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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Point Blank' Is An Energetic, But Utterly Pointless French Thriller

    "French thriller" is one of those phrases, like "German chocolate" and "Swedish pop record," that inspires enthusiastic excitement even when, perhaps, it shouldn't. Take, for example, this week's "Point Blank," directed by Fred Cavayé (whose "Pour Elle" was remade as Paul Haggis' pitiable "The Next Three Days"), which from the outset seemed to carry with it all the trademarks of a great French thriller – energetic, stylish, edgy. It's being marketed as the next "Tell No One," Guillaume Canet's massive crossover hit. But unlike that film, "Point Blank" isn't based on a best selling American novel and also, it's just not very good.

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  • Hope for Film
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    Guest Post: David Geertz "Are Indie Filmmakers Slave Drivers?"

    How do we truly think about film? Do we ignore the truth even when it is right before our eyes? Are we sometimes willing to compromise our ethics in order to achieve our creative goal? Would we be willing to defer that goal in order to maintain the ethical standards that we otherwise embrace?I named David Geertz as one of Hope For Film's Brave Thinkers (2009 Edition) for a new start up he had then. That venture may now be gone, but David is still very much a Brave Thinker, as his guest post below, and his commitment to more, attests.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    If You Missed It...Listen To The S&A Season Finale Podcast With Special Guest Melee Entertainment

    Guess what? If you missed the season finale podcast with the S&A crew yesterday, you get to listen now! We talked about the cancellation of Monique's BET talk show and Sergio gave us a hot tip on her possible replacement. We also chatted about Zoe Saldana's recent comments.

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  • Spout
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    Brendan Gleeson Brings His Best Filthy Irish Cowboy Act to "The Guard"

    “The Guard” is not a fish-out-of-water buddy cop comedy. It sure looks like one on the surface and that’s certainly how it’s being advertised. Yet John Michael McDonagh’s new crime flick is really marvelously gray character study, led by one of the best character actors working today. Brendan Gleeson’s Sergeant Boyle is one of the most intriguing and well-constructed onscreen policemen we’ve seen in the last few years. Thematically dark and morally ambiguous, “The Guard” creates a richly inflected portrait of a lawman standing alone in the gloomy Galway landscape.

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  • The Playlist
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    R.I.P. Producer, Screenwriter & Art Director Polly Platt (1939-2011)

    Sad news broke late yesterday, with the announcement of the death of the film producer, writer and art director Polly Platt, who passed away of Lou Gehrig's disease at the age of 72. Platt's contribution to cinema has been greatly undervalued over the years, but she was someone with a diverse skill-set, who played a key role in a number of classic films.

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  • The Playlist
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    Janus Films Takes U.S. Rights To Aki Kaurismaki's Cannes Crowd Pleaser 'Le Havre'

    While Sundance Selects Grabs Nanni Moretti's 'Habemus Papum'One of the more puzzling outcomes of the Cannes Film Festival has been the failure of Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre," which was second only to "The Artist" as far as crowd-pleasing hits on the Croisette go, to land a distributor. Sure, Kaurismaki's never exactly been a cross-over director in the U.S, but his latest, a hilarious, touching look at illegal immigration, picked up outstanding reviews and audience reactions -- we called it a "pure delight."

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  • Caryn James
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    Conan Introduces A New Action Heroine in "Mrs. Butterworth: The Movie" (Video)

    And you thought Mrs. Butterworth was just a bottle of pancake syrup? Think again as Conon reveals a trailer for the ultimate in product-placement films: it's Mrs. Butterworth: The Movie. She has a gun and she's out for vengeance. Nice touch to add Doris Kearns Goodwin's name to the writing credits.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Casting Carousel For Lee Daniels' "Paperboy" Thriller Continues... David Oyelowo Added

    The last time I wrote about this project, I told myself that I wouldn't write about it anymore, until the damn thing was actually shooting.

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    More: casting
  • The Playlist
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    Alia Shawkat Books Dayton/Faris' 'He Loves Me' & 'Brass Teapot' Starring Juno Temple

    With rumors of an "Arrested Development" film refusing to die, stars of the defunct Fox show continue to ride the wave of the cult classic. Jason Bateman and Michael Cera have obviously made the most of their time on the Ron Howard-narrated show, but another star is beginning to spread her wings as well.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'El Bulli: Cooking In Progress' Uses Simplicity To Achieve Quality

    Television has always made a great home for food. Various cooking shows populate the airwaves, either becoming a staple of one's TV-diet or the one station you linger on during a desperate channel-surfing session. It also wouldn't be worthy of the tube if it weren't processed through the vomit of reality TV, with shows like "Hell's Kitchen" and "Ace of Cakes" morphing people into exestuated personalities and following their bouncy, sometimes-quirky-sometimes-emotional (whatever gets more ratings) adventures in the eats biz. Still, people watch them, and despite the redundant programming, nobody is exactly screaming for a more realistic study of cuisine and all that makes it happen. It's unfortunate, too, because there's something very fascinating about making what is generally supposed to be only for nourishment artful. Forget something tasting good; there are many eateries that consider food an art form, hoping to stimulate taste buds in different ways while also paying close attention to the presentation of each dish.

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