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California Literary ReviewFebruary 2010 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for February, 2010

Erector Set: The Movie. In 3D. This idea is as bad as you think it is.

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William
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Bibbiani

February 17th, 2010

Erector Set will require Helix Films to do all the heavy lifting in the creative department. They have essentially paid good money to write an original screenplay that ties into an existing piece of merchandise that, let’s face it, is out of the public eye. Lego, in contrast, is still relevant culturally with commercial tie-ins to popular franchises like Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones. Erector sets are a fine plaything and certainly wonderful gift for children of almost any age… but when was the last time you heard of a child getting excited about it?

Video Game Review: Dante’s Inferno

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William
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Bibbiani

February 17th, 2010

Dante’s Inferno gets no points whatsoever for originality, but it’s such an entertaining, suspenseful and gorgeously designed videogame that it would be a shame for anyone to dismiss it based on poor marketing or the uninspiring downloadable demo. Visceral Games has proven themselves once again to make solid entertainment with striking visual aesthetics, and luckily for all of us seem to be growing a bit as storytellers as well.

Julia’s Most Anticipated 2010 Movie Releases

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Julia
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Rhodes

February 16th, 2010

It’s mid-February, 2010, and I’m only just getting the year right on checks (I’m one of those jerks who spends the first six months of any year writing the last one on everything). Some of my most anticipated movie releases have already passed, and unfortunately none of them were mind-blowingly great. The Lovely Bones didn’t […]

Is a Taxi Driver remake really “getting organizized?”

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William
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Bibbiani

February 15th, 2010

The Guardian reported today on a new rumor emerging from the Berlin Film Festival which suggests that Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro may be considering a remake of Taxi Driver. Of course, The Guardian only includes one quote which does not mention Taxi Driver specifically. According to the paper Martin Scorsese was referring to “the […]

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub

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Katherine
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Tomlinson

February 15th, 2010

Novelist Lee Harwell is having breakfast at his favorite Chicago diner when a hostile homeless guy shouting a single word—obstreperous—interrupts his meal. He’s unsettled by the encounter and finally realizes why. The homeless man reminds him of his childhood friend Hootie who has been confined to a mental hospital since the sixties and communicates only in single words and literary quotations.

Movie Review: The Wolfman

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Julia
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Rhodes

February 13th, 2010

Werewolves in cinema have had many incarnations, but most modern lore stems from the 1941 Universal picture The Wolf Man. The unforgettable image of a monstrously deformed Lon Chaney, Jr. thrusting out his chest, baring his claws, and baying at the full moon is one of Hollywood’s most lasting. Director Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman, also a Universal production, is a pitch-perfect reboot of the classic horror movie.

Many Criterion DVDs Going Out of Print: A Lamentation

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William
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Bibbiani

February 13th, 2010

Criterion, you are the Pixar of DVD distributors. Every film you release is guaranteed to be of a significant quality (or, in the case of films like Equinox or The Rock, at least a significant cultural impact), presented with the finest picture quality possible, and usually with special features that actually deserve to be called special. But, since you’re not a production company, you don’t actually own any of the films you release, and occasionally the companies that do own them ask for the rights back. In the past, Criterion editions of The Silence of the Lambs or Robocop actually constituted status symbols amongst DVD collectors: You either had them or you didn’t, and deserved to be pitied. Now, alas, hot on the heels of The Third Man going out of print (pick up their gorgeous Blu-Ray edition while you still can), Criterion has announced some more DVDs, and in some cases Blu-Rays that will no longer be released by their company, and returned to the care of Studio Canal.

Julia’s Anti-Valentine’s Movies

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Julia
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Rhodes

February 11th, 2010

Ah, Valentine’s Day. In elementary school, we were forced to address valentines to everyone in class (even that boy who had a penchant for under-the-desk nudity and the girl who picked her nose). At my high school, students were encouraged to buy red roses and have them delivered to sweethearts in class. I generally wore […]

William Bibbiani’s Top Three Unconventional Romances for Valentine’s Day

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William
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Bibbiani

February 11th, 2010

Or maybe you’re just like me, single on the most romantic night of the year, drowning your sorrows in mint chocolate chip ice cream and booze, and thoroughly unsold on the conventional love stories Hollywood repeatedly markets to boundless optimists. Either way, you’re going to need an unconventional romance right now, and here are my picks of three of the four best ever made.

How to fake your way out of seeing this year’s Oscar nominees!

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William
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Bibbiani

February 11th, 2010

No, you don’t have to watch The Blind Side. I’ve got your back. This year, for the first time in almost sixty years, there are ten nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And you know what that means… now there are even more movies that you probably haven’t seen yet. I’ve put together […]

William Bibbiani interviews writer/producer/director Mick Garris!

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William
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Bibbiani

February 9th, 2010

Today, as you may have noticed, is a day of many, many interviews. In addition to interviewing the lovely and insightful Julia Rhodes, I also had the opportunity to interview Mick Garris, a horror filmmaker best known for the “Masters of Horror” television series, and of course the landmark Stephen King TV mini-series The Stand. We discussed his new show “Post Mortem,” his work with Stephen King, and his early work on such films as The Fly 2 and, most importantly, Critters 2: The Main Course.

Introducing…William Bibbiani!

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Julia
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Rhodes

February 9th, 2010

While Snowmageddon, Part One raged around us here on the east coast, the amazing and talented William Bibbiani granted me an email interview. Now, as Snowpocalypse 2010, Part Deux, creeps up (a new snow is currently falling hard outside the window to settle lightly on the two-plus feet already on the ground), I give you, […]

A CLR EXCLUSIVE Interview… with CLR Film Critic Julia Rhodes!

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William
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Bibbiani

February 9th, 2010

Hello everybody, and welcome to the Fourth Wall, in which we California Literary Review film critics talk more directly to our audience. Uncertain where to begin, we decided start this process by getting to know our other humble bloggers. Today we start with the film critic with the most CLR seniority, Julia Rhodes, as interviewed by William Bibbiani.

Movie Review: From Paris With Love

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William
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Bibbiani

February 6th, 2010

Structural difficulties, failed attempts at levity and below-par action sequences would be bad enough, but sadly From Paris with Love also has a noticeably sexist undercurrent to its detriment, giving what would normally have simply been a bland meal a genuinely unpleasant aftertaste.

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, a New CLR Movie Blog

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Mike
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February 4th, 2010

We’re excited about our first blog, The Fourth Wall which will provide a less formal and more immediate forum for our film critics, Julia Rhodes and William Bibbiani, to discuss movies and the movie industry with our readers.

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