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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

YOUR CALLS ARE NEEDED!

Posted on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 3:29 PM

This Friday morning the First Friday Film Forum is on 101.9 WDET - Detroit Public Radio. Join us, and grill, your host and favorite Metro Times critics! The First Friday Film Forum on Detroit Today Friday August 1st at 11:00am with your host Rob St. Mary and Metro Times critics...

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WE LOVE MOVIES

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 11:22 AM

We love movies. We love Detroit. We're pretty sure you love both of those things too, and so we proudly welcome you to join us here at the B roll, a place where those two great interests can get together and mingle, to safely get their respective chocolate all over...

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Brideshead Revisited

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Handsomely mounted and beautifully shot, Jarrold’s film makes some brave changes to the story but miscasts the role of Lady Marchmain and neuters the protagonist’s homosexual underpinnings in favor of a predictable tale of hetro-romance thwarted. Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode) is a middle-class Oxford student and aspiring painter who befriends the aristocratic but mercurial Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw), a closeted homosexual from a devoutly Catholic family. Desperate to hide his gay shame, Sebastion gets drunk a lot and pines for ambivalent Charles’ love. Invited to the family’s swish estate, Charles is smitten by both the grandeur of the place and (in a switch from the novel) Sebastian’s younger sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell). Asked by Lady Marchmain Flyte (Emma Thompson) to look after her son while traveling in Venice, Charles seizes the opportunity to make a play for Julia, leaving poor Sebastian to fall into a spiral of despair after he realizes he’s lost his special “friend.” Meanwhile atheist Charles’ blossoming romance struggles against the immovable force of Julia’s religion, jeopardizing his best chance at elevating his class and securing true love.

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The Wackness

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Screenwriter-director Jonathan Levine’s film is a ’90s outsider teen flick that's smart, well-acted, emotionally genuine and boasts a soundtrack that deserves mad props. It’s the summer of 1994 and Rudy Giuliani is about to turn New York City into the biggest mall in America. High school grad Luke (Josh Peck) is raising money for college by dealing pot out of an old ice-cream cart. The “most popular of the unpopular,” he struggles with all the hallmarks of teen angst: drugs, girls, troubled parents and an inability to connect with peers. Trading pot for therapy, he strikes up a friendship with his pill-popping therapist, Jeff Squires (Ben Kingsley), who advises that he embrace his pain and live each moment to the fullest. Of course, he also offers brilliant nuggets like, “Try and fuck a black girl. I never got to.” When Luke develops eyes for Squires’ popular stepdaughter Stephanie (Juno’s Olivia Thirlby), things get complicated. Unfortunately, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, a mix of urban coming-of-age films that valiantly tries to avoid indie-movie clichés but just can’t seem to help itself.

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X'd out

Or wanting to believe in the real thing

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Chris Carter’s inventive, quixotic and darkly sexy 1990s TV classic, with the FBI’s top paranormal hunters Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), gets its second big-screen treatment. Unforunately, the film lands with a thud. Since we last saw our heroes five years ago, skeptical Dr. Scully has taken a gig at a Catholic hospital of all places, where she’s not battling mysterious powers, but butting heads with the administration’s money crunchers. Mulder, meanwhile, is still in seclusion after being discredited and blacklisted by the FBI, but all is forgiven when an agent goes missing and the new kids at the bureau need his special investigative skills again. For a moment, it’s as if there were a zombie loose in the FBI, then it becomes clear it’s only Amanda Peet, sleepwalking though the part of (cough) Special Agent Dakota Whitney. She and the other feds have already recruited a psychic defrocked priest, “Father Joe” (Billy Connolly), and need Mulder and Scully to bicker and sort out the clues. Mulder is all too ready to believe in the unusual while sensible Scully continues to have her doubts, even after a decade of being captured by aliens and monsters. She still thinks Joe’s a fake, even after he leads them to a mass of severed body parts buried in ice, and some shadowy Eurotrash villains start to make their presence known. It’s not hard to guess what these creeps are up to, though suspicions that something bigger is afoot never really play out.

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Dandy in the Underworld

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Ah, the idle rich: Lacking the structure that toil and responsibility confer, they more often than not drift into mindless self-indulgence and total self-destruction. Sebastian Horsley’s life story reads like an exercise in ambitious ambivalence; in Dandy in the Underworld, this Marc Bolan-worshipping scion of Northern Foods chair Nicholas Horsley...

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Flying high and flailing

Two new books take on worlds of big bucks and loud bangs

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Seduced by Suicide's damnable, synthesized roar and Lester Bangs' rapturous downtown screeds, they flocked to New York City's seedier neighborhoods, seemingly by the hundreds: writers, filmmakers, artists, scenesters, punks, students and dropouts. What they'd find was a fertile scene in the midst of urban decay where just about anything seemed...

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Step Brothers

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Will Ferrell has crafted a monster career playing emotionally stunted, spastic child-men. Here he's joined by John C. Reily, and both actors play overgrown, petulant teenagers in lumpy adult bodies, and they do it with such a charged, reckless, side-splitting abandon that you’ll almost feel like you’ve never seen a ball-sack sight gag before. Eventually the gag wanes when the movie makes its third tired lap around the same premise, but by then you’ll likely be too laughed-out to notice.

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Jellyfish

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

On the evening after her boyfriend moves out of their apartment, taking most of the furniture with him, Batya (Sarah Adler) goes to her job as a waitress at a wedding hall, where her first distracted action is to drop a tray of crudités. Stumbling through her numbing routine seems all too familiar to the glum Batya, who casually admits that she doesn’t trust anyone. Recently arrived from the Philippines, wedding guest Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre) is almost grateful at times that she speaks only a few words of Hebrew. Hired as a caregiver for elderly women, Joy invariably finds herself in the midst of bitter family squabbles, even as her own young son angrily inquires about her location and wonders why she can’t be home for his upcoming birthday. After their impassioned spotlight dance at the wedding, the Russian-born groom Michael (Gera Sandler) downs any brightly colored liquid that might contain alcohol, while neglecting his new bride Keren (Noa Knoller). Prone more to quiet, passive-aggressive behavior than bridezilla screaming fits, Keren finds herself all alone on her big day, stuck in a bathroom stall with no one to help her out.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tell No One

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

French actor-turned-director Guillaume Canet's French-language suspenser is taken from a American pop potboiler by crime novelist Harlan Coben. And, oddly enough, that overseas adaptation may very well be the thing that makes the film’s convoluted and overwrought plot work so beautifully. Pediatric resident Alex Beck (François Cluzet) and his wife Margot (Marie-Josée Croze) are the perfect couple: childhood sweethearts who continue to adore each other in marriage. One terrible night while vacationing at their secluded lake house, the two are violently and inexplicably attacked. Alex is left for dead while Margot disappears screaming into the darkness. Fast-forward eight years. Alex, now a pediatrician, is haunted, still struggling to cope with the loss of his wife. Suddenly bodies are discovered on his property, leading the police to suspect him of being behind her murder. Then Alex gets an impossible e-mail, sending him on a elaborate hunt to find out what happened that night and who was involved. Needless to say, lots of skeletons start tumbling out of the family closet.

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