By Adam Lippe

cinemaniaCinemania is the most depressing movie. It is nearly impossible to get through for anyone who enjoys film. 77 minutes of supposed “film buffs” who go to every screening they can in New York City. 6 or 7 theatrical screenings a day. But they have nothing to say about the film, nor do they seem to enjoy it. They are simply catalogs of trivia and meaningless information. There’s a guy who simply memorizes running times, brings a stopwatch, calls in to the theaters to make corrections. They have a compulsive need to go, I guess, but they admit that they don’t go to discuss the films, that when they talk to other film buffs, they get together to discuss scheduling and theaters.

These type of people give nerds a bad name. One guy doesn’t eat vegetables or bran, because he knows he’ll have to spend some time in the bathroom the next day. He deliberately constipates himself. However, Cinemania takes no stance. The movie is shallow, the people depressing. It pretends to be comically poking at them, but they are miserable to look at and it doesn’t delve into anything but the minimal surface, no insight at all. It doesn’t even bother with a stance. You can mock them and it gives you material to do that with. But it’s like they were avoiding digging on purpose or they shot the movie and didn’t have the balls and tried to make it as banal as possible. A random quote that sums up the entire movie in a nutshell:

“Nowhere in the movie do we see them loving the films they see, or even enjoying them.”

There’s a strange betrayal by the people who made the movie as well. The subjects all talk about how their nightmares are on video and their dreams on film… Cinemania is shot on video. And it looks terrible.

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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.