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Review: 'High School' With Adrien Brody Is Your Standard-Issue Stoner Comedy

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 1, 2012 3:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments
There’s a long and underwhelming tradition of marijuana-fueled comedies, some overt, others less so. Even as the subgenre ages, however, it’s impossible to note the lowered aspirations of filmmakers each time out, as “pot” comedy has become part of a genre where increasingly timid filmmakers merely check off boxes in lieu of embracing the kind of irreverence that comes with the use of controlled substances. By the self-consciously layered title, you can guess where “High School” falls on this spectrum.

Review: 'Piranha 3DD' Dutifully Fails To Be In On The Joke

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 31, 2012 2:19 PM
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  • 11 Comments
If you're gonna go for it, go for it. That was the philosophy Alexandre Aja pursued for the bleakly funny "Piranha 3D," an orgy of death and dismemberment that indulged in the hedonism of spring break before letting loose swarms of genetically-superior fish that were decidedly playing for keeps. As much as Aja's characters had tongue firmly planted in cheek (see: Jerry O'Connell as Joe Francis), his committment to tearing these characters apart like cheap confetti never wavered, orchestrating a straight-faced massacre that might as well have been "Saving Private Ryan" for the "Jersey Shore" generation. Aja, like the piranhas, saw the youth of today and tasted blood in the water, not so much with a smile as much as a predatory grin.

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