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Arts and Culture (Movie Reviews)

Something funny happened on the way to chemotherapy

Cancer isn’t inherently funny. Yet somehow 50/50 maintains a Mel Brooksian level of levity in the face of tragedy without cheapening the struggles of those battling cancer.
    Not bad for a Seth Rogen movie.
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A trio of killers leaves a bloody path and a pretty entertaining movie in their wake

Let’s get this out of the way now: Killer Elite is not high art. Though veiled under the pretense of a globe-trotting spy thriller, the movie is basically an excuse to watch attractive men beat the heck out of each other.
    And that’s fine. In fact, it’s pretty fun.
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A Hollywood stuntman moonlights as a wheelman but winds up in the mob’s crosshairs after a heist goes bad

Los Angeles stunt driver, Driver (Ryan Gosling: Crazy, Stupid, Love.), isn’t above moonlighting to make a little extra cash. He offers his services as a wheelman to robbers in the greater L.A. area.
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A trio of great performances beats sports movie clichés to make a knock out

The Conlon boys were born to fight. Father Paddy (Nick Nolte: Zookeeper) devoured their youth training young Tommy for wrestling matches and beating the life out of the family while drinking away his Vietnam flashbacks. After years of abuse, his wife makes a plan to run and takes Tommy. Older brother Brendan chooses to stay.
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No budget and absurd scripting leave this flick lost in space

In space no one can hear you scream, which is too bad for the astronauts of Apollo 18, since they spend a half the movie shrieking.
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Silly shenanigans spoil an otherwise taut thriller

Three Mossad spies sneak into East Berlin on a mission to capture Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen: A Family). They return to Israel heroes, with a daring story of espionage and the scars to prove it. Thirty years later, the former spies are still national heroes and celebrities thanks to a new book on the mission. Problem is the book and the official story are lies....

Because it’s not that scary

When a small, somber girl arrives at a creepy Rhode Island house, all hell breaks loose. Well, annoying basement monsters break loose, but you get the idea.
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Vampires finally get to be the bad guys in this clever remake

Vampires have been in a sorry state for over a decade. With the advent of Twilight, True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, these creatures of the night have been defanged by popular culture. Turned into tortured and misunderstood souls, the once great monsters became the mopey teens of the horror genre.
    That’s why it’s a delightful surprise that Fright Night allows its vamps to have some bite.
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An Iraqi soldier finds himself in a Middle Eastern version of Scarface in this well acted thriller

On the eve of the first Gulf War, Iraqi soldier Latif (Dominic Cooper: Captain America) is doing his duty in the skirmishes and dreaming of the day he can leave the military and join his father in the family bookstore.
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This smart re-imagining of a Sci-Fi classic will make you want to join the Simian Revolution

It’s hard to win over a crowd when the premise of your movie is the demise of humanity. Still, at my screening of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, humans were actively cheering for chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis: Burke and Hare) to kick some bi-ped butt.
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