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Film, "John Dies at the End": Energetic and Full of Ideas

"John Dies at the End": Energetic and Full of Ideas

Director Don Coscarelli hasn't made many movies since his 1979 breakthrough, Phantasm, but they're usually worth the wait. Arriving a decade after the fan favorite Bubba Ho-Tep, Coscarelli's new horror-comedy, John Dies at the End, amps up the go-for-broke weirdness…
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Film, "Win Win": Paul Giamatti Dully Wrestles with Middle Age

"Win Win": Paul Giamatti Dully Wrestles with Middle Age

Paul Giamatti continues contemporary cinema's longest pre-midlife crisis in Win Win as Mike, yet another schlubby fortysomething flummoxed by mundane personal problems. Mike is the coach of the county's worst high school wrestling team, and his failing small-town law practice…
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Film, "Barney's Version": Mordecai Richler gets a downgrade

"Barney's Version": Mordecai Richler gets a downgrade

The late Canadian writer Mordecai Richler, best known south of the border for the film version of his 1959 novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, was a bellicose practitioner of Jewish fiction in the manner of Philip Roth and Saul…
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Film, Paul Giamatti's wit is the heart of <i>Cold Souls</i>

Paul Giamatti's wit is the heart of Cold Souls

Sophie Barthes' clever metaphysical comedy Cold Souls has been dubbed Being Paul Giamatti more than once since its Sundance 2009 debut. But if comparisons to the films of Charlie Kaufman are inevitable, the similarities only go so far. Sure, Paul…
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Calendar, Night&Day Soul Man

Soul Man

Sophie Barthes's clever metaphysical comedy Cold Souls has been dubbed "Being Paul Giamatti" more than once since its Sundance 2009 debut. But if comparisons to the films of Charlie Kaufman are inevitable, the similarities only go so far. Sure, Paul…
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Film, Film Feature

Recession Fest

What is the shape and size of a human soul? Does it look like a chickpea? A gumdrop? A pet rock? And if you could somehow extract your soul from your body, what would be left? Would you still be…
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Film, All Wet

All Wet

It would be a mighty sweet thing to see M. Night Shyamalan as the great redemptive storyteller he clearly thinks he is — or as he portrays himself in those American Express commercials. Genuine yarn-spinning, even as a doomed ambition,…
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Dining, Eat Whining and Dining

Whining and Dining

"This is my favorite movie of the year," I realized as I watched Sideways for the third time with the same sense of delight and pleasure as I had the first time, six weeks earlier, at the Toronto Film Festival.…
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Film, Sour Grapes

Sour Grapes

When was the last time you saw Paul Giamatti? And when the film ended, did you realize how much you would miss him? It was just last year that Giamatti played the hilariously beleaguered Harvey Pekar in American Splendor, a…
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