Posterized Propaganda December 2012: A Cinematic Library with ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Les Miserables’ & 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. Here we are at the end of 2012, ready for the release of the last few Oscar. It’s a time where story generally triumphs over mainstream appeal and where the…

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REVIEW: The Man with the Iron Fists [2012]

“When it comes to money, things get funny” Far from anything resembling a Kung Fu aficionado, I entered into RZA‘s directorial debut The Man with the Iron Fists with a lesser of many evils mentality. The theatre was to be my safe haven while my car got its oil change and of the two or three flicks I hadn’t yet seen, the potential sideshow of Jungle Village seemed the best way to spend ninety minutes. The Tarantino seal of approval and co-writing credit to Eli Roth did little to temper…

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REVIEW: B.O.Y.D. [2012]

“It’s the McKinley Mall, dude—not LA” The concept of localized indie film carries with it the caveat of losing audience members who can’t understand references sprinkled throughout because they’ve never been to the locale. It’s a fine line filmmakers must toe when dealing outside the big city mentality of an NYC or LA and could potentially make or break a work’s chances to exist anywhere besides the Christmas stockings of families and friends. The story and characters need to be universal in order to transport viewers to its setting rather…

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REVIEW: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold [2011]

“I can’t wait to get me some of that sweet Hollywood ad money” At the end of the day, marketing works. It’s a concise line at the end of the film that perfectly encapsulates all we’ve seen. Whether artistic media utilizes the help subsidizing costs with product placement achieves or not, something will be advertised. You can alter logos or black out icons only so much before it simply draws attention to the camouflage and makes you realize the brand more. So why not, “take the money and run,” as…

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NYAFF11 REVIEW: Machete Maidens Unleashed! [2010]

“Human life was cheap, film was cheap—it was a great place to make a picture” As the most telling quote of Machete Maidens Unleashed! exclaims, “The stories are 10 times better than the actual films”. The anecdotes and memories of those involved in the Filipino exploitation genre of cinema are an amazing account of a period never to be repeated. Screening at the New York Asian Film Festival, Mark Hartley’s documentary opens our eyes to what went on in order to make some of the infamous cult schlock from the…

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REVIEW: Hobo with a Shotgun [2011]

“I’m gonna sleep in your bloody carcass tonight” Put on your snap bracelets, grab your shotgun, and prepare to take back your city. When a crazed lunatic is running the police, his sons wreaking havoc on the citizens without provocation, and the population shaking in silent fear so as not to be the next victim at the hands of their brutality, sometimes it takes a stranger to finally make a stand. Whether that vigilante is a homeless man straight off the train shouldn’t matter, his brand of justice is the…

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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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BNFF10 REVIEW: RAGE [2010]

“I’m not just your therapist, I’m your friend” There’s nothing like a good throwback to the old 70s thriller. Not only does Christopher R. Witherspoon’s movie beg for comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s Duel, but it also contains two characters in an auto shop discussing that very film. What makes a good suspenseful mind trip is a simple yet taut storyline that relies heavily on reaction and the unknown. I was more riveted with RAGE than any horror film coming out the past decade because it refuses to use blood and…

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The 82nd Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • NPH in sequins … i guess that’s something … The 82nd Annual Oscars ceremony begins, yet the hosts are nowhere to be found. Have we gotten to the point now where we need a lead-in for the most assuredly lame/very PC stand-up routine? We need to get the ball rolling for the ball that gets the show rolling? And they wonder why it always goes over its allotted timeslot. So, not only do we have to be introduced to all the lead acting nominees—because anyone watching doesn’t know…

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REVIEW: Brødre [Brothers] [2004]

“He had a little boy” I really don’t mind Hollywood remaking films, honestly. If a filmmaker really enjoyed something made overseas, I can’t blame him for wanting to expose America to what resonated so well personally to him. However, shouldn’t he then go the route of Tarantino or Scorsese and bring the actual movie over, helping audiences experience the original? Or have we become so self-righteous and elitist that subtitles cannot be bothered with? Are we really that lazy? To be fair, I haven’t seen the new remake Brothers, so…

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Picking Winners at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards

Some Oscar nomination thoughts, the morning after: William Altreuter: Best Picture: The Hurt Locker. James Cameron backlash, plus Hollywood self-seriousness = victory! Best Actor: Jeff Bridges. Everybody loved Clooney, but he’s in something good every year. Supporting Actor: Stanley Tucci. Just a hunch. Best Actress: Sandra Bullock. Did you realize she’s forty-five years old? Not exactly the best argument against the proposition that there are no roles for women over twenty-four, since she plays at least ten years younger, but still. Plus the Streep movie wasn’t that good (even though she…

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