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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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"POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" is Not the Greatest

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 23, 2011 3:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Home Video

"The Beaver" Damns the American Sitcom Family With a Very Special (Major Depressive) Episode

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 23, 2011 2:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
This review was originally published May 5, 2011. It is being reposted for the home video release.
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"Win Win" is a Hilarious Comedy with a Very Winning Ensemble Cast

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 23, 2011 2:08 AM
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  • 2 Comments
This review was originally published on January 23, 2011, from the Sundance Film Festival. It is being reposted for its home video release.
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"Trollhunter" is a Fantastic, Fun and Potentially Accidental Satire

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 23, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
This review was originally posted from the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2011. It has been reposted for the film's home video release.
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The Originals: "Fright Night" Is Just Right for a Remake

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 16, 2011 4:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The originals is a regular column where we look at material being remade, adapted or otherwise recycled, particularly if the source was unfamiliar to us before announcement of the new version. This week we caught up with the original 1985 "Fright Night" in anticipation of Craig Gillespie's redo, out this Friday.

"Your Highness" Fails the Fantasy Fan, So Why Set It In That Genre?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 9, 2011 4:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments
What a perfect week for "Your Highness" to arrive on home video and remind us what a failure it was. James Franco stars in this past weekend's box office champ ("Rise of the Planet of the Apes"), which grossed nearly six times as much, while Danny McBride has a new movie out Friday ("30 Minutes or Less") that's getting pretty decent first marks. Meanwhile, indie debut "Bellflower" is a greater heir to a throne once sat in by David Gordon Green. Evan Glodell's gorgeously shot romance-turned-thriller is like "All the Real Girls" with bigger balls and a much darker outlook. Cynically speaking, Glodell may one day be directing period-set pot comedies, too. For now, though, it's Green's turn to be asked, "what were you thinking?"
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"Paul" Is a Road Comedy with Some Extraterrestrial Attitude

  • By Daniel Walber
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  • August 9, 2011 1:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
This review was originally published March 18, 2011. It has been reposted for its home video release.
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Urban Folklore Explosion With New Trailers for Docs "Resurrect Dead" and "Shut Up Little Man!"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 3, 2011 9:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Two like-minded documentaries premiered at Sundance this year -- both unfortunately without a lot of buzz -- that look into fascinating tales of urban myths. "Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles" is about an enigmatic phenomenon involving tile-based street art -- or is it less art, more a message for the future? "Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure" is a comparatively grounded journey back into the analog days of viral and memetic media to show how long it took for someone to become an underground, accidental celebrity in the days before YouTube. Each deals in pre-Internet materials like zines, cassette swaps, pirate radio, as well as the early days of online message boards. Two modern detective stories that are similarly about the end of an era of folklore, as much as their own respective puzzles.
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"Koran by Heart" Offers So Much More Than the Usual Competition Documentary

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 1, 2011 6:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Greg Barker's "Koran by Heart" is the latest in an ongoing stream of competition documentaries out this year. But calling it "'Spellbound' in Arabic," as Variety's John Anderson has done, is way too simple and obvious. Anderson does at least acknowledge in his review that the comparison, quoted slightly out of context for the marketing of the film, is indeed only the "shorthand" response. Even Barker claims it is "a competition film, first and foremost," but his doc goes above and beyond that genre, providing audiences with much to consider about the transnational compass of Islam, the followers of which are united by a religious text but may be separated by location, language, culture and interpretation.
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Documentary Classics: "Tarnation" is Better Appreciated With Age

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 26, 2011 8:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment
When I saw Jonathan Caouette's "Tarnation" for the first time (my Netflix history shows it as rented in June 2005), I found it to be a useless collage of self-indulgence and student-film artiness. I wasn't aware back then of the whole range of nonfiction film, that autobiographical documentary is such a populous genre and apparently enough people are interested in nobodies who make movies about their depressing lives. And admittedly I was probably a bit jealous. Why hadn't I thought to make an avant-garde memoir about my family that would simply involve editing home movie footage together on a gifted Mac? I love talking about myself, I had some hardships growing up, and though I didn't record improv monologues in drag at age 11, I do have some old tapes where I perform lip-synced concerts of Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" in its entirety.
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