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Theatrical (390)

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Editor's rating: 
 4.0
Monday, 01 June 2009 ,  Written by Brittani Simberg
Every Little Step (2009)
They say the simplest ideas, the ones that make you think, “I should have thought of that”, are the most ingenious.  Still, when it comes to the concept behind Every Little Step, as an amateur theater geek (I’ve met professional theater geeks and truly, I barely qualify for amateur status), I feel like I should have thought of that.  Every Little Step is a documentary about the casting of the 2006 Broadway revival of  “A Chorus Line”, once the longest running show in Great White Way history (overtaken by Cats, then The Phantom of the Opera, which is the current titleholder).  This film is about as meta as entertainment gets – it is a documentary about real people trying out for a show about fictional people trying out for a show based on real people who tried out for shows ...
Editor's rating: 
 4.0
Sunday, 31 May 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Sam Raimi wants to scare you again. It's been nine long years since his last horror flick, 2000's The Gift. But while that film went for a brooding, gothic atmosphere wrapped around a murder mystery plot and featuring a cast of Oscar nominees and winners, Drag Me To Hell returns Raimi to the impish stylings of his famous Evil Dead trilogy.   Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer at a California bank. She's dating a psychology professor (Justin Long) and aches for a promotion to assistant manager. Her boss (David Paymer) tells her that in order to move up, she's going to need to learn how to make "tough decisions." Thus, when Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver), an old Eastern European woman, shows up and asks for an extension on her mortgage payments, Christine declines to help her. ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Wednesday, 27 May 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Up (2009)
No studio in the history of Hollywood has had the track record of Pixar. Of course, no other movie studio releases so few films, but even so, it's remarkable that they have been able to retain such a consistently high level of quality amongst a series of feature and short films. The people at Pixar are constantly breaking new technological ground while telling stories of such high caliber that it puts all others (especially their main competitor, Dreamworks Animation) to shame. Even weaker Pixar films, such as A Bug's Life and Cars, are so thoroughly enjoyable that it's impossible to dislike them. And with their recent outings, Brad Bird's Ratatouille and Andrew Stanton's Wall-E, they took steps into new narrative grounds. Unfortunately, Up, their tenth feature, feels like a step backwards for the trailblazing studio.Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) has always ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.0
Tuesday, 26 May 2009 ,  Written by Brittani Simberg
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
Full disclosure:  I never saw the first Night at the Museum, so I cannot compare it to its sequel.  I can only judge the new one on its own merits, which, unfortunately, are lacking. When I saw the preview for the original, it seemed silly.  Neither the premise nor the cast interested me very much.  I had tired of Ben Stiller’s angry little man routine sometime between Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers (yes, I enjoy Meet the Fockers, but for Deniro/Danner and Hoffman/Streisand and not really for Ben Stiller at all).  Robin Williams’ career had taken a seriously tragic turn that showed no sign of reversing (Patch Adams, Bicentennial Man, Death to Smoochy?  I won’t go on, but sadly, I could.  Alas, Mork – how did you ever let this happen?)  The only thing that amused me at ...
Editor's rating: 
 1.5
Friday, 22 May 2009 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Terminator Salvation (2009)
There is a great scene in the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. In the scene, Dr. Evil, having finally captured his arch-nemesis Austin Powers, prepares Austin's death. Dr. Evil's son, Scott, asks why Evil doesn't just kill Austin outright. "I have an even better idea," Evil responds, "I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death." And with that, he places Austin on a platform, descending slowly into a tank full of sharks. He then orders that the doors to the tank be closed. Incredulous, Scott says, "Wait, aren't you even going to watch them? They could get away!" "No no no," Evil replies once again, "I'm going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I'm just gonna assume it all went to plan." That, in a nutshell, is the ...
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