REVIEW: The Virgin Suicides [2000]

Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a 13-year-old girl. With all the accolades bestowed upon writer/director Sofia Coppola these past two decades, only an idiot would question her worth by saying she’s little more than her Hollywood royalty name. Those who said it back in 1999 as her debut feature The Virgin Suicides made the festival rounds were idiots too. If you’ve ever seen this film you should know the sum of its parts goes well beyond pedigree or accessibility. Whether her name allowed her the ability to collect the wonderful…

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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: Gone in Sixty Seconds [2000]

“Two Rogers don’t make a right” There are more than a few unexpected things concerning the Gone in Sixty Seconds remake that surprised me. One was the huge cast of familiar faces. Another the full embracement of its spectacular levels of cheese. And despite marketing materials and especially the poster, Angelina Jolie is far from a second lead and barely onscreen thirty minutes. Heck, besides the botched heist at the beginning that sets the chain of events that brings Randall ‘Memphis’ Raines (Nicolas Cage) out of retirement in motion, we…

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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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REVIEW: Gangster Squad [2013]

“Who’s the tomato?” Tragedies like last year’s Aurora, Colorado shooting on The Dark Knight Rises‘ opening night are just that—tragic. We can never image the pain, anger, and heartache of families and friends effected or ever want to think it could happen to us. So when art skews close to reenacting that suffering—albeit with no relation whatsoever to the actual event—one can understand the trepidation in not wanting to exacerbate things by belittling the horror or appearing callous and uncaring. This is why I’m not surprised Warner Brothers held their…

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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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REVIEW: Public Enemies [2009]

“Bye-bye blackbird” There’s this thing called clout that allows certain Hollywood types to be able to get people like Shawn Hatosy and Leelee Sobieski in their films for five-minute throwaway roles. It also gets them the ability to have carte blanche on a script that others may not. I think Michael Mann is one of the good ones; even subpar fare like Miami Vice still seemed to contain what could have been a good film, hidden inside, just a few more edits away. So, when trailers for Public Enemies started…

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REVIEW: SubUrbia [1996]

“I don’t need a limousine to know who I am. At least I know I don’t know” Always having been a fan of Richard Linklater’s work, it confounded me that his film after indie darlings Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise has never been released on dvd. SubUrbia is the kind of movie you hear that fans of his work love, but never found a place in cinema history. Flipping through the movie channels on tv, I happened across the film and could not stop watching until it was over.…

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