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Film, "Alan Partridge": In Which the British Once Again Try to Reach Us With Their "Humor"

"Alan Partridge": In Which the British Once Again Try to Reach Us With Their "Humor"

After a failed attempt to break into the American comedy mainstream with 2008's Hamlet 2, British actor Steve Coogan has gained a higher profile in America through more dramatic films, such as What Maisie Knew and especially Philomena. But the…
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Film, "Our Idiot Brother": Predictable and Shallow Indie Ensemble Comedy

"Our Idiot Brother": Predictable and Shallow Indie Ensemble Comedy

In Jesse Peretz' Our Idiot Brother, Paul Rudd plays Ned, a kind of upstate New York version of "The Dude" Lebowski — a man out of time, blinkered enough to be living the hippie dream. In the film's first scene,…
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Film, "The Trip": Road Film with Brit Comics Drolly Charms

"The Trip": Road Film with Brit Comics Drolly Charms

Cobbled together from a six-part BBC2 miniseries telecast last fall, The Trip is a talkative faux-reality road film largely improvised by funnymen Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing versions of themselves, under the direction of Michael Winterbottom. When his American…
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Film, Steve Coogan on Playing "Steve Coogan"

Steve Coogan on Playing "Steve Coogan"

Steve Coogan sells himself with disclaimers. He's calling from New York to talk about his new film, The Trip, which began life as a six-episode, highly improvised BBC series. "On paper," he admits, "it's a very difficult thing to get…
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Film, Not to Be

Not to Be

In its final 10 minutes, Hamlet 2 is little more than chaos, noise, and nonsense. Those are 10 perfectly enjoyable minutes: It's hard to knock any sequence that climaxes with a musical number titled "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus," done up…
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Film, <i>Shandy</i> Everybody Wants

Shandy Everybody Wants

It should be too early in the year to expect a good movie, let alone a great one; anything released prior to the Oscars is bound to be forgotten by spring. Yet here it is, the first -- dare we…
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Film, <i>Happy </i>Surprise

Happy Surprise

If for no other reason, Happy Endings deserves its soft spot in our collective hearts for rescuing Tom Arnold from the where-are-they-now? scrapheap. The former Mr. Roseanne Barr plays Frank, a widower who falls for and sleeps with his son's…
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Film, Feels Like 80 Days

Feels Like 80 Days

You might think that with the technological advances in moviemaking since 1956, this new version of Around the World in 80 Days would at least look better than its predecessor did. You could not be faulted for believing you'd be…
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