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Film

'Vice', Dick Cheney, and the Satisfaction of the Deed Itself

Adam McKay's gonzo Dick Cheney biopic satire, Vice, won't be compared to Shakespeare, but it shares the Bard's disinterest in supervillains' motivations.

Recent
Film

In Defense of Film Critics Who Didn't Like 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Love it or hate it, The Dark Knight Rises isn't worth the type of outlandish responses received in light of the movie's initial reviews.

Film

Little Women: Brilliant Book, Flawed Film

A scene shows Ryder blissfully tying up the manuscript and putting a rose under the string. That's rather like what Armstrong and the screenwriters did to the film: tied it up neatly with a pretty flower.

Film

Summer of Same: July 2009

In a rare attempt at novelty, July jets along with only Harry Potter and the Ice Age crew sampling continuing series spoils. The rest provide unknown pleasures.

Film

Summer of Same: May 2009

May's titles include the fourth films in two aging franchises, more Pixar perfection, and the reboot of a TV series from 40 years ago. And they say there are no new ideas.

Film

Superheroes Versus Comics

There can be no doubt that the summer of 2008 stands as a high-water mark for superheroes. But in the wake of a superhero renaissance and the growing cultural legitimacy of the genre, the question must be posed: Has the superhero genre evolved beyond the comics medium?

shathley Q
Film

The New Classics - The 30 Best Films of 2008

Unlike previous years, where classics came crawling out of the celluloid woodwork with regular reckless abandon, 2008 was more calm… and considered. That's not to say that choosing 30 top titles was hard. The difficulty in placing them in some manner of rank order suggests the actual depth of quality involved.

Film

Iconic - The Top 20 Male Performances of 2008

Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.

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Off the Radar - The Top 30 DVDs of 2008

Oddly enough, while the major studios continue scratching their heads over how to sell yet another new format (Blu-ray) to disinterested consumers, several outside distributors made sure that this would be a digital year to remember.

Comics

Let Us Now Praise Ordinary Men: Normalcy, Comics, and The Dark Knight

Without a couple of recognizably fallible and ordinary men like Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon at its center, The Dark Knight would ultimately be nothing more than an exceptionally well-tooled and smartly-acted thriller.

Chris Barsanti
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I'm Not There, and Neither Are You

The Bob Dylan film, I’m Not There, shows that the main puzzle behind pop music’s most enigmatic personality resides right here, within us all.

George Reisch, Peter Vernezze and Paul Lulewicz
Reviews

The Dark Knight

Batman's dilemma in The Dark Knight is how to use his bad press, whether he will embrace it or continue to fight it.

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The Return of the Popcorn Circus: July 2008

And it just doesn't stop. If part two in this three-ring play was packed with well hyped product, July just keeps the receipt treats coming.

Reviews

3:10 to Yuma

As a genre piece, Mangold’s remake satisfies the requisite clichés (sweeping desert vistas, corseted women, ample gunplay), but not much else.

Jarrett Berman
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A Gallery of Good Works: The Best Films of 2007

From Julian Schnabel's artsy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the legendary Coen Brothers splendid adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, PopMatters counts down the 30 best films of 2007.

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Performance Art: The Best Acting of 2007 - Female

From the most sweetly nuanced performance of Jennifer Jason Leigh's career to Cate Blanchett's revelatory portrayal of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, the women of 2007 were stellar.

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Performance Art: The Best Acting of 2007 - Male

From the tender and eerie precision of Sam Riley's depiction of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control to yet another superlative performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, PopMatters highlights the best male actors of 2007.

Reviews

Rescue Dawn

Werner Herzog has made a career out of profiling men with impossible dreams who end up fighting against nature and society to make them a reality.

Jack Patrick Rodgers
Reviews

3:10 to Yuma

All the men in this movie think they're doing the right thing, no matter how unhinged their actions may look.

Film

Rescue Dawn (2007)

Dieter's dedication grants him passion and strength, but the film never lets you forget the paradox he lives, his illicit status and the fact that "America" cannot rescue him.

Film

Monkey Business (Part 3: July)

Finally, a month with only one remaining series contender. All wizard based Potter-y aside, this will be the most tenuous time for the business called show. After a strong start, the eccentric collection of entertainments here could make or break this potentially record shattering motion picture season.

Reviews

Harsh Times (2006)

Their suits make Jim and Mike look out of place and time, even as they are deeply and desperately immersed in their moment.

Reviews

The Prestige (2006)

Fans of this wonderful film are left to puzzle not just over its thematic and narrative layers, but its respectable but perfunctory treatment here.

Jesse Hassenger
Film

The Pay Off: The Best Film of 2006

For many of the movies on PopMatters' 2006 list of the year's best films, it is clear that a heavy personal and professional stake was riding on the final product.

Film

Harsh Times (2006)

Harsh Times is something of a blunt instrument.

Film

The Prestige (2006)

This trick -- The Transported Man -- is at the center of the film's thematic concerns with replication, movement, and deception.

Reviews

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Howl's Moving Castle ticks with nervous energy and unsettledness. These jittery-edged images conjure exquisite rhythms as they approximate children's perspectives.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The New World (2005)

The New World is ambitious and gorgeous, the landscape serving as a kind of objective correlative for characters' cravings and astonishments.

Cynthia Fuchs
Reviews

Batman Begins (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition with Comic Book) (2004)

Nolan's Batman is perpetually knotted up, unable to forget his dead parents, seeking a vague solace in his hard body's capacity for violence.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Charming, peculiar, and occasionally ingenious, Howl's Moving Castle tilts between fantastical beauty and philosophical pondering.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Batman Begins (2005)

Christian Bale brings a menace to Batman, making him radically distinct from alter ego Bruce Wayne.

Todd R. Ramlow
Reviews
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