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Movie Review: BLACK SWAN

BLACK SWAN movie poster | © 2010 Fox Searchlight

Dancing can be dangerous, and not just physically. The canon of ballet narratives is full of tales of people (mostly women) who dance themselves to death. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s seminal 1948 THE RED SHOES famously turned a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale into a fable set in the world of ballet. Now director Darren Aronofsky uses the classic SWAN LAKE as the backdrop and catalyst for the potential implosion of his heroine.

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Movie Review: RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE

RARE EXPORTS - A CHRISTMAS TALE - U.S. Poster | © 2010 Oscilloscope Laboratories

If THE X-FILES had decided to do a Christmas episode for the R.L. Stine set, it might have been something like RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE. Made and set in Finland, general vicinity where the mythical Santa supposedly dwells, RARE is a horror movie pitched at kids, with bits of gore (dead animals, a bitten ear) but mostly a sense of menace and black comedy.

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Movie Review: I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS

I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS movie poster | ©2010 Roadside Attractions

To clear up one possible area of confusion at the outset, I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS is not about someone who has fallen for the tobacco company of that name. Instead, it is the fact-based story of Steven Russell, a con artist who managed to non-violently escape from jail on four different occasions and for awhile pulled off a number of astonishing cons, many of them to assist the love of his life, Phillip Morris.

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Exclusive Interview: DOUG LIMAN talks about ‘FAIR GAME’ and ‘COVERT AFFAIRS’

FAIR GAME movie poster | © 2010 Summit

Doug Liman could be dubbed the “spy guy” of producer/directors. True, his first feature film as a director was SWINGERS and he’s delved into other genres with GO and JUMPER, but his helming of THE BOURNE IDENTITY and MR. AND MRS. SMITH indicate a predilection for the world of people pretending to be what they’re not. Currently, Liman’s latest feature as director/ producer is in theatres. FAIR GAME tells the story of real-life CIA agent Valerie Plame, played by Naomi Watts, whose cover was blown by American government officials to punish her diplomat husband Joseph Wilson, played by Sean Penn, […]Read On »

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The Dork Side: To be or not to 3-D?

AVATAR - IMAX movie poster | © 2009 20th Century Fox

I blame AVATAR for this whole thing. AVATAR, you owe the world an apology. You came out last year with the most amazing 3-D and now every crapsterpiece movie that comes out is in 3-D. Sure, there were movies that did 3-D before AVATAR, and some of them did it well (CORALINE). But ever since AVATAR the movie studios have started releasing even more movies in 3-D hoping to capture some of those unobtainum dollars. But, really, none of those movies put in the time, effort and money to look as great as the 3-D in AVATAR did. Don’t believe […]Read On »

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CD Review: RED HILL soundtrack

© 2010 Milan Records | Red Hill Soundtrack

It’s ironic that two of the coolest wild west scores to arrive in years both hail from Down Under, as Dmitri Golovko’s RED HILL joins Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ THE PROPOSITION as prime examples of how to give an old musical warhorse a shot of ferocious outlaw energy. But where PROPOSITION’s nerve-jangling percussion brought modern experimentalism to a blood-soaked period piece, RED HILL shoots its raw, old-school acoustic sound into a contemporary western- in this case playing the last stand outback sheriff standing against a recently released villain out for some biblical payback. There’s very little that’s Aussie here […]Read On »

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CD Review: KUNG FU / MAN IN THE WILDERNESS

© 2010 Film Score Monthly Records | Kung Fu Soundtrack

It’s finally time to snatch a pebble out of Film Score Monthly’s hand with this soundtrack two-fer, which combines music from two poetically different scores for men seeking their way in the American outback. The first traveler just happens to be everyone’s favorite Shaolin fugitive monk Cain, whose mystical tête-à-têtes with his teachers are front and center through much of KUNG FU. Though designed as a concept album in 1973 by composer Jim Helms, some score purists might take umbrage to so much dialogue on an FSM release. Yet it’s almost hard to imagine Helms’ harmonies without the Confucianisms, the […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: VIGILANTE

VIGILANTE Blu-ray | © 2010 Blue Underground

I’ve been getting on a 1980s movie kick as of late, not doubt aided by the constant influx of DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic (and no so classic) films from that era. The Blu-ray of William Lustig’s 1983 revenge fantasy flick VIGILANTE finally hits Blu-ray and it’s another forgotten cult classic. Starring Robert Forster and badass Fred Williamson, this is surprisingly one of those films I missed over the years (don’t remember it from cable, nor video stores).

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Exclusive Photos from the world premiere of Disney’s TANGLED

Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore at the World Premiere of TANGLED

Rapunzel let down her hair, finally (and in 3-D) as Disney held the World Premiere of their new animated film TANGLED at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California. It was a long backdrop that was painted to look like Rapunzel’s hair. Wigs were handed out to some of the photographers, myself included and we wore them while shooting. Mandy Moore  (Rapunzel) and Zachary Levi (Flynn Rider) posed with us as the photographers on the carpet shot our photos. It was fun, except that the long wig kept catching on everything! Walking the carpet were the stars of the film, […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: TERRIERS stars DONAL LOGUE & MICHAEL RAYMOND-JAMES are the bark and bite

Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James in TERRIERS - Season 1 | ©2010 FX/Mike Muller

Sometimes you need the bark and bite, which is what Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James bring to the new FX private eye series TERRIERS which airs its season finale tonight. TERRIERS is one of those truly great shows where you can lose yourself in its world, which feels authentic and yet just a bit weird. Created by Ted Griffin, who executive-produces with Shawn Ryan, TERRIERS concerns a pair of extremely low-rent, unlicensed private eyes plying their trade in San Diego, California, where the series is filmed on location. The show takes its name from the dogged determination of its characters, […]Read On »

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