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Film, Feature The Way We Die Now: Movie Violence Has Never Been Better

The Way We Die Now: Movie Violence Has Never Been Better

Part of the renascent body-count action industry, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning's mere existence might shock many Americans. "There are four Universal Soldier movies?" those shocked Americans would say. They might also be taken aback by the bracing violence that…
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Film, "Undefeated": Fails to Defeat Cliches

"Undefeated": Fails to Defeat Cliches

An inspirational sports tearjerker in distilled form, this new Harvey Weinstein-hawked doc lands in North Memphis, where the underfunded, all-black Manassas High School football team sucks wind so bad, they're a state joke. Enter white volunteer coach Bill Courtney and…
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Film, Oscars 2011: The Academy Goes for Safe Nominations

Oscars 2011: The Academy Goes for Safe Nominations

Paramount, distributor of David O. Russell's The Fighter, celebrated the helmer's Best Director Oscar nomination by placing a "For Your Consideration" ad on the cover of Variety, touting him as "the comeback of the year." It was an odd choice…
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Film, "Blue Valentine": Breaking up is hard to do

"Blue Valentine": Breaking up is hard to do

When the MPAA handed Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine an NC-17 rating this fall, cynics suggested that the so-called kiss of death was better publicity for the gently experimental marriage drama than anything famously crafty distributor Harvey Weinstein could buy. When…
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Film, Color Bland

Color Bland

There is nothing about Sky Blue that hasn't been done before, yet it all looks like nothing you've ever seen. It's a wondrous sight, this hybrid of computer-generated animation, conventional two-dimensional cell animation, and filmed sequences. But it's ponderous to…
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Film, Anatomy of a Sumbitch

Anatomy of a Sumbitch

Mark Brian Smith and Tony Montana's fascinating documentary Overnight is a kind of instructional video about how to fail in show biz. Actually, that's put too gently. It's really about willful self-immolation, about letting raw ego and crazy delusion run…
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Culture, Stuff Kung Fu'd

Kung Fu'd

Two years ago, Harvey Weinstein, who runs Miramax Films with an iron fist that no doubt smells of cigarettes and meat, bought a Hong Kong-made movie called Hero for $20 million. That is an extraordinary amount of money for a…
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