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Editor's rating: 
Friday, 11 March 2011 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Mars Needs Moms (2011)
Over the course of my day job, I've seen the trailer for Mars Needs Moms more than I can count. It has generated a loathing within me that I cannot adequately describe. The general rule of thumb is that the trailer for a comedy will include all the funniest moments. It seems that with Mars Needs Moms, the decision was made to include only the most annoying parts in the trailer, because every line felt like it was piercing directly to the anger centers of my brain. Imagine my surprise when I saw the movie and found that it wasn't quite as unbearable as I had first assumed. However, "not always annoying" isn't the same as "good," and while Mars Needs Moms can sometimes rise to the level of the former, it never gets within shouting distance of the latter.Milo (Seth Green) is your typical ...
Editor's rating: 
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
True Grit (2010)
There's something uniquely American about the Coen brothers. Whether they're examining a man's personal breakdown in the midwest with A Serious Man, a kidnapping mystery in Fargo, a mob land war in Miller's Crossing, or two bowlers who just want their rug back, the Coens manage to put a spin on the story that makes it feel like a true American folk tale. Even their adaptation of The Odyssey is filtered through an old-time American lens in O Brother, Where Art Thou? And while they made something of a modern revisionist western with their Academy Award-winning No Country For Old Men, the duo have seen fit to return to the genre, this time with all the proper trappings, with a remake of the 1969 John Wayne film True Grit.The film opens as Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld in a brilliant performance) recounts the death of her father at the hands ...
Editor's rating: 
Sunday, 19 December 2010 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Tron: Legacy (2010)
Disney has sure made some bizarro live action picture over the years. The 70's in particular was a great era for Disney's live action department, bringing us such semi-forgotten classics as The Black Hole, The Watcher In The Woods, and two entries in the Witch Mountain series. But it wasn't until the early 80's that Disney released perhaps its most famous live action picture, a little oddity known simply as Tron. Starring a young Jeff Bridges as a man who finds himself sucked into a computer system and forced to play dangerous games (which to humans simply seem like the video games they play at arcades), Tron was absolutely groundbreaking. Using all kinds of never before seen visual effects, including very early CGI, Tron has grown from an odd slice of Disney arcana to a full fledged cult classic. Much like another sci-fi film released in 1982, Blade Runner, the ...
Editor's rating: 
Friday, 03 December 2010 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Black Swan (2010)
It didn't occur to me until I sat watching the end credits of Black Swan that Darren Aronofsky's movies to date have all shared a common theme. From Pi to The Wrestler, Requiem For A Dream to The Fountain, and now Black Swan, Aronofsky makes films about people who  are consumed by their passions, their desires, or their fears. In a way, he's been making the same movie over and over from the start. But that doesn't stop each one from being fascinating on their own, and Black Swan is no exception.Natalie Portman plays NIna Sayers, a ballet dancer with a New York company. She lives with her mother (Barbara Hershey), who attends to her every need, even clipping her nails. The lead dancer in the company is Beth (Winona Ryder), but she's getting old, so the company's director, Thomas (Vincent Cassel), decides it's time for a new lead. Nina dares ...
Editor's rating: 
Monday, 22 November 2010 ,  Written by Daniel Hirshleifer
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
It's a little difficult to believe that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the second to last film in the massively successful Harry Potter franchise, is at all related toHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Where that movie, the franchise's first, was filled with wide-eyed wonder, Deathly Hallows is dark and world weary. It's a credit to original author J.K. Rowling and the series varied filmmakers that they've been able to bring the audience to this point. As the film opens, things do not look good for our heroes. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) still reels from the loss of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Hermione (Emma Watson) reluctantly and painfully casts a spell on her parents to make them forget her in order to keep them safe. And Ron (Rupert Grint) is full of apprehension. Things pick up quickly, with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his Death ...
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