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California Literary ReviewMarch 2012 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for March, 2012

Movie Review: The Raid: Redemption

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Matthew
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Newlin

March 24th, 2012

Written and directed by Gareth Evans, The Raid: Redemption is without question one of the most thrilling action movies ever made. Similar to how Nicholas Winding Refn withholds and then unleashes violence in films like Pusher and Drive, Evans also orchestrates his nonstop martial arts spectacular with the precision of a much more veteran filmmaker.

Community Recap: Contemporary Impressionists (Season 3, Episode 12)

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Matthew
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Newlin

March 23rd, 2012

This week’s episode, “Contemporary Impressionists,” is one of the more forthright Pop Culture O’ Rama’s that the show is known for. It does feel slightly forced, though, and less organic than similar episodes like “A Fistful of Paintballs” or even “Epidemiology,” the latter of which is a Halloween/zombie episode that uses far more tact in its weaving of pop culture allusions into the narrative.

The Weekly Listicle: “Finish Him!” Epic Death Battles

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Matthew
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Newlin

March 23rd, 2012

Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, has taken plenty of flak for allegedly borrowing this idea from Takami’s book. It seemed evident the moment that The Hunger Games became the Next New Thing. But who cares, really? If she claims to have had the idea all on her own, is it really that implausible?

Art Review: Garry Winogrand: Women are Beautiful, Denver Art Museum

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Holly
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Hunt

March 22nd, 2012

The pair make their way through a crowded New York park. At the woman’s neck, a whistle such as a lifeguard might use dangles like a pendant from a choker. Why is she wearing such a thing? Is it a form of DIY fashion, or an early version of a rape whistle, emblem of an increasing fear of street crime, as well as the greater sense of vulnerability felt by women in public? It’s impossible to know – Winogrand snapped the picture quickly, and the tilted framing of the subjects betrays its spontaneity.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Little Odessa, #84

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

March 22nd, 2012

Tim Roth in Little Odessa (1994-R) This was James Gray’s first foray into the world of Russian organized crime. Less commercial and more personal than We Own the Night, Little Odessa is more about relationships than underworld mayhem. It’s a bleak and troubling character study built around a young Russian-Jewish hit man, the younger brother […]

House Recap: ‘Love is Blind’ (Season 8, Episode 14)

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Holly
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Hunt

March 20th, 2012

After three weeks’ hiatus (NASCAR, double dose of Alcatraz, rerun) House hit the ground running – a young blind man with a complicated love life has to choose between probable deafness and certain death, while House’s mom shows up to tell everyone she’s betrothed to the man House thinks is his biological father. Some partial truths about House’s paternity are partially revealed, and there’s still time for Park to accidentally sample the patient’s LSD and spend a few hours hallucinating the others as rabbits.

Alcatraz Recap: Webb Porter (Season 1, Episode 11)

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

March 20th, 2012

A recap/review of Alcatraz- Webb Porter (Season 1, Episode 11)

The Walking Dead Recap: “Beside the Dying Fire” (Season 2 Finale)

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 19th, 2012

The writers of The Walking Dead know how to stretch out every sigh, every bated breath, every meaningful glance. After a sucker-punch of a 6-episode first season, season 2 dragged so hard the show lost a lot of viewers. Fortunately these guys also know to put the audience back on the edge of its seat […]

Two World Premiers from ODC/Dance

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Toba
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Singer

March 19th, 2012

Overall, Transit creates a recognizable place, but the dancers, while mostly a spirited lot, seem to lack the spitfire facility of their predecessors, and here I am thinking of Shannon D. Mitchell, Robert Moses, Brian Fisher, Kevin Ware, KT Nelson and Yukie Fujimoto, a vanished comet of former ODC stars.

Video Game Review: Mass Effect 3

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

March 18th, 2012

A few nights ago, I finished Mass Effect 3. As the credits scrolled I again sat silent in the dark, dumbstruck by what I had beheld. Not out of the bittersweet satisfaction that comes with the conclusion to any story, but in the confusion and anger that occurs when you’ve witnessed a crime you could do nothing to stop.

Movie Review: Casa de mi Padre

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Dan
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Fields

March 17th, 2012

The makers of Casa de Mi Padre have meticulously assembled the elements of a crummy telenovela, including blatant product placement, stilted dialogue, poor continuity, back-projected driving scenes, illogical character shifts, mannequin extras, animal puppets, and shoddy sets sandwiched between stock footage of sunny Mexican valleys.

Movie Review: Jeff, Who Lives at Home

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

March 17th, 2012

What makes Jeff intriguing is that he’s not a happy character. While you’d expect a character like him to be whimsical, pleasant, or goofy, Jeff isn’t. He’s not charming, lovable, or even physically appealing, and Segel imbues him with a genuine sadness and desperation that makes him fascinating.

The Office Recap: Get The Girl (Season 8, Episode 19)

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

March 16th, 2012

A recap/review of The Office- Get The Girl (Season 1, Episode 19)

Community Recap: ‘Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts’ (Season 3, Episode 11)

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Matthew
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Newlin

March 15th, 2012

After several months and multiple online campaigns (including #sixseasonsandamovie on Twitter and a “Save Community” Facebook page), television’s most consistently intelligent and unpredictable comedy is back with an episode that is exactly the Community fix we needed.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: At Close Range, #85

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

March 15th, 2012

At Close Range bombed when it came out in the spring of 1986. Despite a stellar cast (which looks even better in hindsight), a No. 1 hit song by Madonna on its soundtrack and a taut, gritty story, it garnered less than $2.5 million in box-office receipts. Maybe the story was too taut and gritty. This is a downcast look at blue-collar crime and teenage tedium. It’s punctuated by a nasty rape scene and an attempted filicide.

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