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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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When is It Okay to Get a Refund at the Movies?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 19, 2012 4:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Every once in a while this kind of story pops up for people to laugh or tweet the words "face palm" about: a moviegoer sees a film that wasn't what they expected, and they want their money back. Sometimes, as in the case of a woman who thought "Drive" was going to be like "The Fast and the Furious," they even sue. Many cinema chains have to please their patrons to avoid a bigger fuss (as a former theater manager, I know this very well), while heroic indie art houses get praise for denying refunds when the issue is just that someone was bored with "The Tree of Life."

Oscars for Animals? Rise of the Uggie the Dog and Andy Serkis Campaigns

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 1, 2011 9:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Continuing both my story on the great animal characters of 2011 and my story from August on Andy Serkis's Academy Award chances/worthiness, yesterday I wrote a Conversation roundup piece about the growing fan-based campaign for Uggie, the dog from "The Artist," and Fox's official push for Serkis for Best Supporting Actor for playing Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

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.

10 Movies to See Instead of "The Artist"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 23, 2011 1:03 PM
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  • 25 Comments
One of the most disappointing films for me this year is Michel Hazanavicius's "The Artist." As a fan of cinema of the '20s and '30s, the silent throwback is right up my alley, but I wanted more than just references and homage. Some people are saying it's not much different than what Quentin Tarantino does with grindhouse films, but I disagree. Tarantino takes inspiration from crude B movies and makes something brilliantly new. Hazanavicius takes inspiration from classic films and makes something familiar and unnecessary. There's nothing new to them in any way whatsoever. So what's the point? Let's just watch the films it borrows heavily from, or something else that's more innovative and/or inventive. Remember when we all pre-criticized "Avatar" for looking so derivative? At least it had some amazing spectacle in the end. "The Artist" is just kinda charming at best.

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