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Archives for February, 2011

Guts Before Six Packs: Why Flab Is Funny

Article: Guts Before Six Packs: Why Flab Is Funny

Two movies I saw in the last couple weeks threw something into relief for me: comic leading men are in danger of getting too buff to be funny. Let me explain why. The movies in question were last year’s “Going the Distance” and the just-released “Cedar Rapids.” Both try to wring laughs from uncomfortable situations…

Julia Roberts’ Opera Sing-Along

Article: Julia Roberts’ Opera Sing-Along

Tom Hanks went on the “Jimmy Kimmel Show” last night promoting his film “Larry Crowne” in which he stars with Julia Roberts. It’s only Hank’s second time directing a feature and the first time since 1996′s “That Thing You Do!” As Cinematical points out he also co-wrote with Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”),…

Lady Gaga “Born This Way”

Article: Lady Gaga “Born This Way”

Lady Gaga gave birth to her seven-minute Sci-Fi epic “Born This Way” today. It’s hard to tell, but there’s a lot of goo and the birthing of a new “race which bears no prejudice.” Then Gaga nonsensically wields a giant machine gun and begins dancing around in her undies. I’m not one to post videos…

What to Watch on IFC: February 28 – March 6

Article: What to Watch on IFC: February 28 – March 6

For being the shortest month, February sure drags on and on and on. Luckily good old in-like-a-lion out-like-a-lamb March starts tomorrow. We will refrain from admitting that we know songs from “Annie”, but we do have high hopes for March. Not only because we have great films coming up like Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” and…

2011 Oscars Recap, Gif-Style

Article: 2011 Oscars Recap, Gif-Style

The 2011 Academy Awards started out with a lot of promised. James Franco and Anne Hathaway are young, vibrant, and appeal to a younger demographic, which is a good thing for an awards show when the top accolades are expected to go to a movie targeted at the over-50 demographic (yeah, “The King’s Speech”, we’re…

Internet Signs Point to “Grand Theft Auto V”

Article: Internet Signs Point to “Grand Theft Auto V”

“Grand Theft Auto IV” is one the most critically acclaimed, financially successful games of all time. A brooding and wicked satire, it has only found an equal in “Red Dead Redemption,” published by the same company, Take-Two. So when that very publisher registers mysterious domain names that match “GTA”s snarky tone, of course the internet…

Domino Showcase At SXSW, Probably NSFW

Article: Domino Showcase At SXSW, Probably NSFW

Domino Records, the UK’s most respectable independent label, returns to SXSW this year as a showcase presenter at Austin’s famed dive, Emo’s. The showcase, on Thursday, March 17, will feature new Domino recording artist, Austra (with the NSFW video below), King Creosote, Anna Calvi, Cass McCombs, The Kills and Owen Pallett. I expect a great…

Gary Winick, 1961-2011

Article: Gary Winick, 1961-2011

As Cinetic’s Matt Dentler sadly noted in his tweet announcing the passing of Gary Winick last night, the timing was “too late to make the Oscar [in memorium] tribute, but way too early.” In a cruel twist of fate, it wasn’t unusual for the writer/director, who was set to turn 50 next month, to be…

The Shambling, Bedazzled Dinosaur and the 2011 Oscar and Razzie Winners

Article: The Shambling, Bedazzled Dinosaur and the 2011 Oscar and Razzie Winners

As expected, “The King’s Speech” topped this year’s Oscars, winning Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Original Screenplay, though not, as expected, the slew of technical awards it was also nominated for. In fact, while it dominated the major categories, it lost more awards than it won and it wound up tied for the most Oscars…

Making the Cut: A Celebration of Genre Films at the Spirit Awards

Article: Making the Cut: A Celebration of Genre Films at the Spirit Awards

One of the ways the Spirit Awards has continued to celebrate what’s new and next has been by honoring genre films that are typically overlooked when it comes to year-end ceremonies and top ten lists. After all, what other non-genre specific awards show would’ve had the gumption to put up “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” for…

Funny Ladies

Article: Funny Ladies

Christopher Hitchens once courted controversy by penning an article entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny” in Vanity Fair, to which this year’s Spirit Awards almost seem intended as a pointed rebuke. The funny business was good for both sexes in 2010, but extraordinary for those without the Y chromosome, resulting a group of pictures that heralds…

That Was Then, This is Now

Article: That Was Then, This is Now

As directors who have continually proven themselves to be at the cutting edge of what’s next and new, it’s hard to believe that all five of the nominees in this year’s Best Director category have already been to the Spirit Awards sometime, if not multiple times, over the last decade. For some, they return with…

First-Time Nominees, Longtime Excellence

Article: First-Time Nominees, Longtime Excellence

It’s hard to imagine such veterans of the stage and screen as Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, and Annette Bening being called newcomers in any situation nowadays, but would you believe this is the first time they’ve been nominated for Spirit Awards? They will be joining bona fide newcomers like Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) Lena Dunham…

2011 Spirit Award Winners List

Article: 2011 Spirit Award Winners List

Here they are, your 2011 Spirit Award winners. It was a big day on the beach for “Black Swan” which won four awards: Best Feature, Director (Darren Aronofsky), Female Lead (Natalie Portman) and Cinematography (Matthew Libatique). Presumptive Oscar favorite “The King’s Speech” only took home one award, for Best Foreign Film (who knew the Weinsteins…

Why You Need to Know About “Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP”

Article: Why You Need to Know About “Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP”

Those of us who play mobile games regularly know how easy it is to settle for the mediocre. 99 cents or free, how can we complain, right? Then a game like “Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP” appears, which truly is beautiful, and that whole mode of thinking seems simply outrageous. Our minds cleared, we ask,…

“PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew” Lets You Spit Hot Fire

Article: “PewPewPewPewPewPewPewPewPew” Lets You Spit Hot Fire

Even before the internet made it a staple of LOLcat memes and the like, everybody knew the meaning of the “pew” sound. It’s the sound of bullets, lasers and what-have-you from cartoons like “G.I. Joe” and early video games like “Asteroids.” Two clever and talented developers dubbed Incredible Ape have turned that bit of onomatopoeia…

The Official Poster for James Gunn’s “Super”

Article: The Official Poster for James Gunn’s “Super”

One of my go-to answers to the question “What is a great movie no one ever saw?” is James Gunn’s “Slither,” which I reviewed for The Village Voice when it was released back in 2006. As I wrote then, “Good zombie movies are metaphorical; “Slither” allegorizes living-dead horror as a critique of the American heartland’s…

Oscar Pick, Best Original Score

Article: Oscar Pick, Best Original Score

The nominees for best original score this year leave me in a tough position. I’ve never hidden my disdain for Hans Zimmer’s bloated, heavy handed electro turd style, but some of the work he did with “Inception” was truly ingenious. On the other hand, I’ve been admiring Alexandre Desplat’s excellent film scores for a long…

A New Experience Home and Abroad

Article: A New Experience Home and Abroad

With all the emerging talent on display at this year’s Spirit Awards, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s new and next in terms of the films we’ll be seeing in the future, but what’s often overlooked is the surfeit of new places and experiences that has been on display in independent cinema over…

My (Possibly Correct) Spirit Award Picks

Article: My (Possibly Correct) Spirit Award Picks

We’re just about a day away from the Spirit Awards (airing on some channel whose name escapes me at 10 pm eastern and pacific). If you’re watching the show and want to hear more about the individual nominees and the year and indie film in general, you should surf over to IFC.com’s 2011 Spirit Awards…

Gayngs Showcase, SXSW

Article: Gayngs Showcase, SXSW

Earlier in the week I highlighted a showcase playing at SXSW this year, and tried to figure out how to catch bits of it while also glimpsing Duran Duran who would be playing at the same time. That’s the problem with SXSW, there’s always two things going on at the same time that you want…

“We Dare” Is a Wii Game for Swingers

Article: “We Dare” Is a Wii Game for Swingers

The trailer for Ubisoft’s “We Dare” is spreading across the internet faster than mono at summer camp. A mini-game collection for the Nintendo Wii and PS3, this European-only release caters firmly to the “people who want a good spanking” demographic. Have a look for yourself.

Breaking News: Cute Piglet Taking Over Internet

Article: Breaking News: Cute Piglet Taking Over Internet

As anyone who surfs the pipes and tubes of the internet or watches the Onion News Network on every channel of their house knows, the news has been full of stories of revolution from Egypt to Bahrain to Libya to Tunisia and more. But the internet is also full of cute overloads and lol cats…

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