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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
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Valkyrie

Valkyrie's forward motion is stalled repeatedly by hyperbolically symbolic images, which also undercut some nuanced performances.

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Yes Man

Carl (Jim Carrey) meets the incredible Allison (Zooey Deschanel), a girl so completely charming and dazzlingly unpredictable that he is instantly convinced of the rightness of yes.

Film

Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

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Wanted

Angelina Jolie has evolved. As of Wanted, she is no longer merely mortal, but her own sublime creature.

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Get Smart

Get Smart makes rudimentary efforts to update, with passing references to terrorists, profiling, and inter-agency competition.

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Teorema (1968)

However much the camera lingers on Terrence Stamp's features or Silvana Mangano's heavily made up face, the characters remain corporeally opaque, more embodiments of ideas than urges and appetites.

David Sanjek
Film

Elektra (2005)

Now starring in her own movie (following the generally dismal effort called Daredevil, in which she was, by the way, killed), Elektra is all rage, careening between hyper-organization (she arranges her bananas so they all point the same way) and finely honed, utterly scary violence.

Cynthia Fuchs
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