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Monday, December 21, 2009

Have a Very Scary Christmas, it's the bloodiest time of year ...

Posted on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Cartoonist Sean Bieri set out to deck the halls with blood and horror last holiday season, but we thought his carnal cartoons worthy of another go-round as we head into 2010. Check out Bieri's 12 Days of Zombie Christmas project, which he launched last Dec. 22. Each morning, till the...

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Friday, December 18, 2009

WDET 101.9 fm shakes things up heading into 2010

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Just taking this decade into consideration, Detroit Public Radio (WDET-FM 101.9), has seen its fair share of programming tweaks, shifts, and flips. Come December 26, the station will transition programming once again, implementing substantial changes to both weekday and weekend broadcasts. With one year as general manager tucked under his...

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Invictus

Clint Eastwood presents Morgan Freeman's Nelson Mandela (and rugby) in neutral if not florid tones

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

In perhaps the most inevitable casting decision in Hollywood history, Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela. Besides the resemblance, Freeman's certainly the right man to capture Mandela's gravitas and calm moral authority, and he also nails his oddly commanding yet wavering voice; you could plant a garden in the pauses between...

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All hot air?

Jason Reitman lets audiences off the hook with a false sense of ethical consciousness

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

It's going to rack up a boatload of Oscars and it doesn't deserve them. Jason Reitman's Up In The Air has all the right ingredients: a clever script, great acting, recession-era issues and a feel-good story tinged with just enough reality to make you think it's a lot more profound...

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Friday, December 11, 2009

And my nominees are...

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 4:27 PM

The Detroit Film Critics Society, of which I am a proud member, has announced its nominations for 2009, and just like the group, it's pretty eclectic. The full list can be found elsewhere, but just for giggles, I've included my personal picks, many of which made the final list, and...

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

IDIOT BOXING & TIM ALLEN IN ST. LOUIE

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Allen doesn't live here anymore. ST. LOUIS — Tim Allen has found a new sound to replace the unintelligible, Neanderthal male grunts that propelled him to the '90s sitcom classic Home Improvement and, ultimately, to stardom. It's "doh-de-doh-de-doh." On the current 10-city standup concert tour to promote his forthcoming movie...

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Jacksons meet reality TV

Posted on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 11:43 AM

The real thing: Jackie, Marlon, Tito and Jermaine. “You Only Think You Know Them” is the tagline A&E is using for The Jack5ons: A Family Dynasty, the new six-part reality series (if you can call anything regarding the Jackson family “reality”) premiering at 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, with...

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Everybody’s Fine

Despite delightful De Niro, derivative film flounders

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Robert De Niro is the broken-down patriarch Frank, a humble widower with fading health. His four grown children are scattered across the country, and each has an excuse for skipping a family get-together. Since they won’t come to him, Frank sets out to visit his wayward children, riding a Greyhound all the way from New York to Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas, never bothering to call ahead. None of them is as happy as they lead Dad to believe. Yuppie advertising exec Kate Beckinsale is covering up a disintegrating marriage. Sam Rockwell has sold pops the notion that he’s a conductor even though he’s just the drummer, excuse me, “percussionist” in the back of the orchestra. Drew Barrymore is just a mess, and a fourth unseen brother is in really dire straights.

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The Strip

A strip-mall satire that sees minimum-wager grown-ups acting childish

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The Strip almost exclusively centers on the sad sack, misfit twentysomethings who work at EletriCity, a poor man’s version of RadioShack. There’s the dim-witted slacker, the awkward Indian immigrant, the manager going through a middle-aged crisis (The Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley), the wannabe actor, Rick, who has delusions of grandeur about his talents and masculinity, and our college-educated protagonist, Kyle, who’s oh-so Zach Braff-esque in his desire to please Dad (the store’s owner) while trying to “find” himself. As you might expect, the dudes shun all semblance of adult behavior.

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Touch of Orson

Christian McKay does the best Welles since Welles

Posted By on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

It’s 1937, and Welles is in the process of mounting his audaciously pruned version of Julius Caesar, staged in modern fascist dress. Starring as Brutus, directing the action, sleeping with a long list of actresses and ingénues, hogging the limelight and feuding with his partner John Houseman (Eddie Marsan), Linklater captures the mad energy and constant brink of collapse Orson cultivated with his outsized ego and genius. Enter Richard Samuels (Efron), a not untalented 17-year-old who gets caught up in this strange and thrilling new world. Cast in a minor role, befriending Joseph Cotton (dead ringer James Tupper) and flirting with sexy Sonja Jones (lovely Claire Danes), he becomes our passive protagonist tour guide to the world of backstage politics and blossoming celebrity. It’s a device that didn’t really work in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, nor this summer’s The Great Buck Howard. And it doesn’t work here. Efron’s likable enough, but hardly a character worth caring about.

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