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Movie Review: Dinner for Schmucks

July 31, 2010 – 12:28 pm | 2 Comments
Movie Review: <em>Dinner for Schmucks</em>

Obviously the message of the film is that making fun of others is cruel, unfair, even monstrous. That’s what they say at least, but in actuality the film spends almost two whole hours doing just that. Tim literally runs into the biggest schmuck imaginable in Barry (Steve Carell), an impossibly awkward and entirely friendless taxidermy enthusiast who is obsessed with making storybook dioramas using dead mice wearing clothes.

The Weekly Listicle: Animated/Animatronic Animals Galore!

July 29, 2010 – 4:45 pm |
The Weekly Listicle: Animated/Animatronic Animals Galore!

This week’s Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore looks, frankly, cringe-worthy—but you can bet kids will love it. A German shepherd getting his butt stuck in a tube? The kids are there. A …

Book Review: Lucy by Laurence Gonzales

July 28, 2010 – 1:50 pm |
Book Review: <em>Lucy</em> by Laurence Gonzales

Lucy, half human, half bonobo monkey, was genetically engineered by her scientist father, so that “humans can be moved into a more favorable spot in the evolutionary matrix, a position in which we may enjoy some of the superior qualities of our bonobo cousins.” His mission was to create “a new race of people, more like the bonobo but with human intelligence and language—therefore better suited to living in harmony with nature.”

Art Review: An Eakins Masterpiece Restored: Seeing “The Gross Clinic” Anew

July 27, 2010 – 9:48 am | 2 Comments
Art Review: <em>An Eakins Masterpiece Restored: Seeing “The Gross Clinic” Anew</em>

The image of Dr. Gross evoked memories of scenes of carnage which Americans, north and south, were trying to forget. Many were not happy to be reminded. In a controversy lasting over the next few years, newspapers and art journals weighed in, with a growing body of negative judgments deflating Eakins’ hopes of a major triumph. The Art Interchange editorialized that “although vigorously treated…” The Gross Clinic “ought never to have left the dissecting room.” “Power it has,” the New York Times proclaimed, “but very little art.”

Out of the Ashes: John Carpenter back in the game?

July 26, 2010 – 4:30 pm | 2 Comments
Out of the Ashes: John Carpenter back in the game?

As of July 24th, we are two months away from the release date set for John Carpenter’s new film The Ward, his first theatrical feature since 2001’s disastrous Ghosts of Mars. The story, apparently set in a haunted mental hospital, promises claustrophobic terror aplenty. Let’s hope the director can keep it together the way he used to.

Video Game Review: LIMBO

July 26, 2010 – 12:36 pm |
Video Game Review: <em>LIMBO</em>

It really isn’t the most interesting of games, and if approached with traditional expectations, can be overlooked for larger or more challenging titles. As the world’s most beautiful interactive painting though, it begs to be touched at least once by anyone willing to open themselves to it.

Movie Review: Salt

July 24, 2010 – 12:05 pm | 12 Comments
Movie Review: <em>Salt</em>

No one walks away unscathed from a chase that involves semi-jumping, a fifty mile-per-hour car crash, and a gunshot wound, but Salt does. No one gets away with this kind of double agency, but Salt does. The requisite “walking away from a massive explosion in slow motion while chanting choir music throbs beneath the basso thumping” scene is here, as are the outlandish government conspiracy theories.

The Weekly Listicle: San Diego Comic Con Edition!

July 20, 2010 – 11:34 pm |

So for all of you geeks who couldn’t attend the convention because the Twilight fans couldn’t resist the urge to pack Hall H again (bad news kids, there’s nothing there this year… well, nothing of consequence anyway, maybe you should have waited before you bought those expensive tickets, hmm?), Julia Rhodes, Dan Fields and William Bibbiani present The Weekly Listicle a couple of days early. Please enjoy our tribute to some of the very best movies made by Geeks, for Geeks, and about Geeks… in no particular order folks. Comic Con is about bringing people together. The “Con” doesn’t stand for contest.

Book Review: Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk

July 20, 2010 – 8:45 am |
Book Review: <em>Tell-All</em> by Chuck Palahniuk

Tell-All follows the general plotline of the movie Sunset Boulevard, which pairs a down-and-out young writer with an aging actress seeking to reclaim her former glory. If you’re going to base a novel off of a movie, this 1950 noir classic is a terrific place to start.

Video Game Review: DeathSpank

July 19, 2010 – 9:14 am |
Video Game Review: <em>DeathSpank</em>

Even ignoring the jokes, DeathSpank is a delightful videogame. The environments are memorable and distinctive, even as they ape familiar territory from other, arguably grander games.

You Can Quote Us: SyFy’s Sharktopus Trailer!

July 17, 2010 – 7:39 pm |

SyFy’s Sharktopus trailer has everything: Surf music, government conspiracies, a sharktopus, but it doesn’t have any hyperbolic quotes from illustrious film critics. It’s The California Literary Review to the rescue as we shower free quotable praise on a movie none of us have even seen!

Movie Review: Inception

July 17, 2010 – 12:38 pm | One Comment
Movie Review: <em>Inception</em>

Inception is a psychological action-thriller that completely redefines the genre. Flawless pacing, spectacular effects, gorgeous sets and cinematography, and ingenious writing interweave to create a film unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

The State of Celebrity and Meltdowns: Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson

July 15, 2010 – 11:04 pm | 3 Comments
The State of Celebrity and Meltdowns: Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson

The sign on the hill.
Is Hollywood truly the den of iniquity we mortals perceive it to be?

Ah, the good old days: Lohan (second from right) in Mean Girls.
Based upon the travails of fallen/trainwreck …

The Weekly Listicle: Sidekicks and Why the World Needs Them

July 15, 2010 – 2:00 pm | One Comment
The Weekly Listicle: Sidekicks and Why the World Needs Them

Last week we celebrated Despicable Me by building a rogues gallery of our favorite supervillains. Now, in honor of Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, we examine that special little creature, the Sidekick. They may be good, …

Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

July 15, 2010 – 1:22 pm |
Movie Review: <em>The Sorcerer’s Apprentice</em>

As you probably know – but in case you don’t – the concept of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is based upon a famous segment of Disney’s 1940 animated musical Fantasia. In it, apprentice Mickey Mouse royally screws up the housework and incurs the wrath of his master, a stern and imposing wizard. You will be pleased to know that the new film reconstructs the classic short, and it’s just about the most enjoyable part of the movie.

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