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California Literary ReviewAugust 2010 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for August, 2010

Video Game Review: Mafia II

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William
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Bibbiani

August 30th, 2010

The story is secondhand Scorsese, hitting all the familiar tropes even the most casual audience member will recognize: Loyalty will be questioned, stool pigeons will get what’s coming to them and the hero learns a valuable lesson about the life he chose for himself.

Movie Review: The Last Exorcism

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Dan
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Fields

August 28th, 2010

To this end, he brings a documentary crew along to an isolated farm, where a troubled father is convinced his gentle but sorely repressed young daughter, Nell (Ashley Bell) is possessed of a demon and mutilating his cattle. Marcus walks us through his exorcism con game, unbeknownst to the father and daughter, who swallow the act all the way. His job done, he counts his absurdly large fee and hits the road. Everyone is happy. Until Nell shows up, much worse off than before.

The Weekly Listicle: What… The Devil?

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Dan
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Fields

August 26th, 2010

A fascination with the supernatural, and particularly its dark side, dates back to the earliest days of moving pictures. Murnau’s Faust and Nosferatu top a seemingly endless list of diabolical encounters. We would like to share with you some our favorite devilish deals, demonic possessions, and hellish mischief from the vaults.

A Watchful Eye On… Ti West

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Dan
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Fields

August 24th, 2010

Barely on the edge of thirty, filmmaker Ti West has four feature films – with more on the way – and a respectable cult following to his name. Many a young director’s dream come true.

Video Game Review: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

August 23rd, 2010

Former criminal compatriots Adam ‘Kane’ Marcus and James Seth Lynch are brought together again after spending a few years trying to forget the dismal sales and controversy of their original outing, 2007’s Dead Men. The roles of the two get heavily reversed and the focus is on a sober Lynch, who has set up something resembling a peaceful life in Shanghai; at least as peaceful a life as a lunatic enforcer working for a local ex-pat mob boss can get.

The Weekly Listicle: Man vs. Nature–Deathmatch!

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Julia
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Rhodes

August 19th, 2010

This week marks the release of what’s sure to be the masterpiece of 2010 (aside from Sharktopus, that is): Piranha 3D. To be fair, director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) has a deft touch behind the camera, and the cast includes such horror greats as Richard Dreyfuss and Ving Rhames. Piranha 3D […]

Art Review: Energy Effects at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver

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Holly
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Hunt

August 18th, 2010

The exhibition brings such elements together to form a compelling meditation on the extreme reaches of art, technology, and militarism, and on the role of the vast, sun-struck spaces of the American West as an arena for all these forces.

Video Game Review: Monday Night Combat

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

August 16th, 2010

For while the game is about a futuristic death sport, it’s light and upbeat, full of wacky characters and doesn’t dwell on the carnage as much as the fun that comes from causing it. It’s wholly derivative, but doesn’t care; it’s too concerned with trying to provide a maximum of fun in a minimum of time while looking good doing it.

Catching Up With 2010: The Bounty Hunter

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William
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Bibbiani

August 14th, 2010

Certain films are so pedestrian, so middle of the road, so damned mediocre that they’re not even worth talking about. With that said, let’s review The Bounty Hunter. Lord knows I never pretended to value my time. Nor, apparently, did the makers of The Bounty Hunter. Nor indeed anybody who actually paid to see this dreck (myself included).

Movie Review: The Expendables

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Dan
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Fields

August 14th, 2010

Overkill is the name of the game in this gleeful throwback to the shoot-em-up favorites of the 1980s. Director, star, and co-writer Sylvester Stallone gathers action stars old and new, wrestlers, professional fighters and football players in the dueling ring. Wind them up and watch them go!

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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Julia
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Rhodes

August 14th, 2010

Scott Pilgrim may be a “ladykiller wannabe” with no cash, aspirations of rock stardom, and a slightly emo outlook, but he’s also the most awesome thing in theaters this weekend.

The Weekly Listicle vs. The Most Badass Fight Scenes EVER!

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William
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Bibbiani

August 12th, 2010

Julia Rhodes, Dan Fields and I (William Bibbiani!) are devoting this Weekly Listicle to some of our favorite fight sequences ever. As always, the Listicle is in no particular order, nor are these necessarily the “Best” fight sequences ever recorded. But they’re a fine place to start.

Book Review: Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

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Ed
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Voves

August 12th, 2010

The legions of admirers of Smith’s other novels, notably The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, will find a great deal to keep them happily reading Corduroy Mansions. The twist with this book, however, is that it is the print version of the author’s first online novel.

Movie Review: Step Up 3D

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William
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Bibbiani

August 7th, 2010

Step Up 3D is a good movie. Not an instant classic, but a genuine celebration of music, dance, filmmaking, and yes, even 3D, and their power to entertain. Step Up 3D will leave audiences smiling from ear to ear, and probably bobbing their heads in residual rhythm to the movie’s pounding soundtrack. The best part is that you don’t have to feel guilty about it this time.

Movie Review: The Other Guys

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Julia
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Rhodes

August 6th, 2010

Original, laugh-out-loud comedy films have been in short supply the last few years. At some point, comedy became less about making real life scenarios hilarious than about dissecting other genre flicks to point out their silliness. Pastiche has become the norm, what with the Scary Movie franchise, all its imitators (why?), and “Family Guy” on TV. This week’s opener The Other Guys is a spoof on buddy cop movies.

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