Criticwire

'The Conjuring,' 'Beneath' and the Triumph of Old-School Horror

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 19, 2013 3:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Without effects or gimmicks, two movies get scares the old-fashioned way.

Barbed Wire: 'R.I.P.D.'

  • By Steve Greene
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  • July 19, 2013 12:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments
RIPD, Ryan Reynolds
"A half-hour into the film, and it feels like the eighth day of jury duty."

Early Feedback on Woody Allen's Latest: 'Blue Jasmine' is the Cate Blanchett Show

  • By Steve Greene
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  • July 18, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Blue Jasmine
Break out the happy clarinets! Critics are mostly in agreement that this is one of Allen's best in a while.

Roger Ebert Reviews 'Computer Chess' From the Great Beyond

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 18, 2013 9:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It's more been than three months since Roger Ebert passed away, but he's still filing copy from the great beyond. Ebert's site leads this morning with a previously unpublished review of Andrew Bujalski's Computer Chess, and the site's new editor, Matt Zoller Seitz, tells Criticwire there are more to come.

First Reviews of 'The Wolverine'

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 17, 2013 12:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The first-reviews of The Wolverine, which sends Hugh Jackman's adamantine-clawed X-Man to Japan -- apparently to get as far away from X-Men Origins: Wolverine as possible -- have started to trickle in, and if you were hoping for a movie that's slightly better than the first Wolverine movie but not as good as the better X-Men films, you're apparently in luck. Mixed-to-negative takes outnumber the few positive ones, but both sides seem to agree that The Wolverine is a departure from recent comic-book movies, though they split on whether this represents a welcome change of pace or a regression to the bad old days.

The Matter-of-Fact Multiculturalism of 'Turbo'

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 17, 2013 11:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The reviews for Turbo, DreamWorks' animated tale of a snail with a dream to race in the Indy 500, are in, and for the most part, well, "lukewarm" would be overselling them. As City Weeklys Scott Renshaw put it on Twitter, "Turbo strives for nothing, says nothing, accomplishes nothing. It's not 'bad.' It simply is."

How Trayvon Martin's Death Highlights the Flaws in 'Fruitvale Station'

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 16, 2013 4:13 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Even before the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case came down, critics were drawing parallels between Martin, who was shot dead by Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, and Oscar Grant, who on New Year's Day, 2009 was shot dead by a Bay Area transit officer while he was lying face down on a subway platform. Grant's story is national news not because of new developments -- officer Johannes Mehserle, who said he thought he was firing his newly issued Taser, received a two-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter and was released in June of 2011; federal civil-rights charges against him are pending -- but because of Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler’s docufictional account of Grant’s last 24 hours on earth.

'Let Them Wear Towels' Profiles the Female Sportswriters Who Broke the Locker-Room Bar

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 16, 2013 1:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's Let Them Wear Towels, a documentary about the first women allowed into the locker rooms of pro sports teams.

Lianne Spiderbaby Plagiarism Inspires Anger, Sorrow

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 16, 2013 11:34 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The latest film writer to be caught stealing others' work is Liane "Spiderbaby" MacDougall, or, as mainstream news outlets have taken to calling her, "Quentin Tarantino's girlfriend." The news started to circulate over the weekend that MacDougall had lifted from several writers in pieces on her own website and at Fearnet. (The offending pieces have been removed, and any trace of MacDougall's existence has been scrubbed from Fearnet's site.) Defamer has a detailed timeline of how MacDougall backtracked, apologized, and then went underground, disabling her website and deleting her Twitter account.

Here There Be Monsters: Why Hollywood Should Keep Destroying Cities

  • By Sam Adams
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  • July 15, 2013 4:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Critics have attacked this summer's blockbusters for exploiting 9/11. But what else are we afraid of?

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