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Culture, The Exhibitionist Ramin Bahrani's <i>At Any Price</i>: A Film About the Quiet Desperation of the American Farmer

Ramin Bahrani's At Any Price: A Film About the Quiet Desperation of the American Farmer

Inspiration for Ramin Bahrani's latest film, At Any Price, came from reading food expert Michael Pollan's bestselling books, such as The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. Bahrani, touted by the late, great film critic Roger Ebert as "director…
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Film, "At Any Price": Death of a Corn Salesman

"At Any Price": Death of a Corn Salesman

Ramin Bahrani's exercise in miserablism At Any Price wants to be about many things, but the overriding theme is that being a family farmer in today's America really sucks. While that's no great revelation, the struggles of corn farmer and…
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Film, "Movie 43": Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest

"Movie 43": Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest

Aptly framed as a hostage-situation film pitch, overseer Peter Farrelly's hodgepodge of roughly collated sketches starts with a bottomed-out director (Dennis Quaid) pulling a gun on some milquetoast studio functionary (Greg Kinnear) and riffing out absurd and obscene ideas. These…
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Calendar, Night&Day Power to the Pedals

Power to the Pedals

Bicycling has its share of classic films, but it’s a small share — A Sunday in Hell, Road to Roubaix, and Breaking Away if you’re into Dennis Quaid's short-shorts. The Bicycle Film Festival always tips its protective headgear to these,…
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Film, <i>Smart</i> <i>People</i> Depicts Dumbass Brainiacs

Smart People Depicts Dumbass Brainiacs

Smart people got no reason to live — and, sure, that's not quite how Randy Newman sang it, but the point still stands. Because in Noam Murro's directorial bow — one of those Sundance premieres starring famous people slumming it…
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Film, <i>Vantage Point</i> Blocks View of a Good Terrorism Movie

Vantage Point Blocks View of a Good Terrorism Movie

Remember the 1985 movie version of the Parker Brothers whodunit board game Clue, with its pre-DVD-era gimmick of multiple endings? Well, Vantage Point is like that, only instead of multiple endings, it gives us multiple beginnings. Oh, and Vantage Point,…
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Calendar, Night&Day Capacitor Gets It Right

Capacitor Gets It Right

While the world's many environmental crises provide a trusty source of emotional poignancy for the art and entertainment industry, it's generally inadvisable to look to screen or stage for the critical facts. (This applies to those of you feeling smug…
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Film, Tube Boobs

Tube Boobs

Wanna knock the prez? Let's make a show ... preferably on television. Paul Weitz's new satire American Dreamz imagines the Bush regime as an episode in the history of American entertainment and American Idol as the quintessence of U.S. democracy.…
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Film, All Yours

All Yours

Most movies intend to entertain or inform us, or maybe take our minds momentarily off personal problems -- that bullet-riddled body in the trunk, say, or Aunt Edna's arrest for shoplifting doughnuts. Presumably, no picture really means to make an…
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Film, About a Man

About a Man

Paul Weitz, with brother Chris, co-wrote and co-directed 2002's adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel About a Boy, in which a cocky grown man (Hugh Grant) learned how to act like a grown man by observing a gawky young boy (Nicholas…
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Film, Super Sunday

Super Sunday

Let's hear it for sports movies! The most avid sports fan can occasionally be bored by lackluster games, but even the casual spectator can appreciate what the big screen can do for an athletic contest, even one played by actors…
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