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Archive for May, 2012

I apologize for the lull in film-related posts. I’ve been at work on a longer-term project, one that may or may not relate to a film starring Nicolas Cage. Since my last post in March, I’ve caught up on a number of major titles from 2011 and early 2012. You’ll find capsule reviews for nine of them below. In all, 2011 continues to impress. The vote is too early to call on 2012. All ratings are out of five stars.

30 Minutes or Less (**)
Like the kind of pizza that actually requires a 30-minutes-or-less deal to bait people into buying it, this passable time-waster feels disposable, better in theory. And that’s a real shame, because 30 Minutes or Less has a cast to make Generation Y salivate all over its collective MacBook Pros. Can you think of a hotter pairing for a buddy movie than Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg? I can’t, and neither can I imagine why these actors would squander their cachet on such a lazy script. I watched the film during a groggy morning flight, and that felt about perfect. If all you ask of your entertainment is that it helps kill time, I suppose you could do worse than an 80-minute action comedy with charming leads.

The Cabin in the Woods (***1/2)
I’m going to sidestep the spoiler landmine and keep things a bit vague. People will remember The Cabin in the Woods for its third act. Few will care to remember the villains in act two. Like Scream before it, The Cabin in the Woods doubles as satire and a bloody-good entry in the horror genre. You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of the horror game to have a good time. That’s just the way I like my po-mo pop cinema. I appreciate the need for a slow build before the bombast, but I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why the filmmakers chose such supremely dull antagonists for the majority of the film’s run-time. (more…)

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For a friend

“I’m never gonna know you now, but I’m gonna love you anyhow.”

Her name was Bailey, and I never even got to hear her voice. Ours was a uniquely 21st century friendship. It was a beautiful thing that happened to be mediated by message boards, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Gchat, and text messages. We were never in the same place at the same time. But we interacted, in one form or another, almost daily. I shared more with her than I do most people. Her emails, so thoughtful, and always filled with such hilarious turns of phrase, were little day-making presents. I had to stifle a chirp every time a new one hit my inbox. We wrote each other for years. Sometimes we’d discuss Big Things, things perhaps too explosive to share with our in-the-flesh friends. And sometimes we’d relish in the trite and everyday – those little stories that’d likely bore those around us. Someone had to hear about the time a coworker ate my cupcake from the fridge. That someone, more often than not, was her. And she never seemed to go on autopilot, ever. She was always right there, animated, ready to talk, and overly apologetic if she was busy. Every interaction felt precious, imbued with a level of caring that felt almost foreign. There were no utilitarian, text-me-the-address exchanges with her. We had all the time in the world, or so I thought, to get to know one another.

Bailey passed away yesterday, and I don’t know what to do. (more…)

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