REVIEW: Barely Lethal [2015]

“Like, totem pole” Much like director Kyle Newman‘s first theatrical release Fanboys, his sophomore effort Barely Lethal is built for a niche audience with minimal wiggle room to capture the excitement of casual viewers just stopping by. You don’t need to travel farther than the backlash-riddled comments section of its YouTube trailers to understand this. Snide remarks about its apparent quality, jokes about Samuel L. Jackson loving money, and easy comparisons to fare like Agent Cody Banks are the norm in today’s internet culture of anonymous hate and sarcasm for…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2014: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Sin City,’ ‘Starred Up,’ 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. 2014 soldiers on and the poster selection just gets worse. Luckily the films themselves haven’t been as uninspired. Or maybe they have. After all, this summer is down almost 19%…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2011: Summer Excess vs. Indie Class

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that 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. It’s sad to say, but August 2011 is a dismal month for quality poster design. I guess this shouldn’t be too big a surprise since it’s the tail end…

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REVIEW: The Killer Inside Me [2010]

“It’s always lightest just before the dark” Nobody is more across the board genre-wise than director Michael Winterbottom. Who else could traverse the broad canvases of Steve Coogan shenanigans, Guantanamo Bay documentation, the human condition of emotion in the face of terrorism, and an unsimulated meld of sex and rock n’ roll? Shake those sensibilities up with screenwriter John Curran’s penchant for thought-provoking material, (this year’s Stone is much more than the cookie cutter its trailer advertises), and the pulp crime styling of novelist Jim Thompson and you’ll need to…

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REVIEW: Machete [2010]

“No amnesty for parasites” What better way to go political and make a statement about American border patrol vigilantes, corrupt State Senators, and the plight of the illegal alien doing whatever it takes for a chance at freedom from tyranny and squalor than with a Grindhouse-esque, exploitation flick? Robert Rodriguez, co-writer Álvaro Rodriguez, and co-director Ethan Maniquis don’t think there is one, so they expanded Robert’s faux-trailer meant to titillate and excite the adrenal glands for high-octane action into the feature length Machete. Reusing footage and fleshing out the story,…

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REVIEW: Little Fockers [2010]

“Stay calm, Mr. Jinx. I’m going to defibrillate myself.” Par for the course. Is that diplomatic enough? It’s a statement that could go both ways depending on what came first, but for those who know me, and my comedy sensibilities, it is not good here. Meet the Parents was harmless enough and semi-worthwhile to see Ben Stiller squirm, Robert De Niro use his brooding persona for humor, (although give me Analyze This any day), and Owen Wilson’s other-worldly transcendence. Meet the Fockers then took a marginal film, added two kooks…

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REVIEW: The Love Guru [2008]

“Mariska Hargitay” I’ve always been told that if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all. So, I have to tell you all the best parts of the new Michael Myers vehicle, The Love Guru. You’ve got one really funny joke about Guru Pitka’s mom getting a job that kills even though it was in the trailer, Stephen Colbert finally hits one out of the park as a robot cyborg after failing three previous times to elicit any laughs, Jessica Alba is gorgeous as always if you…

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