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Big Screen Entries for June, 2011

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Played Out: A Final Thought on Super 8 Director J.J. Abrams

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Presented by some of his characters. Dear J.J. - sooner or later, you're going to have to figure out what's in the box. (Of course, I could be wrong.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpjVgF5JDq8

Played Out: MST3K Takes On The Tree of Life [UPDATED]

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[UPDATE: Now slightly funnier!] Well, it seems like a good idea at the time...but let us leave this joke on a cheerful note, with Mr. Sean (Chuckles) Penn himself... Related.

What's the Matter(horn) with Disney's lack of Originality?

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When it comes to being green, no studio recycles their own garbage with more aplomb than the Walt Disney Company. Spielberg and Lucas were the first to turn movie theatres into children's thrill rides, but leave it to the house ...

Speaking of stealing...

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A while back, I wrote a story with Reader film critic David Elliott about Dennis Hopper. Elliott selected nine films from the Hopper canon, I watched 'em, and then we exchanged thoughts. The only one I couldn't find on video ...

In Space, No One Can Hear You Steal

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So here's the brand-new trailer for Apollo 18: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-82qd_rCzOs Check out right around 1:05. "It's inside my suit." Hmmmm... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J8mOOtS7XI It's a nicely done slow open, but you want to just get to the point, go ahead and skip to ...

Reviews!

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Reader critic David Elliott stays strong and resists the bright shiny thing that is Transformers: Dark of the Moon, opting instead for Le Quattro Volte, Page One: Inside the New York Times, and Viva Riva!, a film which necessitates an ...

To Zoom Or Not to Zoom?

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The zoom lens is the most useless gadget in a lazy cinematographer's toolbox. Why hand crank a lens when you can move a camera? So what it you have to hire grips, lay and level track, rehearse the movement, use ...

War Horse

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Filmdrunk had the quickness of mind to run this gag comparing Spielberg's upcoming War Horse with Stiller's Simple Jack, and I salute him for it. But even though those funny pink pills I took last night make quick thinking pretty ...

Why Porn Movies Deserve To Die Out

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Modern day porn movies are notorious for their ridiculous and idiotic titles. Looking at a porn star's list of film names would have been funny to me a few years ago. Now, it's just sad and disturbing to realize that ...

Sunday Dinner And a Movie From Big!Lots

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On alternate Sunday evenings for the past 10-years, it’s been my pleasure to dine with friends, both of whom I consider to be highly cineliterate. These outings have become bi-monthly vacations from cinema, with the added benefit of exceptional conversation ...

Oh, dear, Megan, Part 3

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Wrapping up our coverage of Megan Fox's photobombing of her replacement Rosie Huntington-Whitely at the Transformers: Dark of the Moon VIP screening at the IMAX Waterloo in London. Director Michael Bay also paused for a few pics, and apparently, that ...

Oh, dear, Megan, Part 2

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Continuing our coverage of Megan Fox's photobombing of Rosie Huntington-Whitely at the Transformers: Dark of the Moon screening at the IMAX Waterloo in London... In explaining the difficulties that arose between Fox and director Michael Bay on the Transformers set, ...

Oh, dear, Megan, Part 1

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So as I'm sure everybody in the free world knows, Rosie Huntington-Whitely replaced Megan Fox as Shia LaBeouf's arm candy in the latest installment of the unbelievably profitable Transformers franchise. Why the switcheroo? It may have something to do with ...

10 Ways for Michele Bachmann to Tell the Difference Between John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy

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While out stumping in Waterloo, Iowa, Republican presidential wannabe Michele Bachmann compared her character to that of legendary right-wing movie star John Wayne. She told a reporter for Fox News, "John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa," and "that's the kind ...

Anatomy of a Press Photo: Transformers: Dark of the Moon VIP Screening at the IMAX Waterloo in London

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Look, I know Rosie Huntington-Whitely is a former(?) Victoria's Secret lingerie model, but seriously... And you'll have to pardon me while I switch blog-mode from silly to bitchy, but I thought Michael Bay would have figured out how to CGI ...

Anatomy of an Ad Campaign: James Whale's Frankenstein

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Long before I knew the difference between Will Hays and Gabby Hayes, there were certain moments where the heavy hand of a censor at work could clearly be felt. Such was the case of numerous childhood viewings of A Corny ...

Oh, NOW I get it...

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Ever since I first saw the trailer, I've been trying and trying to figure out how anyone thought it was a good idea to remake Footloose. And then, how anyone thought it would be a good idea to add some ...

Toy-Pitchman Michael Bay Writes Letter to Theatre Projectionists

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Following hot on the heels of The Tree of Life director Terrence Malick’s letter to projectionists, popcorn salesman/babysitter Michael Bay has put crayon to paper concerning his thoughts on the 3-D presentation of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The following ...

Will Brian Wilson Film Depict 1978 Balboa Park Vagrancy Bust?

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An upcoming big-screen dramatization of the life of Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is in the works from producer Bill Pohlad (The Tree of Life) and TV writer John Wells (West Wing, ER). Wilson sold the rights to his life ...

DVD Documentary Features Local Cult Star Gary Wilson

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"You don't remember who I am, do you?" Gary Wilson asked me via e-mail. I'd been interviewing the indie-rock pioneer about his rediscovery since being name-checked in Beck's "Where It's At": "Passin' the dutchie from coast to coast/ like my ...

Jerry Lewis Rushed to Hospital Moments Before Australian Concert

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Funnyman Jerry Lewis had to be rushed to a hospital on Friday just moments before he was scheduled to perform his nightclub act at Sydney’s Rooty Hill Returned Servicemen's League club. Lewis is on an eight-city concert tour to benefit ...

Dig a Hole

Dig A Hole: Peter Falk

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Just last night I thought of Peter Falk. A stop at Big!Lots was in order following the re-opening night gala of Coronado’s beautifully-renovated Village Theatre. Among the hundreds of reasonably-priced, factory-sealed DVDs lurked a copy of The Strange One, Ben ...

Review: Bad Teacher

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Cameron Diaz has always been a game actress, the pretty girl who still played along with the boys when things got gross. But in Bad Teacher, she stops playing along and starts playing against - "Anything you can say, I ...

So, What Are You Doing Tonight?

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If you answered anything besides, "Going to see The Big Sleep at Cinema Under the Stars," well, then I guess you aren't interested in seeing the the violence-screen's all time rocker-shocker. Violence, I tell you! Drugs! Wild debutantes! Pornography! Blackmail! ...

A Closer Look at the Trailer for Footloose II

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtjI6OHVk00 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRNJluKik2s&feature=related Goonies are good enough for me!

A Closer Look at the Trailer for Footloose

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Hey, you guys? How come no one told me the Footloose remake was a Michael Bay film? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtjI6OHVk00

The Dirty Dozen: Twelve Ways Not to Behave in a Movie Theatre

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1.) DON’T BE LATE. It takes years to get a film from script to screen; the least you can do is show up on time. In fact, better one hour early than one minute late. Once upon a time you ...

(More) Reviews!

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Whoops! Somehow, we forgot to mention David Elliott's take on Submarine, 3 Backyards, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, The Art of Getting By, City of Life and Death, and maybe even Beginners. Could be time to stop pouring ...

Picture Story: Grand Opening of the Newly Refurbished Coronado Village Theater

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We'll have text on this later today, but for now, here are some (hopefully) pretty pictures to look at: The restored sign above the theater: Ticketbooth: Door into ticketbooth from lobby: Concession stand with mural: Seats in lobby: Custom carpet ...

Your "Extremely Tenuously Connected to the Cars 2 Premiere" Post of the Day

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So, Sacha Baron Cohen is all set to tempt the critical fates with The Dictator, a film which, thanks to its blunt title, cannot help but call to mind Chaplin's The Great Dictator: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJOuoyoMhj8 Of course, mocking Saddam Hussein (via ...

So, What Are You Doing Tonight?

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If you somehow never manage to find yourself wandering the sunshiney Prado in Balboa Park, hearing the sweet strains of violins emanating from some cool upstairs interior, and then slipping in to sit and listen to the San Diego Youth ...

Reviews!

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Slow week. I should have a little something on Bad Teacher up tomorrow, and in the meantime, you can check David Elliott's reaction to Pixar's Cars 2. Hey: bad headline contest! I'll start: Cars 2: Is Pixar Running Out of ...

Charlie Kaufman, Ante Up

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New York had the right idea when it ran a comparison of the recently uncovered (by the Feds!) Celebrity Poker Ring and the Matt Damon poker film Rounders. But it didn't go far enough: instead of being compared to a ...

Free Outdoor Movies All Summer at Liberty Station

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Let me begin on a note of disclosure and shameless self-promotion. The following Summer Movie Mania screenings at Liberty Station are being presented by CommCinema.com, an outdoor movie company I work for. While the latter number sure would be nice, ...

OK, Mr. Abrams, Super 8’s a Hit — Back to Star Trek Now?

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Supposedly, J.J. Abrams’ sequel to his Star Trek reboot has been written and in “pre-production” for over a year now. Now that Super 8 appears to be the cash cow he and all of Hollywood were banking on, isn’t it ...

Aaaaaaand Part 4

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Last one, I swear. All apologies to Office Space. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNJxxRi7AeE

A Closer Look at the Trailer for Zookeeper, Part 3

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Birds do it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNJxxRi7AeE

A Closer Look at the Trailer for Zookeeper, Part 2

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The good times, they just roll on and on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNJxxRi7AeE

A Closer Look at the Trailer for Zookeeper, Part 1

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Trailer for Zookeeper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNJxxRi7AeE&feature=related

Summer Means 35mm Midnight Movies at The Ken!

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Pink Flamingos was my Rocky Horror Picture Show, one of the few times when audience participation made perfect sense. Instead of throwing rice, I came to hear people throw up. I was 16-years-old, fresh behind the wheel of my red ...

Dept. of Cinematic Muses

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Like Mr. Marks, I am excited to see Martin Scorsese's Hugo Cabret, in part because of its source material, in part because it means Scorsese will be working in violation of W.C. Fields' famous dictum about working with children or ...

MST3K takes on The Tree of Life - Part II!

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In which we meet Brad Pitt, playing the part of frustrated father figure...

Oh, come on.

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Look, I'm not the one who suggested that Michael Fassbender should officially change his name to Michael F. Assbender. That was Mr. Mancini over at Filmdrunk. I know, I know - ha, ha, very juvenile. But then David Cronenberg goes ...

So what are you doing tonight?

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If you've got just a little bit less than four hours to kill, you might consider taking in The Empire Strikes Back (aka "the middle one," aka "the good one") of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers ...

Horse Whisperer Buck Brannaman Speaks Up

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Buck Brannaman is more at home in a horse corral than in a poolside cabana at a trendy hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. But the incongruous setting doesn’t bother him. At least not when he talks about Buck, the ...

MST3K takes on The Tree of Life!

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Well, no, not really. But wouldn't that be awesome? Just to be clear. I liked Terrence Malick's latest a bit more than Reader critic David Elliott, who dinged it with a single star, saying, "Sadly but blatantly, the gaseous inflation ...

Dig a Hole

Dig A Hole: Jackass Ryan Dunn

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What is more shocking: the fact that one of the Jackass cast members has died or that it took this long for it to happen? As hard as it is to muster much sympathy for anyone whose drunken driving claims ...

It had to happen...

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You loved Stellan Skarsgard in Thor... And you couldn't get enough of Peter Sarsgaard in Green Lantern... Now, see them together on the big screen in... Go ahead, just say it a few times. Skarsgard. Sarsgaard. Gaaaaard Haaaaaaard. Gets funnier ...

Anatomy of a Press Photo: Return of The Muppets

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Look, he said it, not me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay5skbka9Yk

"No Talk, No Text" Policy Should Become Theater Standard

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs The Alamo Draft House prides itself on a strict, "No text, no talk" policy. The theater stands firm on its commitment to upholding these simple rules of common theater courtesy: "Occasionally, someone doesn't follow the rules, and we do, ...

Review: The Last Godfather

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The Last Godfather (aka The Dumb Mafia) is an American/South Korean co-production determined to acquaint Western audiences with South Korean comedy sensation Shim Hyung-rae, Seoul’s answer to Jackie Chan. This is one introduction you will immediately want rescinded. Shim is ...

Dig a Hole

Dig A Hole: Clarence Clemons

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The news that a new member has been added to Rock 'n' Roll Heaven's helluva' band just hit my desk. Clarence Clemons, the "Minister of Soul", "Secretary of the Brotherhood," and "The Big Man" in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, ...

Director Jill Godmilow Reads The Big Screen!

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Despite the fact that I originally goofed and referred to her as "Joan," Jill Godmilow, film professor at Notre Dame and director of Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman, was kind enough to drop a line to The Big Screen. ...

Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins

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Like Night at the Museum, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is an ostensible children’s movie starring a well-known comic actor (Jim Carrey) as a divorced dad who ultimately seeks to reconnect with estranged loved ones through his life-changing interaction with an unlikely ...

Warner Bros. Uses Military Families to Hype Green Lantern

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Warner Bros. decided to send Ryan Reynolds to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to use active-duty service members and their families as a promotional test audience for Green Lantern. Haven't they suffered enough? Billed as "an early Father's Day ...

Roundup: Look Out, Peter Sarsgaard in Green Lantern

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I dunno, Pete. Something about mustaches, high foreheads, and scraggly hair... Warnings given by Pete Hornberger from 30 Rock, Tobias Funke from Arrested Development, Homeless Cabaret Singer from The Fisher King, and Francis Dollarhyde from Manhunter (substitute harelip for mustache ...

American Artifact Documentary Celebrates Concert Poster Art

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American Artifact chronicles the rise of American rock poster art since its birth in the '60s. Director Merle Becker crossed the country interviewing rock poster artists from the different eras, He says he discover that "America is currently in the ...

Jeff Lipsky, Writer-Director of Twelve Thirty

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Photo at left: Jeff Lipsky Jeff Lipsky was there at the dawn of the independent film distribution movement. John Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence, the first film then 21-year-old Lipsky ever distributed, was also the first independent film to ...

A Tender Moment

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Okay, when I said that this was a parting shot? I lied. This is a parting shot. All stills taken from the trailer.

Parting Shot

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LEST YOU THINK that the preceding review of Green Lantern was merely the rantings of a fusty critic who gets his cardigan in a bunch over plot points and comic-book metaphysics when he's supposed to be enjoying the spectacle of ...

Review: Green Lantern

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[UPDATE: Upgraded from black spot to one star on the basis of the bad guy and the big finish.] Four! Four screenwriters! There are four credited screenwriters on the new Green Lantern movie. Four writers tasked with making up an ...

Uh-oh.

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So before last night's

Reckless

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Photo on left: Bob Greenblat Yeah, it's small-screen news, but it does touch on the larger theme of the relation of an artist to his art that has been mentioned here before... NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt's comment on 30 Rock ...

Your Summer of Superheroes, Part III-a

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Earlier, we fretted over the fate of the Avengers in the poster for their upcoming movie. In an effort to assuage those fears, we decided to retool Avengers: Lost in Space and send our heroes on a few more grounded ...

Because you're never really enshrined in the Pantheon of Artistic Immortals until you've been parodied in a children's cartoon...

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...we give you Animaniacs doing Ingmar Bergman (and by extension, the late Mr. Fischer). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBn3utR_lgY&NR=1 Of course, if this were made today, it would require an animated Woody Allen to walk onscreen mid-scene and give a shot-for-shot comparison study. Something ...

Looks like we've found our Grouchy Smurf...

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...and his name is Mr. Marks! Seriously, all you need to do is take a gander at the image below to get a glimpse of the high drama roiling under the Smurfs' light blue surface. How could you not make ...

Your Summer of Superheroes, Part III

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Uh-oh. We knew that handing the reins for the upcoming superduper-crossover-megafranchise Avengers movie to ubernerd Joss Whedon was risky, but this poster has us more than a little nervous. Four of the six superpeople pictured cannot fly, and yet, there ...

On Munchkins and Smurfs at the San Diego County Fair

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Raja Gosnell's credits read like a critic's death wish. The director of Home Alone 3, Scooby Doo, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua is now poised to wreak even further damage on the youth of America with the release of The Smurfs ...

Dig a Hole

Dig A Hole: Bergman's Cinematographer Gunnar Fischer

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Ingmar Bergman set the tone, Gunnar Fischer lit the mood. The Swedish cinematographer responsible for some of the most recognizable images in film history classes throughout the world died June 11 at a retirement home in Stockholm. He was 100. ...

Madonna as Auteur

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I'll have more to say about comedians who fancy themselves rock singers in my upcoming review of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop. For now, let us turn our attention to singers whose visions are so vast they defy the biggest recording ...

Perry Chen Interviews Judy Moody's Star and Creator

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The call came in that Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer author Megan McDonald and lead actress Jordana Beatty would be in town and available for interviews. Wouldn't you know it? A quick perusal of my copious day-planner finds ...

Sandra Schulberg, Producer of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

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The Nuremberg Trials were the first to be extensively documented and the first to make major use of film as evidence. The entire proceedings were recorded, but the Office of Criminal Counsel allowed only twenty-five hours of the eleven month ...

What's Your Favorite Twilight Zone?

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It was first announced way back in 2008 that Leonardo DiCaprio's company Appian Way would be bringing us a new Twilight Zone movie. Supposedly, the script is nearly done, and the film WON'T be an episodic anthology like the 1983 ...

Mel Blanc: T-h-h-hat's Not All, Folks!

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When Heckle told Jeckle (or was it Jeckle doing the talking?), "We're cartoon characters! We can do whatever we want," the anthropomorphized magpie didn't envision the day would come when a dead man is called upon to breathe new life ...

Super 8 Run-Up: Steven Spielberg Checks Out His Protégé's Latest

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Captain Kirk's disturbing experience yesterday was apparently enough to get Spielberg curious about the way J.J. Abrams would handle the whole "homage to E.T." thing...

An Open Letter to Gerry Lopez, CEO and President AMC Entertainment

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Photo at left: AMC in Fashion Valley June 8, 2011 Mr. Gerardo “Gerry” I. Lopez, CEO and President AMC Entertainment, Inc., 106 West 14th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64105 Hello Gerry, Would it upset you to discover someone sabotaging your ...

Super 8 Run-Up: You Just Don't Get It, Do You?

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I'm not saying that Super 8 falls prey to this unfortunate bit of Screenwriting 101. I'm just saying. http://vimeo.com/24669583 via Film Drunk

J.J. Abrams, miner for a heart of cinematic gold.

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My review of J.J. Abrams' latest, Super 8, is still bubbling away on the stove. While we wait, how's about we join Captain Kirk as he takes in Abrams' last effort, the Star Trek "reboot"...

And here is the Super 8 App!

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Given Mr. Marks's astonishing recollection of the glories of Super 8, I can't think of a better time to mention the hi-tech nostalgia-factory that is the Super 8 app (free for a limited time!) Now you can use your iPhone ...

Here Is - Super 8

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If the trailer for the new Spielberg-backed production is any indication, there are more shots of little kids staring skyward into a light source than all those in Close Encounters and E.T. combined. Super 8 was one film format that ...

Coronado's Village Theatre Set to Re-Open After Renovation

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By the time I landed in San Diego in January 2000, Coronado's Village Theatre was just months away from quietly slipping into semi-retirement. After 53 years (and the taint of How the Grinch Stole Christmas spread across its streamlined art ...

Cult Movie Review: Forbidden Zone

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FORBIDDEN ZONE, 1982: Forbidden Zone was an early ‘80s freakfest by the Brothers Elfman, then of the performance art musical group known as the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (later taken over by Danny Elfman and converted to the ...

Your Summer of Superheroes, Part II

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Iron Man has a question for Wolverine, Batman, Thor, and Captain America.

Will Reese Witherspoon Succumb to the Generation-Award Curse?

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Look, we all loved Reese Witherspoon as a man-stealing slut in Walk the Line. (Yes, yes, Johnny Cash is the one who left his wife and the mother of his children for a showbiz blondie, but what are we gonna ...

Your Summer of Superheroes

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X-Men: First Class has had its moment. Looking ahead to July, we have Captain America: The First Avenger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sff8gNloRRs Um. I can't believe that someone hasn't tossed this out there before, but just in case: Cheers!

This Commercial Parody of The Exorcist Really Sucks!

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The scariest movie of all time has returned, in the version you've never seen before. Somewhere between science and superstition, there is another floor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGb8pMIeY6w

Documentarian Mark Wexler Shows Us How to Live Forever

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Documentary filmmaker Mark Wexler set out on a four-year journey through the aging process and what it may be like to one day live forever. Don't let the subject matter throw you. How to Live Forever is a high-spirited exploration ...

Review: Meet Monica Velour

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It’s generally not a good sign when a film about an underage virgin who falls in love with an over-the-hill porn star opens on a sandwich truck with a twenty-foot metal weenie welded to its roof. Relax. Meet Monica Velour ...

Twilight: Breaking Dawn: First image of Edward in a Tuxedo!

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Goin' to the chapel and we're/gonna get married... Related.

Review: X-Men: First Class

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Reader, please bear with me for a bit of F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Now the standard cure for one who is sunk is to consider those in actual destitution or physical suffering – this is an all-weather beatitude for gloom in ...

The Projectionist Has Final Cut — Ask Terrence Malick

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A hand-written sign hung in every projection booth that has been my privilege to man: THE PROJECTIONIST HAS FINAL CUT! One lazy projectionist is all it takes to sabotage the years of hard work put into getting a film from ...

Casting Liz

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Mr. Marks thinks that "the raging romance between [Elizabeth] Taylor and [Richard] Burton is best left for some stargazing television hack to direct, not Marty [Scorsese]." Also that Natalie Portman "has far too much talent and not enough feminine pulchritude ...

Final note on Midnight in Paris [SPOILER!]

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You probably don't remember way back a few days ago when I said that Midnight in Paris was Woody Allen's Inception. But I do. I even made a comic about it. Gold star for me!

Scorsese to Direct Big-Screen Biopic of Liz and Dick?

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It didn‘t take long for Elizabeth Taylor‘s body to cool. Hollywood Deadline reports that Paramount Pictures has optioned the rights to Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger's showbiz bio Furious Love for Marty to direct. Don’t get your hopes up. I’m ...

Reviews!

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Apparently, I managed to pull out of my Hangover-inspired bender long enough to actually write a review. While I was at it, I took a gander at 13 Assassins, How to Live Forever, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His ...

Nosy

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Besides both being released in July, Captain America and the final Harry Potter movie both feature villains who are, well...

X-Men — Xavier busts out the memory wipe

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Yeah, I cropped the text a little there. My first time and all. But it does illustrate the importance of being a telepath when assembling a team for a dangerous mission.

X-Men = Stars Lite

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Vulture has already mentioned the practice of avoiding A-list stars when casting summer blockbusters. Long story short: they're expensive, and they're not what you're coming to see, so who needs 'em? But what struck me about the relative bargains who ...

Steve Martin Duped by German Art Forgers

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Banjo playing funnyman and art accumulator Steve Martin must be getting pretty small right about now. According to The Hollywood Reporter, police in Cologne, Germany said Martin unwittingly bought and sold a forged copy of Landscape With Horses, a 1915 ...

Former Local Co-Creating Newest Star Trek Adventures

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“I don't know how long the story will last,” emailed Patrick McCray awhile back, “but the show on which I'm a producer, Star Trek: The Continuing Mission, is a top story on the entertainment page of the CNN website!” Patrick ...

Projectionists Take Cues From Marks

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True films lovers have no use for watches; who needs Cartier when you can count cue marks? Laraine Day & Q. Marks in John Brahm's *The Locket* I miss cue marks. No, not my third cousin twice removed, but changeover ...

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