Movie Review

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Armstrong Lie adds depth to Lance Armstrong's sordid saga

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 12:16 PM

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The big question I had before viewing Alex Gibney's The Armstrong Lie was whether I would really learn anything new about seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong's epic fall from grace. That's because the narrative of Armstrong's journey from cancer victim to bike race champion to disgraced doper is already familiar to most of us.

Gibney is perhaps the best — and certainly the most prolific — documentary filmmaker in America, with his films on the Enron scandal and Abu Ghraib in particular earning critical acclaim. He delivers the goods again in The Armstrong Lie, creating a film that clearly illustrates the hold Armstrong had on the many people willing to buy his story.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Measuring up with UnHung Hero, Patrick Moote

"The best part of having a small penis was making this film, and making this film was the best thing for my penis."

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 9:08 AM

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The Youtube video of Patrick Moote having his marriage proposal rejected before a stadium full of people received 10 million views in 10 days. It was covered on major news stations and national talks shows. If this public humiliation wasn't emasculating enough, Moote's ex claimed one of the reasons she couldn't marry him was because his penis was too small.

Fueled by this rejection, Moote embarked on a globetrotting quest to answer two questions that are fundamental to masculine identity: 1. Does penis size really matter?, and 2. Are there any safe methods for increasing your penis size? The "cockumentary" of Moote's misadventures follows him from porn conventions to uncomfortable encounters with "dick doctors" in Third World motel rooms. Along the way Moote talks cocks with a wide range of experts, including doctors, anthropologists, penis pump pitch-men, and sexperts like Carol Queen, Dan Savage, and Annie Sprinkle. He also gets the opinions of a few porn stars like Ron Jeremy, Andy San Dimas, Allie Haze, and Axel Braun, and discovers what the man with the world's largest penis, Jonah Falcon, thinks about size.

I caught up with the UnHung Hero just before his cockumentary was unleashed on DVD, December, 10.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Do This: Pumpkins, Fishburne, We Are Wisconsin and a spooky radio fundraiser

The Independent and a free film screening help you cure that case of the Mondays.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM

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By now you're used to pumpkin ale everywhere. How about some straight-up pumpkins for fun?

The Independent Cafe and Bar in Seminole Heights, Tampa, has pumpkin-carving fun for kids and a spooky sci-fi movie for the grown-ups afterward.

First, bring the kids to the Indie today at 6 p.m. for its Second Annual Family Pumpkin Carving.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

20th Anniversary Blu-Ray brings The Sandlot to Steinbrenner Field

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 9:46 PM

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The sun burst through the clouds beating back the last belligerent end of a storm that wouldn't quit Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner field. A bottom of the first grand-slam blast from catcher, Peter O'Brien, had put the Tampa Yankees up 4 to 1 against the Brevard County Manatees, but the umpires called the players off the field during the fifth because of rain. The delay lasted a little more than an hour and the game never got to resume and lead to a Yankees victory, but that’s not all we were there to see.

We were there to see Squints slip Wendy Peffercorn some tongue, to see Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez lace up his PF Flyers and haul ass from the child devouring , baseball shredding dog known as, the Beast. We were there to watch The Sandlot.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Attempting full penetration with The Sessions

Helen Hunt bares all, playing a sex surrogate who helps a disabled man explore his sexuality.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

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On the box office battlefield, The Sessions is the paraplegic David standing up to the Goliath that is Twilight. Instead of superpowers, the main character in The Sessions, Mark O'Brien, has a debilitating handicap. Instead of finding eternal love at 18 like the teens in Twilight, the middle-aged O'Brien pays a sexual surrogate to help him lose his virginity. As opposed to sex scenes that offer glimpses of perfect glittering bodies destroying a bedroom beneath their intense passion, we see a middle-aged woman kneeling over a handicapped man's face, worrying that she is suffocating him with oral sex. And yet, despite all of these bold, nontraditional elements, the film attempts to woo audiences with a conventional love story that doesn't match the challenging subject matter or characters.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dinesh D'Souza's Obama's America spins paranoia into box-office gold

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

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Two years ago, Forbes magazine published a thin reed of an idea by Dinesh D'Souza that took off in conservative circles — a fresh, bold look at understanding Barack Obama's worldview. The article was an excerpt from D'Souza's soon to be published book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, which essentially said that the President gets his "anti-colonialist viewpoint" from his father — a man he met just once in his life.

But that lack of contact doesn't matter to D'Souza. As he says in his movie, 2016: Obama's America, D'Souza seized on the title of Obama's acclaimed first memoir, Dreams From My Father, as the hook that persuaded him to explore the connection between Barack Obama Sr. and Jr. And since Barack the Elder's viewpoint in Kenya was anti-colonialist, well, gosh darn it, that probably explains some of the things that his son, our president, does.

2016: Obama's America is relatively engaging through its first hour, but loses all objectivity in the last 30 minutes. D'Souza pulls out any policy decision that he disagrees with as being proof of Obama's true philosophic ethic — anti-colonialist, and thus anti-white. It's a radical deduction based on the evidence at hand. It's also irresponsible, and it should have died in the marketplace of ideas two years ago. But there's no shortage of men in America with deep pockets who don't like the president, and D'Souza was able to get some of them to finance his film.

But 2016: Obama's America isn't convincing — unless you check your brain at the door before entering the cinema.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Now that you've seen The Dark Knight Rises

Let's nitpick Batman's big moments — major spoilers included!

Posted By on Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 4:05 AM

[Note: Check out my full, spoiler-free review of The Dark Knight Rises here. And for more reviews of new releases, check out The CL Movies Site.]

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I've wanted to talk at length about The Dark Knight Rises since the second it was over, but that was on Tuesday, and I would have been killed by my friends and office compatriots if I breathed a word of spoilers. What follows below the fold are some additional thoughts on the movie without concern for holding back details. Please consider yourself fully alerted to the spoilers before continuing.

Also, a note on the shootings in Colorado late Thursday night: It's a horrible tragedy. As someone who spends a lot of time in movie theaters I am mortified on many levels. I have no idea what motivated James Holmes, but I do know that blaming the movies in general, or Nolan's Batman flicks specifically, is wrong. No movie can inspire a person to commit this kind of unspeakable crime. That motivation must come from within the deranged individual. It would also be wrong to allow one moron lunatic with a gun to come between you and a movie you've been dying to see for weeks, months or years. The lasting message of The Dark Knight Rises is one of hope. Don't let Holmes dampen yours.

Now, on to the spoilerific nit-picking:

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blu-Ray Review: Wanderlust is funnier at home

A dud in theaters, the Bly-ray release of the Paul Rudd/Jennifer Aniston comedy amps up the laughter.

Posted By on Sat, Jun 23, 2012 at 3:00 PM

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It takes a particular sense of humor to find David Wain’s writing and directing funny. “Bizarre” would be a more appropriate word to describe it, which is why Wanderlust’s “Bizarro Cut” would have worked so much better for Wain fans than the theatrical release. You see, Wanderlust is kind of funny; the "Bizarro Cut" is funnier. As Wain and producer/co-writer Ken Marino explain in the Blu-ray extras, it’s a similar but different, shorter version of the film using additional footage that was too absurd for theaters. I say nonsense, leave it in!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

DVD Review: Don’t Go in the Woods

Some movies are indie productions for a reason.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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“No phones, no weed, no booze, no girls.”

Someone sure knows how to have a good time. If you want to have a good time, avoid Don’t Go in the Woods.

Say hello to Nick, despotic band douche, who dragged his friends and emo-hipster bandmates out to BFE to record new songs for a demo in the quest for a record deal. Nick’s all about the concentration. No drugs. No drama. No distractions. No discussion about his decision to smash everyone’s cell phones with the axe he borrowed from the creepy hunting shack. It’s always a good idea to ditch all comms gear after ignoring an ominous sign telling you not to go in the woods, right?

So, of course, Nick is thrilled when his ex-girlfriend shows up with a load of groupies, drugs and booze — cell phones too. He tried to ward off temptation but temptation came to the band. You’d think Nick would be thrilled; not getting what he wants should be the perfect inspiration for the brooding, angsty whining music he makes.

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Blu-ray review: John Carter journeys home

The Blu-ray release offers insight into the harried development of Disney's box office disaster.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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There are no simple stories in Hollywood.

Movie narratives are larger than life and then some. They often start out as simple jigsaw puzzles before twisting into variegated Rubik's cubes, winding through troves of characters and maze-like subplots. But the same can and should be said of the stories behind these movies, since the tortuous production histories of big budget blockbusters are just as revealing (nay, more revealing!) than any pre-show trailer or Entertainment Tonight insider special.

John Carter, is a fantastic new addition to the Hollywood compendium of behind-the-scenes chaos. In fact, this tale of Martian civil war that went through a great number of iterations and cycles in production Hell, is the epitome of movie-making mayhem.

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