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Home » Articles »   By Michael Phillips
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Thursday, September 22,2011

Driven by fashion to mediocrity

By Michael Phillips
Drive begins extremely well and ends in a muddle of ultra-violence, hypocrisy and stylistic preening, which won’t be any sort of deterrent for those who like its looks.
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Thursday, September 15,2011

Karate chop to the throat

By Michael Phillips
The feverish mixed martial arts infomercial Warrior opens up so many cans of emotional whup-ass that after a while you think: Enough! It’s whupped! It’s whupped! And yet the tears will flow by the gallon.
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Thursday, September 8,2011

A thriller minus the thrills

By Michael Phillips
Chastain plays the Mirren character as a young agent, joining fellow Mossad agents played by Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington in the abduction of a Josef Mengele-like Nazi war criminal ( Jesper Christensen, straight from the Conrad Veidt school of theatrical villainy).
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Thursday, September 8,2011

Out with the old

By Michael Phillips
Sudeikis plays Eric, the ringleader. One by one, everyone gets on board with the plan for a final Labor Day weekend at Erics dads place on Long Island. Tyler Labine who may remind you sliiiiiiiightly of Jack Black if Jack Black werent, at his best, funny plays Erics best friend.
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Thursday, September 1,2011

Nothing to be afraid of

By Michael Phillips
When fantasy filmmaker Guillermo del Toro says he considers the 1973 made-for- TV movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark the scariest thing ever made for the medium, he’s not really talking about the teleplay itself.
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Thursday, September 1,2011

A pretty smart idiot

By Michael Phillips
Floating through life on a personal high only partly provided by cannabis, the bearded, Crocs-sporting, semiprofessional farmer specializing in organics (or rather, “biodynamics”) is played, winningly, by Paul Rudd in an enjoyable shamble of a picture called Our Idiot Brother.
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Thursday, August 25,2011

Frightful remake

By Michael Phillips
Plenty gory, but graced by a jovial sense of humor and an enjoyably guts-centric use of 3-D, director Craig Gillespie’s remake of the 1985 vampire film Fright Night may not tickle the fancies of those who have a close personal friendship with the older version. I have no such relationship.
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Thursday, August 25,2011

Many days in the life

By Michael Phillips
Like Same Time, Next Year with less guilt or When Harry Met Sally ... with a somewhat different ending, One Day pops in and out of the lives of characters played by Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess across two decades, spanning university graduation to older, wiser 40-dom.
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Thursday, August 18,2011

Fast and cheap

By Michael Phillips
Fast, cheap and out of control, and set in glamorous Grand Rapids, Mich., director Ruben Fleischer’s 30 Minutes or Less doesn’t even crack the 80-minute mark if you exclude the end credits. The same was true of Fleischer’s feature film debut, the very funny Zombieland, which contained more visual wit and kinetic energy than most action comedies we’re seeing lately.
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Thursday, July 28,2011

It (almost) never works

By Michael Phillips
This year, No Strings Attached presented Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher — a real actress co-starring with a chalk outline of a leading man — as two halves of a sustained casual fling inching toward love and a substantive relationship. Now, showcasing the hyperactively entertaining pair of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, we have the more interesting and energetic Friends With Benefits. We’re running out of titles for romantic comedies based on this premise. We’re Just Blanking may be the last one left.
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