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I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK

By Adam Lippe

Onion AV Club writer Nathan Rabin coined the term manic pixie dream girl to describe that irritating sprite of a character that’s always adorable, energetic, impulsive, and bound to bring a down-on-his-luck, brooding, scruffy, yet good-looking outsider back to the surface so he can discover how wonderful life can be. He was describing Kirsten Dunst’s […]

Black Swan vs. Black Swan: Revisionist History Vol. 2, A Screener’s Revenge

By Adam Lippe

As a critic, my job is to be as objective as possible while acknowledging my own subjectivity. But what rarely comes into play, at least consciously, is whatever mood I might be in on the way into the theater. I saw Black Swan at the opening night of the Philadelphia Film Festival on October 14th. […]

District 13: Ultimatum

By Adam Lippe

On Conan O’Brien’s final show before he was forced off The Tonight Show, he said that people should try to avoid being cynical about life, as that was his least favorite emotion. It’s a noble gesture and it’s a nice thought that one can go through life believing people and not looking for ulterior motives. […]

From Paris With Love

By Adam Lippe

There’s a scene in one of my favorite movies, Kicking and Screaming (the one about post-college ennui, not Will Ferrell screaming at pee-wee soccer players) where one character, Otis, responds to a challenge to name eight movies where a monkey plays a key role. After a few titles, the character played by Carlos Jacott starts […]

Style Over Stupid: Vol. 1, Black Dynamite vs. New York, I Love You

By Adam Lippe

I’d imagine it’d be hard to convince someone to give you money for what amounts to a film school exercise. Not so much for the actors who will probably have a ball playacting and indulging their most deliberately childish ideas. Take, for example a movie like Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho, a thoroughly […]

Watchmen

By Adam Lippe

Among horror fans, there is a legendary moment in one of Wes Craven’s early films that would influence nearly every complex film that followed. Hurting for money, Craven went to the well to sequelize a film that would have a hard time being a sequel, seeing as pretty much every notable character died in the […]

Garden State

By Adam Lippe

Garden State manages a high wire act for the first hour, where writer/director/star Zach Braff plays the straight man to all the odd things that are going on around him. At any moment it could have fallen apart and become one of those films where everyone in the small town is kooky and colorful and […]

The Gay Action Hero is Still in the Closet

By Adam Lippe

Since the invention of postmodernism, it has been quite easy to find homoerotic subtext in any film involving bonding between members of the same sex (Lord of the Rings), men who like to hold guns (any buddy-cop action movie from Lethal Weapon to Damon Wayans’ gun literally up Adam Sandler’s ass in Bulletproof) or women […]

Now on DVD and Blu-Ray

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.