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Music, All Shook Down Last Week: Slash's Return, Rollins' Cleaver and Kanye's Audition

Last Week: Slash's Return, Rollins' Cleaver and Kanye's Audition

It's time to take cover San Francisco because we're pretty sure hell just froze over. Almost everything this week has been incredibly unlikely — from the length of Henry Rollins' kill list, through Guns N' Roses getting the old…
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Film, "Blue Ruin": Revenge Requires Investment

"Blue Ruin": Revenge Requires Investment

The leading man of Jeremy Saulnier's mesmerizing Blue Ruin is not the kind of actor who usually gets to anchor a motion picture, let alone a violent revenge picture, and that's part of what makes the movie work. We're introduced…
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Film, "White House Down": By God, Action Movies Can Be Fun Again

"White House Down": By God, Action Movies Can Be Fun Again

"Die Hard in the White House" seems like an obvious movie pitch, but it took 25 years for effects technology (and the Québec Film Production Services Tax Credit) to allow Roland Emmerich to make the deeply goofy yet surprisingly entertaining…
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Calendar, Night&Day Snakeskin Suit

Snakeskin Suit

The recent G.I. Joe movie was an overproduced bore, filled with special effects but missing a story. It also lacked the silly but infectious Reagan-era nationalism that characterized the animated series of the 1980s – as well as its groan-worthy…
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Film, "10 Years": Reeling in the Aughts

"10 Years": Reeling in the Aughts

An amiable, seriocomic high-school-reunion movie, 10 Years succeeds in pulling off a fine varsity talent show. Although some performers, notably Channing Tatum, who also produced, and Ari Graynor, are more appealing than others, the film is admirably consistent in its…
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Film, "Magic Mike": A Star Is Bared

"Magic Mike": A Star Is Bared

When Channing Tatum stood up and revealed his bare ass to the camera a minute or two into Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike — which the actor conceived of and produced based on his own experience as a teenage dancer in…
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Film, "21 Jump Street": Yes, Channing Tatum Can Be Funny

"21 Jump Street": Yes, Channing Tatum Can Be Funny

The television show 21 Jump Street, about cops who go undercover as high schoolers, debuted on Fox in 1987 and ran until 1991. As a sign of the progress made since the Reagan-Bush era, the mixed-bag, big-screen 21 Jump Street…
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Film, "The Vow": Love Story Moves Despite Cliches

"The Vow": Love Story Moves Despite Cliches

A young married couple, Leo and Paige (Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams), are rear-ended on a snowy Chicago night. He's all right, but she comes to with no memory of the past half-decade. These have been years of significant change.…
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Film, "Haywire": Soderbergh and His MMA Star Make an Impact

"Haywire": Soderbergh and His MMA Star Make an Impact

Haywire's plot is boilerplate triple-cross, cloak-and-dagger stuff — but the action choreography by director Steven Soderbergh and MMA fighter Gina Carano puts the impact back into screen violence. After a setup, ex-Marine Mallory Kane (Carano) goes rogue from her job…
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Film, Hello, sophomore slump: Dito Montiel's <i>Fighting</i> lacks punch (among other things)

Hello, sophomore slump: Dito Montiel's Fighting lacks punch (among other things)

Writing about A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, the 2006 debut film by director Dito Montiel, I likened it to the sort of crude but fascinating object one might find in an exhibition of naif art. Adapted by Montiel —…
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Film, Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Snort a few lines of Fame, screen Save the Last Dance a couple of times, and channel what you've learned through the bad-ass pose of a second-rate Eminem and you get Step Up, a dance romance with the originality of…
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