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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It’s Complicated

The charm outweighs considerable middle-life flesh

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin are Annie and Jack, a divorced couple who, at their son’s graduation, drunkenly stumble into bed again. To their mutual shock, the old spark’s still there, and they start having clandestine hookups in plush hotel elevators, under the noses of their dippy grown children. The only real snag is that Baldwin is unhappily remarried, his pouty, young trophy wife is played Lake Bell, who’s mostly around so that her taut bikini bod can serve as sharp contrast to Streep’s earthy curves. There’s also the matter of Annie’s sweetly shy architect (Steve Martin), whom she’s started a hesitant flirtation with.

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Holmes sweet Holmes

Who else but Robert Downey Jr. to personify self-destructive eccentricity?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM

We’re introduced to the decidedly a disheveled Holmes (Downey Jr.), an arrogant smarty-pants and amateur boxer who’s incapable of social niceties and susceptible to mental breakdowns whenever his fidgety genius isn’t engaged. His partner is the ever-patient Doctor Watson (a perfectly cast Jude Law), whose impending engagement threatens their codependent bromance. Enter beautiful Irene Adler (a superfluous Rachel McAdams), the only woman to ever steal Holmes’ heart and outsmart his big brain. Adler pulls the Victorian gumshoe into a confounding mystery. Creepy Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who was recently hanged for a quartet of occult killings, comes back from the grave to commit yet more murders. Is black magic afoot in England? Will Holmes solve the crime before more people die?

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Motor City Motors premieres tonight @ 10

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM

From the people behind The Deadliest Catch comes a brand-new Discovery Channel show, and it's set in Detroit. Motor City Motors follows custom-bike builders Dave and James Kaye, the dudes who run Detroit Bros. Custom Cycles in Ferndale, as they take on Jesse James' old gig and try to build...

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Native tongue

James Cameron's penchant for muscular, eye-popping spectacle eclipses Avatar's flimsy storytelling

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a paraplegic jarhead sent to the distant moon Pandora to stand in for his dead twin brother. A perfect genetic match, he's transferred into his scientist sibling's "avatar," a human-alien hybrid created to win the hearts and minds of the planet's indigenous natives. You see, Pandora is home to a precious mineral that promises to solve all of blackened Earth's energy woes, and the giant blue tree-hugging Na'vi live atop its richest vein. Of course, it isn't long before Jake comes to love this lush, exotic new world, learning the ways of the Na'vi, riding cool dragon-like creatures and falling for princess Neytiri (Saldana). Eventually push comes to shove and the evil, monolithic mining company lets their Duke Nukem Col. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) settle things with a shock and awe campaign that "... will blast a crater in their racial memory so deep they won't come within a thousand clicks of here ever again!" Eye-popping battles ensue.

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Nine

Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard save this outhouse-quality Fellini knockoff

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

If you thought Rob Marshall’s Chicago was overrated, his latest musical adaptation, Nine, will amplify your feelings of ill will. A wrongheaded mess of a movie musical, it mistakes whip-pan camera angles for choreography, sexy star wattage for acting, and muddled melodrama for storytelling. Yup, this film adaptation of the 1982 Broadway musical is based on Fellini’s 1963 classic. But unlike the maestro’s acerbically postmodern examination of creative inspiration, egotism and morality, Nine is a rudderless journey into a film artist’s mid-life crisis. Anyway, adapting Fellini’s 8-1/2 into a musical isn’t all that revolutionary. Bob Fosse did a bang up job with All That Jazz back 1979. If you’re craving a smart, sophisticated and rousing musical, see that instead.

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Blaxsploitation station

Kicking it straight outta ’74, armed with ’fros, guns, ghetto goddesses and malt liquor

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

As a parody of that brief golden era of brash blaxsplotation heroes, this year’s Black Dynamite is right on the money, down to its tight, poly pants and broad-flare collars — just a little too on the money, honestly. Michael Jai White plays the title stud, an indestructible soul brother whose kid brother gets gunned down in a bad drug deal. He then takes a break from the street game to lay the smackdown on any fool dumb enough to get in the way of his vengeance. As Dynamite plows his way through dope-dealing suckas, he brushes up against all of the genre’s stock players — the hustlers, junkies, tricks, orphans, corrupt politicians and Black Power militants — who make the ghetto bloom. Dynamite’s homies are also sly winks, Tommy Davidson (Booty Call) gets the Antonio Fargas-like role as fast talking hipster “Cream Corn,” and his main man Bullhorn (Byron Minns) is a slick dresser prone to speaking in Dolemite-style rapping couplets. There’s even an Arsenio Hall cameo at a secret pimp conference. While busting heads, Dynamite uncovers a deep conspiracy, and he rounds up his crew to take the fight to whitey.

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The Maid

Domestic servitude in all of its ugly, scheming glory

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Catalina Saavedra is intense as Raquel, a reserved and clearly exhausted Chilean maid who has traded her own life’s happiness for decades of service to the family that employs her. She’s watched the children grow up, dealt with familial upheavals and ruled over a domestic landscape that was never her own. And those years have taken their toll, leaving the shy but sourpuss maid devoid of a personal identity and given to sudden feinting spells. When the family brings in extra help, Raquel sees it as a mortal threat to her domain, and dedicates herself to sabotaging each new hire. One by one, her adversaries fall, undone by her psychotic scheming until confident, free-spirited and patient Lucy (Mariana Loyola) is brought onto the payroll. Soon, Raquel begins to understand the price of her cloistered existence and the true value of friendship.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best use of youtube in 2009?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Perhaps it is the best sonic youtube collective project of the year. It's at least the most original. See and hear for yourself. Turn up your speakers....

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Monday, December 21, 2009

ANOTHER CRITIC, ANOTHER LIST....

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 6:15 PM

I guess I'm one of those haters Corey's talking about because while I found Up In The Air fine in a Jerry Maquire sort of way, I think it's a pretty superficial film that wants to pretend it actually has something to say. For me, the top films of this...

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Brittany Murphy Essentials

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Two Brittany film essentials that went unnoticed: It’s a tragedy that Brittany Murphy’s dead. Maybe not only because she was young and beautiful and had a suitcase pimp of a hubby, but because she was a mighty skilled actress, a fact that’ll likely be overshadowed by her ditzy film personas....

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