REVIEW: They Came Together [2014]

“I admire your spirit” It’s one thing to satirize the romantic comedy genre and a whole other to literally break it down into its myriad tropes to build a story around them without transforming their generic designations into fully formed characters. But that’s exactly what David Wain (co-writer/director) and Michael Showalter (co-writer) did with They Came Together. It’s so transparent in its commentary that I was surprised they gave leading male Joel’s (Paul Rudd) brother (Max Greenfield‘s Jake) a name. The two men are so invested in calling each other…

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REVIEW: Ted 2 [2015]

“Fresh cakes” Something Steve Harvey said on a recent episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” really struck me: “Tragedy strikes. I got news for you—we have the jokes that night. We know that we can’t bring this to the public yet cause we’ll get hammered. But in a room alone, when it’s just us, we have the jokes already ready.” He’s right. If the joke is funny—no matter what the circumstance is—it’s funny. Your finding it offense or “too-soon” isn’t a comment on the joke itself, but on your…

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REVIEW: A Million Way to Die in the West [2014]

“Can you give Louise wrapped candies?” I do believe congratulations are in store for one Mr. Seth MacFarlane. After a successful animated comedy that survived cancellation; two follow-ups that never quite caught on with equal cheer; a bit part in the ill-fated “Flash Forward” as an actor; a ho-hum, neutered stint as Oscar host; and a brilliantly hilarious first feature that held infinite promise for what his cinematic future held, Seth’s time has officially come. I’m not talking about acquiring the fame to release albums of him crooning nor the…

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The 85th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • and the #Oscars begin … #[email protected] • SUCCESS!! Tommy Lee Jones smiles! #[email protected] • poor Don Cheadle #Oscars13 Welcome to the 85th annual Academy Awards from the newly renamed Dolby Theatre. Bankruptcy is a drag, ain’t it Kodak? Hopes were high after host Seth MacFarlane‘s surprisingly hilarious Ted made me wonder if the dude wasn’t the real deal after all. A poor man’s Ricky Gervais, the Academy was probably wise in going for the watered-down Americanized version of unbridled snark because one would think the “Family Guy” creator…

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REVIEW: Ted [2012]

“Thanks for creeping up my night” If you looked at the trailers for Seth MacFarlane‘s Ted and thought it would be a full-length, live action riff on his popular animated television show “Family Guy”, you wouldn’t be wrong. However, if your assumption also carried the thought such a result would end up overlong, obnoxious, and too weak to sustain its one-note joke, get ready to be pleasantly surprised. I won’t say this crude, R-rated fantasy about a teddy bear come to life will be for everyone, but MacFarlane and “Guy”…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2012: Blockbusters Arrive, Creativity Stays Home

“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. Summer is here and the marketing materials look as vapid as the films. Not to say there isn’t a couple gems coming to multiplexes with blockbuster budgets; there simply aren’t…

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REVIEW: Journey to the Center of the Earth [2008]

“No one gets dibs on the mountain guide” I feel really bad for Canada now that the adventure it holds for young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) and his mother (Jane Wheeler) will never quite live up to the boy’s quick little Journey to the Center of the Earth. Perhaps it can offer something in the way of safety and stability where thin rock formations that crack under your weight cannot, but I doubt it possesses phosphorescent birds. And we all know how awesome those are. One could say our sister…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2011: Too Many Characters!

“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. Hark! The holidays are upon us! While that signifies the beginning of what should be the glorious awards season flood of quality work only the lucky few of us attending…

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REVIEW: Super [2010]

“Now you have no legs!” Writer/director James Gunn definitely has a unique sensibility. His debut feature, Slither, was a comedic horror than crossed the line into farce often while still retaining a great eye for gore and violence, appealing to both genres equally. So, when I heard his newest film, Super, was a look into the world of a down-on-his-luck sadsack who decides to become a superhero avenger, recruiting a young female sidekick along the way, I couldn’t help think it was the perfect setting to let Gunn’s imagination run…

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REVIEW: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [2009]

“A film by a lot of people” I knew right after the above review title quote flashed across the screen that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was going to be a fun time. Sony Pictures Animation did not let me down, keeping me enthralled and smiling for the entire duration. Based on a children’s book from 1978, the film follows the exploits of a young scientist and his dreams of changing the world with his inventions. Up to adulthood, however, he has achieved little more that a ‘menace to…

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REVIEW: Hot Fuzz [2007]

“Decaffeinated?” Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are back, with a vengeance. Their send up to all those action films—as they say containing names picked at random from two hats, one of verbs, the other of adjectives—is a fantastic melding of British humor, preposterous action sequences, gruesome horror, and a bit of romantic comedy thrown in for good measure. But then, what action flick doesn’t have a little bit of romantic chemistry between its two macho lead actors? As with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is not a spoof playing…

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