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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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Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with Sidney Poitier

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • May 3, 2011 6:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Last night, Sidney Poitier was honored at Lincoln Center, where he received this year's Charlie Chaplin Award. Coincidentally, it's also Teacher Appreciation Week in America. Specifically today is Teacher's Day. As Morgan Freeman recognized on stage at Alice Tully Hall, Poitier played a teacher in many films ("but he was also a real life 'teacher' for so many," Freeman noted), so what better time to watch some of his films and what better way to celebrate the occasion -- outside of thanking your teachers and maybe giving them a gift or whatever you're supposed to do.

Short Starts: "Thor" Star Chris Hemsworth in "Ollie Klublershturf vs. The Nazis"

  • By Daniel Walber
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  • May 2, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
This short film opens with a fart joke. It’s not really even a joke so much as an enormous fart noise and a reaction shot, which set things off to an abrupt and jarring start. While beginning with this sort of sophomoric humor isn’t exactly a good sign, the rest of the short more than makes up for it. “Ollie Klublershturf vs. the Nazis” is a hilarious and eccentric piece of time travel comedy that is not just conscious of its own absurdity, but runs with it. Written by Damon Lindelof (of “Lost” fame), it stars a small cast with great comic timing and chemistry, including a clean-cut Chris Hemsworth as a Nazi in disguise.
More: Full Films

10 Terrific Shorts from the Tribeca Film Festival

  • By Daniel Walber
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  • April 30, 2011 6:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I have spent much of the week tweeting that I've been more consistently impressed with Tribeca’s shorts line-up than by their mixed bag of features. The collection of shorts includes a variety of narrative, documentary and experimental works stretched over eight programs, each of which offers a unique assortment of talent. After watching over 50 of them, I’ve put together some of my favorites: five that you can watch online now and five to look forward to as these films pick up steam and perhaps make it to theaters or the web in the near future.
More: Full Films

Spout About: "Fast Five" Homoeroticism; Shakepeare's "Terminator"; Werner Herzog's Best Voiceovers

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • April 29, 2011 3:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I'm genuinely intrigued to see "Fast Five" strictly for its representation of Rio, mainly because it looks like more favela-focused poverty porn in the trailers and clips. How does it compare to the city's image in "Rio," which the "Fast and the Furious" sequel will be competing against this weekend? Alas, nobody is talking about location depictions on opening day. They're all too concerned with the homoeroticism of "Fast Five" instead. Yesterday I linked to a list from IFC's Matt Singer ranking the new film's best lines hinting at a subtext. But there's also Jeff Wells' focused quoting on "The Gayness" illustrated in Manohla Dargis' NY Times review. Cassie Carpenter at NextMovie notes that the original film is still the most homoerotic, complete with an "ex-boyfriend" for Vin Diesel. But Jordan Raup of The Film Stage thinks The Rock's visit to the franchise makes it the gayest yet:Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Diesel’s perpetually sweaty foe, FBI agent Hobbs. It is the ultimate homoerotic match-up that has graced the screen in quite some time, a feat The Expendables could only dream of. Even their meet cute is something to be admired, a face-to-face thrown-down of unfiltered masculinity.David Camp On Film says nearly the same thing. Rolling Stone's Richard Travers sees a "display of homoerotic porn," Ivan Radford at I-Flicks says the homoeroticism is at a new level in a franchise "already balls-deep in man foam." Surely there are and will be more comments like these.

Anyone Remember "The Wraith"? See Charlie Sheen as a Fast and Furious Ghost

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • April 28, 2011 9:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments
I'm anxious to see how "Fast Five" works so well (according to many critics), in spite of it seeming so familiar, whether within the context of its own franchise or in its apparent transition towards more of a straight heist flick (and the next film is supposedly headed even more into that genre). As much as I joke that I'm waiting for the gang to blast out of orbit for some spaceship racing (as per this pitch I suggested last year), it's nice when a franchise can stay reasonably grounded and consistent while making some slight changes along the way. That said, I'm also certain that I'd love a "Fast and the Furious" sequel that brought Charlie Sheen in as a phantom driver, a la the little-remembered movie "The Wraith."

Sundance Stories of Yore: "Slacker"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 12, 2009 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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