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The Adjustment Bureau/Unknown/The Eagle

By Adam Lippe

In 2004, there was a surprisingly competent thriller released to theaters. Unfortunately it had a title that was not all that memorable, The Forgotten, and it was amidst a glut of “my child is missing” films, one of which also starred Julianne Moore, Freedomland. It had a premise that sounded familiar, Moore remembers her child, […]

Valhalla Rising

By Adam Lippe

It would make sense that creating a brutal, no-brainer medieval movie, with tons of clanking swords, stabbings, bludgeoning, grunting, and minimal dialogue would be simple and not require either a big budget or a level of acting above say, the Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle Cyborg. You’d be wrong of course; otherwise there would be much […]

Skeleton Crew

By Adam Lippe

The easiest way for filmmakers to get themselves out of being painted into the corner is with a deus ex machina. Sometimes that deus ex machina is a lapse of logic, like Samuel L. Jackson driving on the highway and looking out his window at the exact moment Bruce Willis flies out of a water […]

Fever Pitch (1985)

By Adam Lippe

There are few films that could legitimately be called unique, but Richard Brooks’ loony final film, Fever Pitch, has no problem earning that distinction. Often, when a once heralded filmmaker begins to lose his way, he either drifts off into obscurity (Richard Lester) or boredom (J. Lee Thompson), paying about half as much attention as […]

The [Motor]Cycles of the Film Industry

By Adam Lippe

It is no secret that Hollywood loves to be environmentally conscious by recycling product. What starts out “pure” gets used and then thrown in the trash where it is crushed to make several different products. This purity in movie terms would be represented in an “original vision,” and something that could be easily replicated. Quality […]

Bruce Almighty

By Adam Lippe

It’s a good thing there’s no God, because if this is his way of speaking to us, the one thing you might cull from this 100 minutes, he’s a really lousy screenwriter. There are so many things wrong with this movie, that it’s easier to remember the good things, Steve Carrell from The Daily Show […]

Zach and Miri Make a Porno

By Adam Lippe

  The downside of Judd Apatow’s current popularity is when other filmmakers try to mix their own formula with his. A common theme running through Apatow’s work is his character’s dealing with their own gay panic as they mature from adult boys to adult men. This is exemplified by a scene between Seth Rogen and […]

Leatherheads

By Adam Lippe

George Clooney’s insistence on playing the strapping buffoon lead is both refreshing and tiresome. Leatherheads is clearly inspired by his roles in the Coen brothers’ Intolerable Cruelty and O’ Brother Where Art Thou?, where he mixed double-take style kitchen sink slapstick, with movie-star charm and Cary Grant-like smugness. This is an odd idea, considering these […]

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Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.