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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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Death of the Comic Book Movie, Extinction of the Ewoks, Memorializing the Vietnam War Movie and More

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 12, 2011 3:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments
-Happy Birthday to actress Luise Rainer ("The Good Earth"). She turns 101 today!

"Catcher in the Rye" Adapted, "Plan 9 From Outer Space" Remade, "TRON: Legacy" vs "Avatar" and More

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 11, 2011 2:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Banksy's "Save or Delete Jungle Book" (above) goes up for auction in London today. The poster was created for a deforestation campaign but never used. "The Catcher in the Rye" was adapted into a movie a few years ago? Yes, but it doesn't ruin how you imagine Holden Caulfield's adventure. It's just 75 minutes of blue screen. The trailer will give you the idea.Dan Hopper at Best Week Ever wants to know why everyone accepts "TRON: Legacy" as a lesser film than "Avatar":Clearly, Avatar was more of a right-place, right-time release from a giant name with absolutely invincible Hollywood momentum behind it, while Tron was widely viewed as a nice-looking but unrevolutionary special effects-driven Disney remake. I personally enjoyed Tron far more, and while I can completely accept that not everyone else did, I’m still absolutely bowled over by how completely differently these two “awesome-looking, questionable plot” films were received by the masses. Is it acceptable to say “This film looked great and I loved it, even though the story was kind of dumb,” or isn’t it? And how did this standard completely reverse itself in the span of a year? Or was Avatar really that great and Tron really that poor and I’m completely and utterly off-base? Anomalous Material's '7 Actors Better Off As Second Fiddle' celebrates actors like Zach Galifianakis, Cillian Murphy and Ed Harris as being better in supporting roles than leads. From the section on John C. Reilly:John C. Reilly can be an extraordinarily funny complementary piece. While Reilly has played lead roles competently in movies such as Cirque Du Freak and Walk Hard, those two movies were massive box office flops that demonstrated that he simply doesn’t have the star power required to highlight a movie.Though neither of these were blockbusters, I'd offer "Hard Eight" and "Cyrus" as proof Reilly can hold his own in the lead slot.

The Originals: "The Green Hornet" Serials

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 10, 2011 7:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I've been watching the old "Green Hornet" serial films from 1940 and am quite addicted midway through, though in time I could see myself getting tired of the basic formula repeated in each episode. Good thing there are only 13 chapters to the first run, I guess. The dialogue was initially way too expository, horrible yet understandable coming from a radio serial source, in which verbal exposition is more necessary than it is in cinema. But as is the case with any serial, good or bad, "The Green Hornet" easily hooks you as long as you stick with each part until the explosive cliffhanger. However, this is why even at only 20-21 minutes, the films also have to keep you interested in the middle as much as at the end.

Video: "Namor: The Sub-Mariner" Starring Dwayne Johnson and Bill Murray

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 10, 2011 2:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I'm posting this months-old fan-made trailer for a 3-D "Namor: The Sub-Mariner" because it's so well done that I don't even want an actual "Namor" movie now. Just like I was feeling after that fake "Thundercats" trailer hit a while back, I don't think Hollywood could actually make a real version that's as good, let alone better. Most comic-book movie trailers give away too much anyway, as if they were features abridged into shorts, so by being a faithfully bad trailer for a movie that doesn't exist, it's already a sufficient look at what we'd get as a feature.

See More Real Life Superheroes in the Documentary "Superheroes"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 6, 2011 4:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I'm pretty shocked at how popular the story on real-life superhero Phoenix Jones was this week. Similar news about actual "Kick-Ass" types were all over the Internet last year with less notice outside of the movie blogs (and these costumed civilians have been gaining in numbers for years). For some reason Jones' recent thwarting of a car theft is getting more exposure. But it is a good time for such a story. While last year's release of "Kick-Ass" was timely for other news, this time we can look to a new documentary simply titled "Superheroes" for a cinematic connection.

Video: "Filmography 2010" -- The Best Movie Clip Montage of the Year

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 14, 2010 3:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Looking at those Golden Globe nominees this morning made me forget that 2010 was really a great year at the movies. Maybe it's because I've only seen a few of the ten Best Picture contenders and only truly loved one of them ("The King's Speech" -- clearly I'm becoming old and soft). Maybe it's because I especially don't like the front runner in the Comedy/Musical group and I am pretty certain there were at least a couple comedies better than "Red" of all things. Maybe it's because the HFPA's lack of an award for documentary is this year more disappointing and out of touch than ever.

"Green Lantern" Trailer: Concerns and Excitement From Around the Web

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 18, 2010 6:16 AM
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  • 3 Comments
When the "Green Lantern" trailer showed up online the other day, immediate reactions seemed so negative I thought we might have another "Avatar" on our hands. As in, here's a highly anticipated movie that's easily crapped on in initial ad form but which will end up making a lot of, well, green. Personally, I thought the movie looked like the worst comic book-based superhero movie since Roger Corman's "Fantastic Four," but that was a little harsh, even for me. In reality it's more like the 2005 "Fantastic Four," which still isn't great, but it's the best we can hope for with a movie that sends Ryan Reynolds back to "Van Wilder" territory and then covers him in CG magic.

5 More Actresses to Consider for the Female Roles in "The Dark Knight Rising"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 12, 2010 7:12 AM
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  • 2 Comments
We're once again teasingly treated to a casting shortlist, this one for two female roles in Christopher Nolan's next Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." According to Deadline, the names up for contention for either Bruce Wayne's love interest or an unnamed villain are as follows: Natalie Portman; Blake Lively; Rachel Weisz; Anne Hathaway; Naomi Watts; Keira Knightley. If I had to guess and/or choose, I'd pick Lively as the love interest, because I don't see the others being wasted in that capacity nor do I see her as villain material just yet. And I'd go for Weisz as the villain, especially if -- though unlikely -- the part is Catwoman. Not just because she'd been rumored for that very character two years ago, but because she was also the preferred choice back when her (now ex) boyfriend, Darren Aronofsky, was planning a Batman movie.

"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" Released on DVD. Will the Mainstream Embrace it Now?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 9, 2010 6:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
While "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" was playing to a disappointingly small audience upon its release this past summer, many movie geeks predicted that when the film hit home video and mainstream audiences "discovered" it there/then that these people would admit they wish they'd seen it in theaters. I disagreed at the time partly because I don't think a lot of those viewers care what format they see most films in. But now I'm also wondering if the mainstream audience will even "discover" and embrace the comic book adaptation the way a lot of bloggers hopefully and scornfully presume. It could be a while before we see just how big a hit "Scott Pilgrim" is on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD/etc. and just how may new fans it acquires (the first week of sales/rentals will likely consist predominantly of those devout followers who've already seen it, once or multiple times). But it doesn't matter. I don't imagine "Scott Pilgrim" becoming a widely accepted classic anymore than I see any of the other recent gushing-geek favorites ("Watchmen," for instance) doing so.

Were the 1990s the Worst Time for Comic Book Movies?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 8, 2010 4:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments
I won't bore anyone with my gushing appreciation for "Dick Tracy," and not just because it's been such a long time since I saw the film and I'm admittedly running on the fumes of a twenty year memory, and I don't need to go into how the list really needs mention of "The Rocketeer," the Roger Corman "Fantastic Four" adaptation and the TV movie "Archie: To Riverdale and Back," but I must take minor issue with Den of Geek's piece from last Friday recognizing the low quality of 1990s comic book movies. From the intro:

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