Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

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My 2017 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Listen! Do you smell that? It's the Sundance Film Festival, back for another year of showcasing new independent films and terrorizing the helpless town of Park City, Utah. The mood is slightly muted this year, partly because there wasn't much pre-...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2016

This will not be on the midterm. This is not valuable information to anyone but me and those who stalk me (hi, Tim!). It's just a list of what I watched and read this year. MOVIES As it happens, I watched exactly 366 different movies this year, one...
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2016 films: miscellaneous data

Based on my own research. Additions welcome (@ me), will update accordingly.   Total wide releases: 160 Remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, and franchises: 45 Based on novels: 19 Based on a true story (BOATS, as the kids say): 27...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2016

It has not been a very good year, except for movies. And really, what else matters? THE BEST MOVIES OF 2016 1. "Arrival" I'm not particularly a science-fiction guy, but I know what I love, and I love "Arrival." In a year marked by tragedy ...
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Fantastic Fest 2016: An Exhaustive Report

One of my favorite weeks of the year is the one I spend at Austin's Alamo Drafthouse for Fantastic Fest, a genre celebration devoted to the kinds of movies that other festivals only play at midnight (if they program them at all). Sci-fi, horror, mart...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2015

This is for my own records. Nobody else read it! MOVIES I watched 349 movies in 2015. That's less than one a day, which is low for me. On the other hand, it's still 349 movies, which is a lot. It's almost 350. Here's how they broke down: - 1...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2015

Another year has sped past us at the alarming rate of one day per day, 365 of them in a row, without cessation. Then, without warning, it stopped being one year and started being a different year. What do we do now? We look back on the movies we saw ...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2014

2014 was a terrific year for movies -- and I say that without having seen several of the films that are appearing on others' top 10 lists, like "Selma," "Mr. Turner," "Ida," and "The Immigrant." (That last one has been on Netflix for months, so I hav...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2014

As always, you're not obligated to be interested in this. This is mostly for me. It's just a rundown of what I consumed in 2014, media-wise. Future generations may find it useful in reconstructing the collapse of civilization. MOVIES I watched ...
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Upcoming Movies with Internet-Inspired Titles Like ‘That Awkward Moment’

“That Awkward Moment” (in theaters Jan. 31) is an R-rated comedy starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller as bros looking to score with hot ladies. The trailer indicates that one of the bros hooks up with another bro’s lady friend, lea...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2013

There were some good movies in 2013. There were also some bad movies. In short, 2013 was like a lot of years: it had good things and bad things. Here are the top good things, in my estimation, according to me, based on my opinion. This list is final ...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2013

The rules are simple. I tell you, with an excruciating amount of exactness, what I watched and read this year, and you either read it because you are interested or you don’t because you aren’t. In other words, none of this will be on the midterm. ...
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2013 Film Titles: A Dramatic Reading

And now, two playlets in which the dialogue is composed entirely of 2013 movie titles (U.S. theatrical releases). Playlet 1 An atheist who believes global climate change will soon kill Mother Earth has a conversation with a Christian who believes g...
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We Asked a Telekinetic Teenage Girl with a Crazy Mother to Fact-Check ‘Carrie’

(Note: Our guest reviewer, 16-year-old Ashlei Mulligan of Fresno, Calif., is a junior in high school who has both telekinetic powers and an abusive, Bible-thumping mother. She has agreed to offer her expertise on the issues addressed in the film “Car...
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How ‘Man of Steel’ Is Better Than ‘Superman Returns’ (and Vice Versa)

Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" arrives this week, with fans hoping it is more like Zack Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead" (i.e., pretty good) than Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" (i.e., the worst thing ever devised by man). What's already certain is that the Su...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2012

I didn't fall in love with a lot of movies this year, but there were quite a few that I liked an awful lot. Strong, significant infatuations, maybe. The films that ended up in the bottom few spots on this list could have been swapped with a half-doze...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2012

The rules are simple. I tell you, with an excruciating amount of exactness, what I watched and read this year, and you either read it because you are interested or you don't because you aren't. In other words, none of this will be on the midterm. ...
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Dear ‘Twilight’: Thank You For Ending

The “Twilight” movie franchise has been so successful that even people who are not in its target audience of teenage girls and sexually frustrated middle-aged women have been consumed by it, overwhelmed by it, unable to escape seeing evidence of it a...
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The 2012 Cannes Film Festival: A Recap

Bonjour, amigos! I was thrilled to attend the Cannes Film Festival for the first time this year, fulfilling a dream I’d had ever since I learned that you don’t pronounce the “s.” It’s not possible for any one human to see every movie playing at Canne...
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Live-Blogging the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Trailer

"The Dark Knight Rises" won’t be in theaters until July 20, but Warner Bros. has helped satisfy our bat-appetites by releasing several hundred trailers. The latest one “dropped” (I think that is the slang term) a couple weeks ago. Here is our second-...
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10 Universal Truths We’ve Learned at the Movies

1. If there’s only one person with a British accent, that person is the villain. 2. Any plan deemed “just crazy enough to work” will, in fact, work. Any plan deemed “foolproof,” “simple,” or “perfect” will fail. 3. If someone goes over a very h...
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Things the Avengers Theoretically Would Not Assemble For

So this movie coming up, "The Avengers," you know what it’s about, right? It’s about some superheroes from other movies, plus a guy with a bow and arrow, who get together to fight villains. This is necessary because some villains are too powerful to ...
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What Household Items Will Become Movies After the Board Games Are Used Up?

The "Battleship" movie is coming May 18, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s out there, it can’t be reasoned with, etc. Everyone laughed when it was announced a couple years ago, then laughed some more when movie versions of Monopoly, Clue,...
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Pros and Cons of Seeing ‘The Phantom Menace’ in 3D

George Lucas announced in September 2010 that he would release 3D versions of all six "Star Wars" films, one a year, starting in 2012. In a rare instance of George Lucas doing exactly what he said he was going to do, "Episode I — The Phantom Menace" ...
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The Oxford Film Festival, and What It Says About Other Small Fests

Oh, sure, there’s Sundance and Cannes and Toronto and all those other “big” film festivals. Who needs ‘em?! Wait, that’s too harsh. We do need them. They’re great festivals. I’m sorry. Let me start again. Oh, sure, there’s Sundance and Cannes a...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2011

This is the eighth year I've kept track of all the media I consumed. I like to keep track of things. As always, this may be of no interest to anyone but me, and you are welcome to skip it, or to read it and then send me angry emails for wasting your ...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2011

Over the last few weeks I noticed several of my colleagues musing on Twitter about how difficult it was to choose a No. 1 film for 2011. They seemed to feel that there were a lot of movies that were very good, but few that were great, and nothing tha...
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The Next 35 ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Movie Sequel Titles

What we’ve already seen: "Alvin and the Chipmunks" "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked" The next 35 titles: "Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein" "Alvin and the Chipmunks Take Manhattan"...
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Logical Problems with a Horse That Goes to War

Sure, this new "War Horse" movie seems to have the makings of a champion. It’s based on a highly acclaimed stage play, it’s about a boy and a horse, and it’s directed by Steven Spielberg. That’s a potent combination. But we are skeptical! We have cer...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘New Year’s Eve’

GARRY MARSHALL: Good afternoon, gentlemen! Thanks for seeing me! STUDIO EXEC #1: Are you kidding? You’re Garry Marshall, director of such classic films as "Pretty Woman," "Beaches," "Dear God," and "The Princess Diaries"! STUDIO EXEC #2: An...
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How the ‘Paranormal Activity’ Formula Would Work in Other Genres

We’ve survived two "Paranormal Activity" films and are about to let a third one haunt our dreams, so we’re pretty familiar with the formula by now: people use surveillance cameras and camcorders to document what’s happening in their homes; terror and...
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The Timeline for Winning Best Picture

Thousands of films have tried, but so far only 83 have succeeded in being named best picture of the year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This exclusive club includes quite a bit of diversity — everything from great films like "The...
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Things Nicolas Cage Could Do That Would Theoretically Still Shock Us

Few celebrities are as consistently entertaining as Nicolas Cage, an Oscar-winning actor who has forsaken serious drama in favor of behaving like a lunatic both on and off the screen. The list of bizarre things he has said and done in real life is al...
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2011 Fantastic Fest Review Round-up

When people ask what sort of movies are shown at Fantastic Fest, the easiest answer is that it’s any movie that can be described as “awesome.” In general terms, that means horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. In practice, Fantastic Fest also includes Asian m...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’

Perhaps you saw the trailer for "I Don’t Know How She Does It," recognized that it was based on a popular novel, and assumed the story of how it became a movie ended there. But no! There are always meetings, discussions, machinations, and schemes. Jo...
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A Fake Report from Our Fake Set Visit

As you know if you follow me on Twitter, I just got back from Tierra del Fuego, where I was visiting the amazing set of Brett Ratner’s upcoming remake of "Casablanca." You couldn’t be there with me, but don’t worry, I filled my suitcases with SCOOPS!...
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‘Glee 3D’ vs. ‘Final Destination 5’

The multiplex is confusing! Your typical neighborhood movie emporium has 16 screens, and on those screens are as many as five or six different movies. It is easy to become disoriented and choose the wrong film, especially when similar pictures are re...
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Investigating the Science of Body-Swap Movies

It’s time once again to put a movie trend under the microscope and examine it ... with Science! Our subject today is body-swap movies. Specifically: what is the deal with body-swap movies, scientifically speaking? The body-swap comedy is based on ...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘The Smurfs’

STUDIO EXEC #1: Gentlemen, I was rummaging around in the Dumpster behind the studio offices yesterday, and guess what I found? STUDIO EXEC #2: Nick Nolte? STUDIO EXEC #1: No. STUDIO EXEC #3: Nick Nolte’s arm? STUDIO EXEC #1: No. ST...
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‘Larry Crowne’ vs. ‘Monte Carlo’: How to Tell if You’re the Target Audience

While "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is the movie that most people will be enjoying (well, watching) this weekend, Hollywood has a little thing called “counter-programming,” too, that enables you to see other new films. But there are two counter-pr...
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Unsettling Questions Raised by the Alternate Reality in ‘Cars’

John Lasseter, the chief nerd-wizard at Pixar, recently gave an interview to Box Office Magazine wherein he explained some of the mysteries surrounding the universe in which the "Cars" movies are set. We appreciate the effort, but we still have many ...
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Merchandising Opportunities That ‘Cars 2’ Missed

It’s astonishing to think that the combined marketing power of Disney AND Pixar could have missed any possible opportunity to cash in on "Cars 2." Yet our careful examination uncovers several potential merchandising tie-ins that Dis-Pix has failed to...
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Other Films in the ‘We Bought a…’ Series

Cameron Crowe’s next film, due in theaters later this year, is called "We Bought a Zoo." The title is not metaphorical: It is about a family that buys a defunct zoo and saves the animals from destruction. What’s more, it’s based on a true story. Some...
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Why the ‘Don’t Think About It!’ Argument is Dumb

Whenever there’s a dumb new movie like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" or "Little Fockers: Revenge of Robert De Niro," and the people who write about movies for a living point out how terrible it is, the fans of those movies respond with the sa...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2010

In theory, it should be easy to figure out my 10 favorite movies of the year. I give them grades when I write the reviews. Come December, all I have to do is sort them from A to F and draw a line after the top 10, right? Simple math.
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Media Inventory: What I Watched in 2010

This account of my media intake is slightly streamlined compared to previous years. I've always done the "Media Inventory" mostly for my own amusement; this reflects how much amusement I found in it this time.
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Messages Left on Bill Murray’s Voice Mail

FACT: Bill Murray doesn’t have an agent or a publicist. Filmmakers who want to offer him a part in a movie must call him — if they can track down the phone number — and leave a voice mail. He’ll go for weeks at a time without listening to those messa...
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EXCLUSIVE: Script Pages from the ‘Alien’ Prequel Gay Sex Scene!

Last week word got around that an Australian website called What's Playing had seen the script for Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel, and that it included a rather peculiar scene. Two human slaves, Fin and Karik, are terraforming under the command of so...
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Things That Could Theoretically Stop the Train from ‘Unstoppable’

"Unstoppable," the latest collaboration between director Tony Scott and actor Denzel Washington, invites scrutiny with its title. We know it’s about an out-of-control train filled with explosives that will destroy a city if it crashes. But “unstoppab...
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‘RED,’ As Written by David Mamet

One of the supporting roles in "RED" is played by Rebecca Pidgeon, who is married to David Mamet and primarily appears only in movies written and/or directed by him. When you see Rebecca Pidgeon in a film, you think David Mamet must be involved. As i...
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Top 10 Movies That I Am Thinking of Right Now

If you want to start a debate among movie fans, the easiest way is to ask, “What are the top 10 movies I’m thinking of right now?” Everyone’s going to have their own list of what movies I’m currently thinking of, and everyone’s going to defend that l...
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Explaining ‘Machete’ to Aliens Who Have Just Arrived from Outer Space

Welcome to Earth! Thank you for not killing us immediately. Ha ha, just a little joke there. We’ve made a lot of movies about what might happen if aliens came to visit us, and it usually doesn’t go well for us. Oh, you’ve seen some of our movies? ...
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Stallone-a-Thon: Daylight (1996)

In honor of Friday's release of "The Expendables," we're taking a week-long look at the action films of Sir Sylvester Stallone -- which is to say we're skipping his comedies. Out of respect. Title: "Daylight" Setting: A tunnel connecting Manhat...
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And Now We Imagine a Meeting Between Nicolas Cage and His Agent

AGENT: Hey, Nic, thanks for coming in. I — what the hell is that on your head? CAGE: It’s a bird, man! Have you seen that Photoshop on the Internet where they turned my hair into a bird? I thought it looked cool, so I had it done for real. AGEN...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘Grown Ups’

Our spies have once again discovered raw, uncensored footage of a pitch meeting held in Los Angeles, the result of which was the movie "Grown Ups," which opens June 25. Our spies are strangely prolific when it comes to finding this sort of thing. ...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘Killers’

It’s time once again to take you behind the scenes at the sausage factory, where the “sausage” is movies, and the “factory” is a studio executive’s conference room somewhere in Los Angeles, and the “pork” being ground into “sausage” is the hopes and ...
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Five Product Ideas Better Than Bella Swan’s Engagement Ring

Remember how you read "Eclipse" and wished that you were a teenage girl named Bella so that a vampire named Edward would give you a beautiful engagement ring like the one described in the book? I have good news! The people at Infinite Jewelry Co. — w...
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Why Cutting Megan Fox from ‘Transformers 3’ Is a Mistake

Nikke Finke, the reclusive and possibly fictional scoopmeister behind Deadline Hollywood, is reporting that Megan Fox will not be in "Transformers 3." (CNN confirms it.) Paramount has passed on its option to hire her for the sequel, and Finke's sourc...
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2010 Tribeca Film Festival Report

Some film festivals seek to champion low-budget independent films. Then there’s Tribeca, where this year’s opening-night feature was "Shrek Forever After." In its 9th edition, Tribeca is still finding its identity, trying to strike a balance betwe...
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2010 SXSW Reports

They like to kick off the South by Southwest Film Festival with a kick-ass movie, so it’s fortunate that this year, someone actually made a movie called "Kick-Ass." If ever a movie was designed for the SXSW crowd — mostly young, male, and slightly g...
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The Kind of Movie That Neil Marshall’s ‘Centurion’ Is

Last night about 150 lucky South By Southwesterners were the first audience in the world to see "Centurion," the bloody new action flick written and directed by Neil Marshall ("The Descent," "Doomsday"). It was one of SXSW's famed "secret screenings,...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘The Bounty Hunter’

When you saw the trailer for "The Bounty Hunter," your first thought was probably, “Why did the Oscars expand the Best Picture category to 10 nominees? They’re only gonna need one next year!!” But how does a movie this original and daring get made? W...
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My 2010 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 21) Let us hie to Utah's icy climes and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, held each January in the frozen, picturesque wasteland of Park City and founded by a friend of Paul Newman's named Robert Redford. This is one of the worl...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2009

Choosing 10 films for my list this year was easy. The hard part was deciding which film should be No. 1. Was I prepared to declare any of these fine movies unequivocally the Best Movie of 2009? But on the other hand, did I want to wuss out and do a lame alphabetical list? The answer to both questions was no.
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2009

This is a thing that I do. I keep track of all the movies, TV shows, and books I consume over the course of the year, then add them up and reflect upon them. Why would I post something like this, something that is clearly only of interest to me and n...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘Showgirls 2’

For some reason, a German man named Marc Vorlander is apparently making a sequel to the infamous 1995 laughingstock "Showgirls." Called "Showgirls: The Story of Hope," this chapter will focus on Hope, a minor character played by Rena Riffel in the or...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘The Proposal’

The trailer for "The Proposal" explains the plot very clearly: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, who hate each other, must pretend to be engaged in order to prevent her from being deported to Canada. It looks awful. Why would someone make such a form...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘My Sister’s Keeper’

On June 26, you’ll be able to see "My Sister’s Keeper," a tearjerker about a 13-year-old girl whose parents conceived her because their other daughter has leukemia and they thought it would be handy to have a genetic match lying around in case the le...
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The Pitch Meeting for ‘Dance Flick’

The Wayans Brothers’ spoof film "Dance Flick" finally opens this week after being pushed back from February, no doubt thrilling the 20 or so people who are looking forward to it, all of whom have the last name Wayans. For the rest of us, we thought i...
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Cinematical Exclusive: The Changes in Store for the Oscar Ceremony!

The producers of this Sunday's Academy Awards telecast have been vocal about their intentions to change some things about the show. But apart from hiring a non-comedian, Hugh Jackman, as the host, they've been silent on what those changes might be --...
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My 2009 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 15) Gentlemen, start your lesbians! The 2009 Sundance Film Festival has commenced in the quaint mountain town of Park City, Utah, with 120 independent features and goodness knows how many short films scheduled to play here over...
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Cinematical Exclusive: Variety’s Layoff Memo

News item: Showbiz trade publication Variety lays off 30 employees. Cinematical Exclusive: The memo Variety sent to the affected writers. BIZ RAG SACKS HACKS Dear journo: While your perf as a scribbler has been boffo with execs ever since...
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A Real Hotel for Dogs Would Pose Numerous Logistical Problems

Look, I can suspend my disbelief as much as the next guy, but I am having a seriously hard time accepting the concept of the new DreamWorks/Nickelodeon movie "Hotel for Dogs." A hotel for dogs??! Now I’ve heard everything! First of all, I quest...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2008

As 2008 gets taken off the Current Events shelf and moved to History, let us contemplate the seismic changes the year has brought us. The United States elected its first black president. The economy took its worst turn in decades. A stripper won a sc...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2008

For the fifth consecutive year, I kept careful track of everything I watched and read. As always, this inventory may not be of interest to anyone other than me, and you are excused if you don't want to read it. For the rest of you, it will be like be...
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Seven Outrageous Oscar Disqualifications

With the news that the musical score from "The Dark Knight" has been disqualified from Academy Awards consideration on the grounds that too many people were credited with composing it, outrage against the Academy's stringent, complicated rules has er...
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Fan Rant: Quit Tossing in Extra Scenes After the Movie’s Already Over

Cranky Eric© sez ... Hey, people who make movies: Stop putting scenes after the closing credits. If you want me to watch it, put it IN THE MOVIE, not after it. It has been well established that when a list of names starts scrolling up against ...
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My 2008 SXSW Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Friday, March 7): Yee-haw, dude! I am once again in Austin, capital city of Texas and hipster capital of the South, for the South By Southwest Film Festival. This is only my third time at SXSW, but it's already one of my favorite annual event...
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My 2008 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, January 17): Have 12 months really elapsed since the last time we cavorted in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival? A look at the calendar confirms it. And here we are again, movie critics, journalists, filmmakers, showbi...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2007

When 2007 began, some feared it would be a terrible year for movies, mostly because of the slew of "threequels" that threatened to dominate the summer. But as it turns out, 2007 was a fantastic movie year, one of the best in recent memory. For the mo...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2007

Whoever thought of measuring time in "years" is awesome! If time just continued endlessly, without starting over every 12 months or so, we'd be deprived of end-of-the-year features like this one. And then where would we be? This is simply my recou...
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An Open Letter to Eugene Levy

Dear Eugene Levy, First of all, understand that we love you. Ever since your days on "SCTV," you’ve made us laugh with your nerdy, larger-than-life characters. Your performances in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries — "Waiting for Guffman" and "...
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Fun with Bad Movie-Promotion Ideas

The Associated Press reported last week that a couple of Philadelphia TV hosts had apologized for a promotion that involved giving away a bullet-riddled jacket in conjunction with the movie "Shoot ‘Em Up." Such a promotion sounds only mildly tacky...
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‘Shoot ‘Em Up’: At Last, Truth in Movie Titling!

Editor’s Note: I hope you’ll enjoy a column from our newest writer, Eric D. Snider. Eric comes to us from a site cleverly named ericdsnider.com, but he’s been published in a number of venues including RottenTomatoes and EFilmCritic.com. His style is ...
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My 2007 SXSW Film Festival Diary

Day 1: Friday, March 9 Yee-haw! Throw a saddle on your cousin and paint a fence post! It's time for Austin's South by Southwest, the rootin'-est, tootin'-est film festival this side of the Mississippi! Actually, as I discovered last year -- and a...
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My 2007 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 18): Do not be alarmed! The powerful smell coming from the mountains of Park City, Utah, is not biochemical or toxic in nature. It is merely the vigorous scent of independent film! (Yes, it smells like profanity and lesbians.)...
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The Real World: Modern Mormonism as Found in ‘Mobsters and Mormons’ and ‘States of Grace’

This article was written on assignment for Irreantum, a literary journal published by the Association for Mormon Letters. It was never published, however, due to some managerial chaos that ensued after the journal's editor died unexpectedly in 2006. ...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2006

America has been the world's film capital for nearly as long as there have been movies, definitely in terms of popularity and arguably in terms of quality, too. (Countries with smaller film industries might have a better ratio of good-to-bad simply b...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2006

I love the end of the year! I love lists and best-ofs and recaps. So in that spirit, in 2004 I started keeping a daily log of what I watched and read, the better to facilitate a late-December summary of my media-consumption habits. As I said in 20...
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My 2006 SXSW Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Friday, March 10): Austin! Capital city of Texas, and one of the least Texas-y cities in the state, from what I'm told. You don't hear as many Texas accents as you'd expect, nor see as many cowboy hats and giant belt buckles, nor witness as m...
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My 2006 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 19): For some people, Sundance begins on a Thursday. Those people are called suckas. Day 1's activities are limited to one (1) screening of a specially selected "opening night" movie, in a big gala whoop-de-doo usually hosted b...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2005

This is the seventh year I've done a Top 10 list, and I've never had such difficulty choosing a No. 1. There were many good films this year, but nothing that stands out as the clear-cut winner. So while I'm happy with my No. 1 choice, the films in th...
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Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2005

For the second year in a row, I kept a "media diary" in 2005: a list of every TV show and movie I watched, every play I attended, and every book I read. This enables me to look back on my media diet and see what I was consuming. (The answer: "Jeopard...

My 2005 CineVegas Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Saturday, June 11): The most noticeable thing about Las Vegas is the heat. Some of the natives today were talking about how it's been "mild" so far this June, meaning it's only been around 90. Fiery Las Vegas hosts a film festival in June; th...
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My 2005 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005): The first day of Sundance is always a Thursday, and the only event is the opening-night film in Park City, which is preceded by a welcome address from festival founder and timid woodland creature Robert Redford. As a...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2004

There were 293 films released in Salt Lake City this year. I reviewed 245 of them. Of the 48 I missed, only one was a major release -- "Vanity Fair," for which I missed the press screening due to illness and never got around to watching thereafter --...
2004

Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2004

As Americans, we spend hundreds of hours a year consuming mass media. I am no exception. In fact, thanks to commercial-skipping technology and careful planning, sometimes I consume hundreds of hours of mass media in one day. But where is all that tim...
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My 2004 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004): The first day of Sundance is the big gala opening night special whoop-de-doo where Redford blabs for a few minutes about the importance of independent film, and then they show a movie. Except this year, they weren't ...
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The Best and Worst Movies of 2003

2003 was dominated by "Lord of the Rings," with "The Two Towers" occupying everyone's attention at the beginning, anticipation for "Return of the King" keeping us alive through the middle, and the actual viewing of "Return of the King" giving the yea...
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My 2003 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Day 1 (Thursday, Jan. 16, 2003): It was my fourth year of full-time festival coverage -- the advantage of being a member of the press in Utah -- but only the first time that I'd attended the opening gala in Salt Lake City. This is where people dress...