Posterized Propaganda July 2014: ‘Magic in the Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man,’ ‘Life Itself’ and More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Oof. There are a couple good posters this month. That’s it. And I don’t mean “a couple” hyperbolically either. There are maybe two I’d consider looking at again at the…

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REVIEW: The Counselor [2013]

“You are a glory” If I were to compareThe Counselor to any other movie I’ve seen of late it would have to be Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly. Both possess a darkly violent subject matter tempered by a series of off-putting, somewhat out-of-place comedic sequences with a bunch of familiar faces seemingly happy to go along for the ride without worrying about how much screen time they’ve actually accrued. While they could be cousins in tone and overall head-scratching befuddlement where meaning is concerned, however, they are far from the…

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REVIEW: Bad Teacher [2011]

“Peanut Butter everywhere …” I wasn’t the biggest fan when it was called Bad Santa and took place in a department store, so, suffice it to say, Bad Teacher’s foul-mouthed comedy never quite hit home. Scribed by writers from “The Office” and, what is sadly much lower on my anticipation list now, Ghostbusters III, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have one thing going for them—laughs. If it weren’t for a healthy amount of laugh-out-loud instances, the void of any engaging conflict coupled with the broadest performances I’ve seen in quite…

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REVIEW: The Green Hornet [2011]

“Don’t thank him. He did nothing.” Don’t be surprised when you find that the new incarnation of The Green Hornet has taken a very different path from its predecessors. The trailer should address this issue, but the simple fact Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the duo tackling the escapades of George W. Trendle’s characters will if not. The two had great success with their semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale of high school angst in Superbad and took a well-orchestrated shot at making action funny with Pineapple Express. It’s not hard to…

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REVIEW: Knight and Day [2010]

“Your timing to open that door was sublime” Maybe Tom Cruise has the right idea changing gears into comedic fare. Ever since the brilliant cameo in Tropic Thunder, his want to branch out has been obvious—although the Les Grossman film is a scary thought in my mind—but until seeing Knight and Day, I had my doubts he could pull it off. Cruise has always had the capacity to deliver lines with humor, but here he does so without fail from start to finish. I think the fact it’s an action/comedy…

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FILM MARATHON: Julia Roberts #4 – My Best Friend’s Wedding [1997]

“This is my whole life’s happiness; I need to be ruthless” Okay, for some reason the opening credit sequence to My Best Friend’s Wedding is sort of brilliant. Showing four women dressed for a wedding, they lip-synch the words to “Wishin’ and Hopin’” (with a version surprisingly sung by Ani Difranco) while performing choreography on a solid pink backdrop. It’s equal parts cute, endearing, and over-the-top, much like the film itself. I’ll admit that my first viewing and impression of the movie was a bit harsh. Watching again, over a…

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REVIEW: The Box [2009]

“You have blood on your hands” Does anyone not push the button? What can I say about Richard Kelly’s supposed turn to mainstream cinema? Three things, and they are as follows: One, the marketing for The Box has to be some of the worst in the history of film. Warner Brothers is selling a completely different movie than what is shown on screen. This isn’t a thriller against the clock for a yuppie couple; it’s a fight for the salvation of the human race. Hell, it takes place in 1976…

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REVIEW: My Sister’s Keeper [2009]

“I’m sorry I let them hurt you” I have not read the Judi Picoult novel for which the new film My Sister’s Keeper is based, and I think that is a good thing. Whether I would have thought the movie did or didn’t live up is beside the point as, from the scuttlebutt at the completion of the screening around me stated, the endings are completely different. Truthfully, I think I like the cinematic conclusion much better than the literary one, if these audience members are to be believed. What…

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REVIEW: What Happens in Vegas [2008]

“Oh Lovebiscuit; Yes Tickle-Monkey?” I went into the screening of What Happens in Vegas thinking I was in store for a train-wreck; I mean the trailer looked horrible. I suffer the pain for all of you readers, though, in the hopes that you won’t have to live the same fate. In actuality, the movie ended up being a same-old, same-old rom-com that had some laughs, but overall just plodded along to its inevitable conclusion. Being that this pair of New Yorkers, married after a night of heavy drinking in Vegas,…

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REVIEW: A Life Less Ordinary [1997]

“I thought we agreed there’d be no cliches” I had always heard good things about this film, but never had the chance to check it out despite being a fan of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and 28 Days Later. A Life Less Ordinary has a lot of aspects that Boyle later used in his child fairy-tale Millions from inventive camera tricks to a melding of fantasy sequences with reality. The main thing taken from this viewing however is the tragedy that Ewan McGregor and Boyle may never work together again. Ewan…

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