014

Berberian Sound Studio

Best viewed on a home theater system with the knobs cranked all the way up, Peter Strickland's rendering of old-school post-production offers pleasurable background viewing but little of lasting resonance.


The Bad Man in ‘Branded’ Is Lying the Truth

There was no escaping his fate, but he could orchestrate his remaining time on his own terms.


Monday, January 13 2014

From Sci-Fi to Fantasy, ‘Frankenstein’ Highlights a Century of Classic to Cult Adaptations

Frankenstein: The Real Story separates Frankenfacts from fiction while exploring the 19th century influences on Mary Shelley’s writing.


‘Dancing, a Man’s Game’ and ‘50s-era Masculinity

Masculinity, athleticism and grace take center stage in the newly released Omnibus special from 1958 featuring a young, fiery Gene Kelly.


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