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  • Spout
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    "Machete" Primer: "Grindhouse: Planet Terror"

    I've finished the second half of my self-assigned task to see the two "Grindhouse" features before seeing "Machete." You can go back and read my thoughts on Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof," which is the preferred part for many film buffs. I have to admit, though, that in many ways Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" is more satisfying. It doesn't seem to have as much subtext going on, but there's a whole heck of a lot more happening on the screen here than in Tarantino's feature. As someone who's only liked one of Rodriguez's films in the past -- "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" -- I'll say I don't mind his films being mindless if they're a good mix of cool, crazy, silly and sensational. "Planet Terror" has all of that with only a bare hint of some kind of political context, as most zombie movies can't not have.

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    More: Home Video
  • Spout
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    Posts About "Inception"

    Posts About "Inception"

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  • Spout
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    Posts About "The Town"

    Posts About "The Town"

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  • Spout
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    Posts About "Enter the Void"

    Posts About "Enter the Void"

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  • Spout
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    Posts About "The Social Network"

    Posts About "The Social Network"

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  • Todd McCarthy's Deep Focus
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    Review: "The American"

    Cool, understated, stripped to essentials, “The American” centers upon the sort of American anti-hero -- the laconic cowboy, the perennial outcast, the reform-minded gangster making one final heist, the bad man seeking redemption -- who used to appear regularly onscreen but has been pushed aside of late by action heroes and comic vulgarians. Although the themes stressed in Rowan Joffe's adaptation of the late Martin Booth's 1990 novel “A Very Private Gentleman” are conventional -- escape from one's past, the fresh start made possible by the right woman -- director Anton Corbijn's comparatively astringent approach invests them with a refreshing rigor while simultaneously evoking certain aspects of loner-centric American cinema, early 1970s-style. It's an atmospheric, sympathetic piece of work, even if not one destined to speak to too many people in this day and age.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review: The American

    film review: The American

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  • ReelPolitik
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    Who is Joyce McKinney, star of Errol Morris' Tabloid?

    Who is Joyce McKinney, star of Errol Morris' Tabloid?

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  • Todd McCarthy's Deep Focus
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    Review: "Black Swan"

    Resembling a “Red Shoes” on acid, “Black Swan” takes the idea of giving one's all for art to a morbid extreme. Applying the gritty handheld technique he successfully employed in the working class environs of “The Wrestler” to the rarefied domain of classical ballet, Darren Aronofsky swooningly explores the high tension neuroses and sexual psychodrama of a ballerina on the brink of simultaneous triumph and breakdown. With Natalie Portman, in the demanding leading role, equaling her director in unquestioned commitment, the central issue for the viewer is how far one is willing to follow the film down the road to oblivion for art's sake.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    The Emmys Found One Last Way To Fuck Over "The Wire"

    So while some 50 departed folks ranging from Brittany Murphy to Soupy Sales to Lena Horne had their faces grace the screen during last Sunday's Emmy telecast, a person who made a huge impact on the world of television bizarrely didn't make the cut. Writer and producer David Mills, who died of a brain aneurysm this March at age 48, was not included in the montage. You might ask who Mills is, but if you've seen "The Corner" or "Homicide" or "ER" or "Treme" or "NYPD Blue," you know his work. He also wrote and produced many episodes of inarguably the greatest television series of all time, "The Wire," which was passed over by Emmy time and time again for the likes of "Boston Legal" and "Grey's Anatomy."

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    More: R.I.P.