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Chaos Theory: An Unofficial History of the Modern Superhero Film

The sad fact is that almost nobody making superhero movies has any idea what they're doing. There's no proven formula for success in the genre, so any given successful superhero film is only proof of what works in the present, not what will work again.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • December 30, 2013 1:15 PM
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  • 4 Comments

The Best Romantic Comedies of the Last Twenty Years

In making this list of the best, or maybe just my favorite, romantic comedies of the last twenty years, editors Matt Zoller Seitz and Max Winter and I set out to make clear goalposts. The list would be as inclusive as our memories and subjective tastes would allow.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • February 14, 2013 10:25 AM
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  • 22 Comments

The Technology, the Art, and the Ethics of Watching: Talking With Brian De Palma at Toronto

"I suffer from the fact that people have so many preconceptions about the kinds of movies I make," Brian De Palma lamented, "that they don't really look at what's on the screen."
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • September 13, 2012 9:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SIMON SAYS: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON VIOLENCE, HUMOR, AND IDENTITY

"Human nature is violent," William Friedkin tells me, going on to say that he also likes Immanuel Kant's phrase "the crooked timber of humanity." As an artist, Friedkin is as blunt, matter-of-fact and masterfully cynical as his initial statement suggests.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 26, 2012 9:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, But Not Quite High Enough

"The Dark Knight Rises" is a half-baked success, a finale whose ambitions ultimately exceed the Nolan brothers' abilities.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 20, 2012 9:39 AM
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  • 6 Comments

TEN BAT-TAKES: THE TEN BEST INTERPRETATIONS OF BATMAN

No matter how much Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego have changed over the decades, Batman's various incarnations are all related.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 19, 2012 9:38 AM
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  • 5 Comments

SIMON SAYS: Could TRISHNA Really Be a Michael Winterbottom Film?

If you sat down to watch "Trishna," a modern-day adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" reset in contemporary India, and didn't already know that it was directed by Michael Winterbottom, you probably couldn't tell.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 12, 2012 9:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

SIMON SAYS: Local Heroes: The New York Asian Film Festival Strikes Again (And Again, And Again)

The New York Asian Film Festival, now a pop culture institution unto itself, started eleven years ago.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 5, 2012 8:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SIMON SAYS: MAGIC MIKE and the Camera

Steven Soderbergh's recent use of digital photography in "Contagion" (2011) and "The Girlfriend Experience" (2009) has a painterly quality. In "Magic Mike," Soderbergh's visual flourishes establish concerns better than anything his characters say.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 28, 2012 9:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SIMON SAYS: The Roberto Benigni Problem

The imminent release of "To Rome with Love," the latest movie directed and written by Woody Allen, should have you wondering the following: what exactly do people see in Roberto Benigni, and why has his career sustained itself for as long as it has?
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 21, 2012 9:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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