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  • Caryn James
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    Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy In "This Means War" (On The Audience?)

    Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy – any one of them could carry a romance or an action movie alone. Put all three together and the results are at least three times worse. Or maybe it’s just that the director, McG, has misplaced the feel for slick, popcorn action that made Charlie’s Angles fly. Whatever the reason - and we can’t ignore the abysmal, cobbled-together script -  This Means War is a mess of an action romance. Witherspoon plays Lauren, a workaholic unaware that her two competing boyfriends not only know each other, but are best friends and partners in the CIA. Yes, they’re spies in love, so they spy on her and on each other and ... just go ahead and fill in the rest because it’s all completely obvious.   

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  • Caryn James
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    Beautiful and Eloquent, "The Loving Story" Comes to HBO

    The Loving Story, which I’ve been following since it was a work-in-progress, premieres on HBO tonight. To say that this documentary is about Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple who were arrested and forced to leave Virginia in the 1950’s, and whose Supreme Court case finally struck down anti-miscegenation laws, doesn’t begin to suggest how beautifully the film is made.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    The Movies Say "I Love You": A Romantic Mash-Up

    In a romance, the "I Love You" speech is the main event -- the reason the movie exists. To understand the anatomy of the declaration of love, Overthinking It compiled the climatic moments from iconic films.

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  • Press Play
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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: Surveying the race for Best Documentary

    Ah, Best Doc -- where the short list gets the finger-pointing and pearl-clutching underway early. I like to imagine Steve James watching the Oscars at home with a bottle of Goldschlager and a Krazy Straw, wearing PJs with basketballs on them, because as you probably heard, he didn't get nominated. (Again.) Let's look at what did.

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  • Press Play
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    OSCARS DEATH RACE: Pina

    "Pina" made me impatient for at least an hour. A small part of it is seeing the film at BAM, where arriving at the specified showtime is considered entirely optional and in fact rather bourgeois, but whispering knowingly throughout the film is considered mandatory. A much larger part of it is the medium of dance; I respect it, and especially its physical demands, but it's…not my way, I guess. My response to "some situations have no words" is not "express the situation via the body." It's "get a thesaurus and try again."

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  • The Playlist
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    Pedro Almodovar Returning To Comedy, Reuniting With 'Talk To Her' Star Javier Camara For 'The Brief Lovers'

    After a slight blip in form with "Broken Embraces" (which, don't get us wrong, is strong, but perhaps not up to his usual quality), Pedro Almodovar returned in a big way last year with "The Skin I Live In," a nasty, puzzling little thriller that was one of the director's most satisfying works, with excellent performances from Antonio Banderas and Elena Ayana, among others. The director just picked up the BAFTA for Best Film Not In The English Language this past weekend, but as ever, he's not hanging around, with a new project already gearing up to shoot soon.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Valentine Pin-Ups

    In the old days of the Hollywood studio system, stars and starlets under contract learned that their “free time” between movies would be taken up by interviews, appearances, and posing for publicity photos. These often-silly pictures were gobbled up by newspapers and magazines around the world, adding to the public’s awareness of the players, especially up-and-comers. They’re great fun to see all these years later. Today’s sampling celebrates Valentine’s Day in typical (and sometimes not-so-typical) pin-up fashion. First up: Marsha Hunt, in a demure pose for Paramount in 1936, when she was about to make her second movie, Desert Gold, with Larry “Buster” Crabbe and Robert Cummings. No one could have envisioned that the former Powers model would turn out to be a sensitive, intelligent actress…and to this day one of the most gracious women in Hollywood.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Trailer Watch For Documentary "The Air"

    Produced by Kirk Goodall and directed by Hilton Ariel Ruiz, The Air is a new documentary now making the film festival curcuit rounds which chronicles the life of Gil C Alicea.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Marlon Wayans Will Make Directorial Debut With Spoof Of Found-Footage Films Starring Essence Atkins

    Essence Atkins and Marlon Wayans will star in the indie comedy/spoof titled Smart Ass, which is decribed as a spoof of all those found-footage flicks that have been released quite a bit in recent years.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Trailer For Whit Stillman's Unique 'Damsels In Distress' Lands

    Joining a handful of filmmakers making their return last year including Lynne Ramsay, Cameron Crowe and Alexander Payne, Whit Stillman showed he still had the goods when he unveiled "Damsels In Distress" at the Venice and Toronto film festivals last year. Filled with this trademark patter, distinct style and a tone and mood that all his his own, the film isn't for everyone, but for those willing to go along for the ride, it's worth the watch.

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