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California Literary Review » movie comedy California Literary Review

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Get Shorty, #26

by
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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

May 2nd, 2013

One year after reviving his career in Pulp Fiction, John Travolta gracefully slipped back into the role of a mobster. Like Vincent Vega, Get Shorty’s Chili Palmer is ultracool, sharp-witted and drawn to dressing in black. He can shatter your nose with a punch or fire his Colt Detective Special accurately enough to add a part to your hairline.

Movie Review: Spring Breakers

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Dan
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Fields

March 23rd, 2013

It is a painful stretch to suggest that most of the movie is each girl’s troubling fantasy of how spring break will be, dreamed up while sitting in their dorm with no money. However, the fact that Korine’s tale allows for such questions is one of the most fascinating things about it. The movie’s ambiguity, with each interpretation bearing its own horrifying implications, lends unexpected dramatic weight to the exploitative revelry that makes up most of it.

Movie Review: The Croods

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

March 19th, 2013

An overprotective father, Grug prefers to keep his clan holed up inside a cave until they need food while Eep wants to explore the world outside, to her father’s dismay. After sneaking out one night, she encounters fire-maker/idea man Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his pet Belt.

Early Review: Don Jon

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Matthew
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Newlin

March 13th, 2013

Don Jon is Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt), a New Jersey meathead who only cares about a few things: his body, his boys, his ride and his women. Above all else, though, he values his internet porn and the hours and hours he spends getting “lost” in it.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: In Bruges, #35

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

February 28th, 2013

Two Irish hit men, Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), are sent to Bruges, a picturesque medieval city in Belgium, to hide out after a hit in London goes awry.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, #39

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

January 31st, 2013

The twisting, amusing heist movie was written and directed by Guy Ritchie, a 29-year-old Brit who never went to film school and learned his craft by creating music videos and TV commercials. Unfortunately, as we see it, this feature-length debut also serves as the high point of Ritchie’s career—unless you count his eight-year marriage to Madonna.

Early Review: Warm Bodies

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

December 18th, 2012

The latest attempt to capitalize on the zombie craze, Warm Bodies tries to provide a different spin on the genre by presenting a love story between a zombie and a human.

Movie Review: Hyde Park on Hudson

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Matthew
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Newlin

December 8th, 2012

Director Roger Michell is obviously in love with the story and the characters, but it is hard to discern why. Michell treats his material with a sort of reverence too honorable for the drivel which it is.

Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook

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Julia
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Rhodes

November 21st, 2012

Much of the time, a movie just can’t offer the sort of character depth and development a book does. It’s totally implausible that a man recently released from a psychiatric hospital would find himself with the weight of his family’s livelihood on his shoulders as he performs in a dance competition with a recently widowed, slightly nymphomaniac young woman.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Midnight Run, #50

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

November 15th, 2012

This is The Odd Couple on the run from the mob. And it works primarily—if not entirely—because of the pairing of Robert De Niro, as bounty hunter Jack Walsh, and Charles Grodin, as the nerdy accountant Jonathan “the Duke” Mardukas.

Early Review: John Dies At The End Starring Paul Giamatti

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

November 6th, 2012

The lead two actors have good chemistry, Clancy Brown is always a welcome sight, and the script is funny. Even when the plot falters, the movie maintains its sense of humor and commitment to the premise of showing how two painfully average 20-somethings would fare when given the task of saving the Earth.

Movie Review: Here Comes the Boom

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Brett Harrison
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Davinger

October 11th, 2012

Mixed Martial Arts/Ultimate Fighting Championship has certainly hit the big time when it becomes the subject of major motion pictures. Last year, we had Warrior, which starred Tom Hardy and earned Nick Nolte an Academy Award nomination. This year, we have Here Comes The Boom, which stars Kevin James (The Zookeeper, Grown Ups) and is produced by Adam Sandler. This one will probably be ignored come awards time.

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect

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Julia
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Rhodes

October 6th, 2012

In Pitch Perfect, nobody’s more than The Fat One, The Sexy One, The Dumb One, The Alternative One, and The Gay One. Basically, Pitch Perfect took The Breakfast Club, Bridesmaids, Glee, and Bring It On and squashed them into a messy blob that leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Things Change, #61

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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

August 30th, 2012

When the courtly Ameche saw that the script required him to curse, he held up the scene for a few minutes to first apologize to everyone on the set for what he was about to say.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Bullets Over Broadway, #64

by
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George
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Anastasia, Glen Macnow

August 9th, 2012

Woody Allen broke out of a directing funk with this classic underworld comedy, a Runyonesque look at the guys and dolls of 1920s Broadway. The film grabbed seven Academy Award nominations, with Dianne Wiest winning an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

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