Willie Krischke Willie Krischke
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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On DVD: 'Source Code' Smart, Original Sci-fi

July 26th, 2011 2:13pm EDT
Gyllenhaal/Monaghan
Sometimes it feels like original ideas are against the rules in Hollywood; most of the movies that get made, even the good ones, are rehashes of the same old ideas. This year’s Best Picture winner, for instance, was a film about an unorthodox therapist who is able to help our protagonist when other therapists have failed. Someone recently pointed out to me, it’s the same basic plot as “Good Will Hunting;” I mentioned that “Mary Poppins” is cut from the same cloth as well. Old ideas rehashed = box office (and Oscar) glory.

Which makes “Source Code,” a movie based around an original ide...
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Charlie Day Steals The Show In 'Horrible Bosses'

July 10th, 2011 1:31pm EDT
Horrible Bosses
It's often said that comedic acting is more difficult than dramatic acting, for various reasons. On one hand, it's a real shame that comedic actors are never recognized for their works with Oscars or other prestigious awards. On the other hand, so many comedies are so lazy (Adam Sandler's last five movies, for instance) that they deserve the derision and low reputation they get. All of this makes it all the more delightful when a brilliant, excellent, elevating comedic performance comes along; the kind delivered by Charlie Day in "Horrible Bosses."

From the beginning, Day has his work c...
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On DVD: '13 Assassins' Takashi Miike Takes On Samurai

July 5th, 2011 10:11am EDT
13 assassins title pic
"13 Assassins" comes from Takashi Miike, the Japanese director responsible for "Audition" and "Ichii the Killer," memorable horror films that you might wish weren't quite so memorable. Miike is remarkably prolific, making three or four films a year, but only a few ever make it to this side of the ocean. His last U.S. release was "Sukiyaki Western Django," a pointless, bloody and fun spaghetti western that felt more like a cast and crew having a laugh at us - and occasionally with us - than a film proper.

The parallels between Westerns and Samurai films have been pointed out endlessly, ...
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"Cars 2" a Cynical Clunker

June 26th, 2011 11:19am EDT
Cars 2
For the last five years, Pixar has been on quite a roll, churning out one reliably solid animated film every summer. The last four have won Oscars for Best Animated Feature, and the last three (WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3) are, in my mind, stone cold classics. This winning streak and reputation for quality are what make Pixar's latest, "Cars 2," not just disappointing, but puzzling.

The hero of the first "Cars" film, a race car voiced by Owen Wilson, returns to Radiator Springs to spend some time with his best friend Mater, aka Larry the Cable Guy. If there's any time left over, he might ...
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'X-Men: First Class' A Lot Like The First Film... But In All the Right Ways

June 7th, 2011 3:38pm EDT
X-Men: First Class
Unlike most superhero/comic book movies, there’s an overabundance of story in “X-Men: First Class. There are points in its 132-minute running time when it feels far more like an epic miniseries than a summer blockbuster. It’s surprisingly willing to downplay its big action sequences in order to focus on character development; the action is there, but it just doesn’t feel terribly important.

And yet, for the most part, “First Class” doesn’t feel overstuffed and rushed, or overlong and talky. There are a lot of characters to introduce after all, though director Michael Vaughn wisely capit...
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