REVIEW: Being Charlie [2016]

“Most end up chasing it to the grave” After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during this period didn’t even garner a wide release and it was a real shame because Flipped held a worthwhile kinship to the likes of Stand By Me. So it comes as no shock to discover…

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REVIEW: And So It Goes [2014]

“Too much noise! Too much noise!” Who wondered what The Magic of Belle Isle would be if Morgan Freeman‘s surly alcoholic was forced to warm his heart and soul to a young child that was his granddaughter rather than a neighbor? I think Rob Reiner did or else I’m not sure why he’d choose a project that does just that two years later. The man who helmed This is Spinal Tap and the consummate rom/com When Harry Met Sally … appears to simply want to live out his twilight with…

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REVIEW: The Wolf of Wall Street [2013]

“Into the donuts, my boy?” This is the story of an American antihero: a guy born in the Bronx to working class parents who set off for Wall Street to make a name for himself as a stockbroker and rule the world. Jordan Belfort got a good five years or so of the limelight as a result, learning the tricks from Mark Hanna before discovering penny trades cashing out at fifty percent commission could be applied to the whales big firms were targeting for blue chip stocks. He built brokerage…

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REVIEW: The Magic of Belle Isle [2012]

“You don’t have to leave this planet to tell a good story” As the years progress and his workload diminishes, director Rob Reiner has chosen to spend his time bringing what he calls “life-affirming material” to the big screen. Despite the surprising success of The Bucket List in 2007, however, such a decision carries smaller budgets, fewer screens, and less exposure while allowing more creative control on work appearing to possess a very personal hold. After the underrated coming-of-age story Flipped proved he had a bit of Princess Bride era…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2012: Meet the new poster, same as the old one

“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. Not even superhero heaven can save this summer from continuing its uninspiring dearth of quality posters. But what do you expect when there are four sequels/reboots in the mix? A…

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REVIEW: Men in Black [1997]

“May I ask why you felt little Tiffany had to die?” Fresh off the success of Get Shorty two years prior, director Barry Sonnenfeld‘s still young but effective career found it’s biggest hit in the rollicking science fiction comedy Men in Black. Unfortunately for him, the film also proved to be his last cinematic work worthy of note after a solid Hollywood journey beginning behind the lens for Rob Reiner, Penny Marshall, and the Coen Brothers. Broader in his comic sensibilities than that more subversive duo, his handling of Ed…

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REVIEW: Flipped [2010]

“Something in those dazzling eyes” Not until a few hours before checking out a screening of Rob Reiner’s new film Flipped did I know it was based on an award-winning young adult novel by celebrated author Wendelin Van Draanen. The title has double meaning with both the idea of ‘flipping’ over someone the way young lovers tend to do and the structural format of alternating between the complicated duo at its center, Juli Baker and Bryce Loski. Reiner, never subtle, transitions each segment with a top to bottom flip of…

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REVIEW: Anvil! The Story of Anvil [2009]

“The music lasts forever, and maybe the debt does too” Initially told that Anvil! The Story of Anvil was like a true life This is Spinal Tap!, it didn’t take long to discover the comparison misleading. Anvil is not a bunch of hacks that no one likes; they aren’t a joke of the metal industry. In fact, as told by many of their peers who have gone on to fame and fortune—Lars Ulrich, Slash, Lemmy, and Scott Ian—they were the real deal. It is unknown to everyone why the band…

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REVIEW: The Bucket List [2007]

“My main man Ray” With absolutely no interest in seeing The Bucket List, the opportunity presented itself to check it out. I enjoy most Rob Reiner films—I mean come on, he did The Princess Bride and This is Spinal Tap, he gets a reprieve for every other bad movie he makes—and love both Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, so I thought, what the hell? It ends up that the film was actually pretty good. The trailer does not do it very much justice, though. Sure all the sappy sentimentality is…

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REVIEW: Rumor Has It [2005]

“They certainly have” Why Rob Reiner, why? I mean I understand there might not be much good material out there these days, but really. I mean you directed Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, A Few Good Men, and This is Spinal Tap. What is up with the drivel nowadays, especially with this horrid attempt at cinematic art, Rumor Has It? I actually thought the premise had promise from the trailer—the real story of The Graduate. Intriguing and a decent cast attached, this should at the least be watchable. Unfortunately…

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