American Hustle: Do the Hustle

by Ethan Alter December 13, 2013 9:31 am
<i>American Hustle</i>: Do the Hustle

Ever since his sophomore feature Flirting with Disaster, I've been rooting for David O. Russell to score a big, fat commercial hit. (I also enjoyed his debut, Spanking the Monkey, but a dark comedy about incest is never going to be Top 10 box office material.) But when the writer/director finally achieved that goal with last year's Silver Linings Playbook, I found myself in the odd position of feeling happy for him while also being disappointed that it wasn't for a better movie. (Granted, The Fighter earned a fistful of dollars as well, but it didn't join the same financial weight class as its successor.)

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

by Ethan Alter April 30, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"So Jennifer... how much does an Oscar weigh, anyway?"

Hit & Run: Baby, He Can Drive Her Car

by Ethan Alter August 22, 2012 2:13 pm
<i>Hit & Run</i>: Baby, He Can Drive Her Car

You can count the number of current real-life couples who make believable big-screen lovers on one hand. There's The Amazing Spider-Man's Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield (although they started dating well after the movie wrapped), Vicky Christina Barcelona's Penénolpe Cruz and Javier Bardem and, until recently anyway, Twilight teammates Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. To this extremely short list you can now add Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, the affianced duo at the center of the new action comedy Hit & Run, which Shepard also wrote and co-directed with David Palmer.

Meat Train Not Stopping at a Station Near You

by Tippi Blevins June 13, 2008 12:59 pm
Meat Train Not Stopping at a Station Near You Unless you happen to be near one of the handful of theaters that will run Midnight Meat Train come August 1, you'll have to wait till it's out on DVD. Which, according to ShockTillYouDrop won't actually be that long a wait, as they speculate the release will come as early as October. (Just in time to scare the pants off snot-nosed trick-or-treaters!) According to the report, Lionsgate is only "planning a limited 100 theater run" which, frankly, is a number some wouldn't even wish on Uwe Boll. The paltry release fulfills a "contractual obligation" Lionsgate has "to give it some sort of theatrical run." Otherwise, it would have gone straight to DVD like any number of Mary-Kate and Ashley's pre-teen movies.

Five Things to Know About The Hangover Part III

by Ethan Alter May 23, 2013 9:00 am
Five Things to Know About <i>The Hangover Part III</i>

Much like an actual hangover, the Hangover franchise has lingered around multiplexes long after the pleasant buzz of the original hit has passed. The Hangover Part III, then, is the cinematic equivalent of the two aspirin and/or special cocktail of Tabasco sauce, raw eggs, peanut butter and whatever the hell else is in the fridge that you knock back in order to rid yourself of that queasy feeling that accompanies the morning after a long night of binge drinking. The only difference is that those miracle cures generally improve your mood, whereas this movie will likely leave you more nauseous. In the interests of AA-inspired group sharing, if you're planning to spend Memorial Day weekend in the company of the Wolf Pack, here are five things you should know:

The Place Beyond the Pines: Daddy Dearest

by Ethan Alter March 29, 2013 9:00 am
<i>The Place Beyond the Pines</i>: Daddy Dearest

Based on his two narrative features to date, Blue Valentine and now The Place Beyond the Pines, writer/director Derek Cianfrance is fascinated by consequences and the various ways in which a person's past actions inalterably shape the present and future for themselves and the people around them. In Valentine, this theme was explored through a narrative structure that bounced back and forth in time, contrasting the exciting rush of first love for its central couple (played by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling) with the pain and heartache generated by their failing marriage years later. Pines's timeline only moves in one direction -- forwards -- but it covers far more ground than Valentine, spanning almost 20 years in the lives of two upstate New York-based families whose fates become intertwined by an almost random moment of chance.

Seven Words to Describe The Words

by Ethan Alter September 7, 2012 6:00 am
Seven Words to Describe <i>The Words</i>

Following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival way back in January -- where it barely attracted an iota of buzz, despite the presence of its extremely photogenic cast -- the indie-ish bookworm drama The Words is dumped into theaters on an exceptionally slow post-Labor Day weekend. You might think this indicates a lack of confidence on the studio's part... and you'd almost certainly be right. Although it's production values positively ooze class and a handful of scenes actually prove somewhat compelling, the overall experience of watching Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal's directorial debut is the cinematic equivalent of staring at a blank page for roughly 90 minutes. Here are seven words that perhaps best encapsulate The Words.

<I>The Hangover</I>: What Happens in Vegas Will Be So Funny You’ll Spit Out Your Soda

I was lucky enough to see The Hangover the other night, and while sometimes getting to see screenings in advance feels a lot like work, this one was actually a pleasure. It was quite the welcome change of pace after my recent outings included Terminator: Salvation, Fighting and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

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