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We spout opinion, comment on the current zeitgeist and overanalyze pop culture and mainstream movies. Whether in the form of lists, survey questions or straight editorials, we hope to make thinking deeply about film a fun and stimulating activity for all.

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Is "The Muppets" a True Muppet Movie?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 28, 2011 12:33 PM
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  • 26 Comments
I finally caught "The Muppets" over the long weekend, and while I did enjoy a lot of it, I was bothered by how little it actually qualifies as a true Muppet movie. How so, if the film does feature Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie the Bear and the rest of the gang (minus Rizzo, sadly)? Well, the Muppets are really just costars, supporting roles in a Jason Segel film rather than the main characters of their own. Some, like the barely present Rolf, seem as much to be celebrities making cameos as do Neil Patrick Harris and Selena Gomez.

One Little Problem with "Hugo" (Spoilers)

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 25, 2011 9:10 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Let me start off by saying that I love Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." It's the perfect blend of "Amelie" and "The Sandlot" and "Cinema Paradiso" and the spirits of Charles Dickens and Jules Verne and of course the works of George Méliès and the rest of film's origins. But there is one little problem I have with the movie, and it's hard to make a fuss about it but when a movie is this wonderful the seemingly minor negative elements taunt you until you get them out in the open. So this discussion is a real necessity for me as a fan of this film and cinema in general. I'm not trying to be a complaining jerk about it. I swear.

"Becoming Santa" is a Wonderful Start to the Holiday Season -- Even for Cynics, Grinches and Scrooges

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 15, 2011 5:45 PM
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  • 2 Comments
With a title like “Becoming Santa,” Jeff Myers and Jack Sanderson’s crowd-pleasing new film sounds like a Hollywood comedy about a regular guy who takes on the role of Santa Claus.  And that’s almost what it is, minus the Hollywood part, but don’t confuse this for a Tim Allen vehicle. Instead it’s a wonderful documentary about the Christmas mascot and what it takes to represent him to kids -- sorry, I mean children -- all over the world.

10 Memorable Diabetic Movie Characters - In Honor of World Diabetes Day

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 14, 2011 11:22 AM
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  • 4 Comments
20 years ago, World Diabetes Day was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization "in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses." It is held every November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, one of the men credited with discovering insulin.

Morning Pour: Veterans Day 2011 Edition

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 11, 2011 11:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Morning Pour is your daily stop for quick links, news commentary and trend-spotting. Here are your ten topics for this Veterans Day, November 11, 2011:

Which Documentary Should Get a Sequel?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 11, 2011 2:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment
As I noted in my latest Doc Talk column at Movies.com, we will have seen at least seven documentary sequels bow in 2011 (see the titles profiled in my column). That's still well short of the record number of fiction follow-ups we're experiencing this year, but it still seems nonfiction cinema has contracted a case of sequelitis. On the horizon are sequels to major titles like "GasLand," "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" (in dramatized form), "Cosmos" and "Becoming Chaz," as well as the latest entry in Michael Apted's "Up" series.

"Fake It So Real" Observes the Truth and False Fronts of Pro Wrestling and Macho Men

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 25, 2011 4:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Robert Greene's new vérité wrestling film, "Fake It So Real," kind of has a catchphrase, which is fascinating because I can't recall the last documentary I saw that has one. Unfortunately, this phrase is possibly alienating to homosexuals. It's complicated because the offense stems from the world being observed, and to an extent it's probably intended as a kind of innocent self-satire to begin with, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. Not the film, which is simply a window through which we witness the unsurprisingly homophobic indie pro wrestling scene in North Carolina, at least not at first. While watching it, though, I tweeted that I was doing so, and later I was re-tweeted by someone who added a double shot of this apparent 'memorable quote' from the doc: "Solar is gay!"

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