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TIFF 2014: ‘Whiplash’ is Even Better the Second Time Around

Whiplash review TIFF
Sony Pictures Classics

This was my second time watching with ‘Whiplash,’ Damien Chazelle’s film about basically two sociopaths and their terrible relationship. One of these sociopaths (I’m exaggerating a little, but not by much) is played by Miles Teller as an up-and-coming jazz drummer trying to make it at the best school in the country. The other is played by J.K. Simmons, his jazz instructor. Both of these people are assholes. Both of these people hate each other. Both of these people kind of need each other, but in the process, both do awful, awful things to each other. There’s no real reconciliation for these two. ‘Whiplash’ will never have these two characters put apart their differences and form a friendship. The dynamic between these two assholes is just what makes ‘Whiplash’ so incredible to watch.

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Will ‘As Above/ So Below’ Ruin Your Labor Day Weekend?

Universal
Universal

It’s Labor Day weekend. The good news: You most likely have a three-day weekend ahead of you. The bad news: Movies are terrible. Anyway, there a new movie called ‘As Above/ So Below’ that comes out this weekend. You might be tempted to see it because it’s new. New isn’t always better. Sometimes it is! But not this time. As a service to no one, really, because you are already enjoying your long weekend, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘As Above/ So Below.’

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Filed Under: Category: Movie News, Movie Reviews

Will ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Beat You Over The Head With Stylized Style? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

TWC
TWC

Nine years after the original ‘Sin City,’ a sequel that no one has recently asked for will be in your local movie theater come Friday. The name of this sequel is ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,’ which consists of four intertwining stories set against a stylized backdrop and, hey, it’s August … what are you really looking for right now, anyway? As a service to you, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.’

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‘The Expendables 3′: Embarrassment Rankings

Lionsgate
Lionsgate

While Stallone may be perfectly comfortable selling himself out, his accomplices on this latest jokey saga seem to have tackled their ludicrous material with varying degrees of seriousness – and as this ranked rundown details, also with varying degrees of embarrassment. Ahead, of the established stars, we rank from least to most who we feel the most embarrassed for that he (all hes!) is in 'The Expendables 3.'

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‘Let’s Be Cops’: A Live Blog Review

Lets Be Cops Review

‘Let’s Be Cops,’ a new movie about two grown men -- played by Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. -- who pretend to be police officers, did not screen early for critics. On a rainy Tuesday night, I paid $14 for a ticket for ‘Let’s Be Cops’ at my local movie theater, to watch the film amongst around 30 other people who thought this would be a satisfactory night of entertainment. While watching I kept a running diary of my experience. Watching ‘Let’s Be Cops’ is a miserable experience. Anyway, here’s how that all went…

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‘Hercules’: A Live Blog

Paramount
Paramount

Because of Comic-Con and because Paramount did not screen ‘Hercules’ before I left for Comic-Con, I have been living a life that was free of The Rock-as-Hercules. That is, until Tuesday morning when I bought a ticket to see ‘Hercules’ at a movie theater on the Upp

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Filed Under: , Category: Movie News, Movie Reviews

Will a Talking Plant Win Your Heart During ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

Marvel
Marvel

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is the weirdest and funniest of the Marvel movies to date as we follow a ragtag group of strangers (to each other and, most likely, to most audience members) led by Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord, a name he desperately wants to be called). Will you like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’? It depends!

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Just How Bizarre Is ‘Lucy’? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

Lucy review
Universal Pictures

This week, Scarlett Johansson (‘We Bought a Zoo’) stars as a character named Lucy in a movie called ‘Lucy.’ The advertising campaign makes Luc Besson’s new film look like a mainstream action film – and there is action! – but it’s not quite what you might think it will be.

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‘Sex Tape’ and the Problem With Movies About Married People With Boring Problems

Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Did you hear the one about getting married and having a family? When you get married and have children, you no longer get to have sex. This basic knowledge has become such a tired movie cliche and yet entire films continue to be built around it, including 'Sex Tape,' the new film that reunites 'Bad Teacher' director Jake Kasdan with his stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel -- a combination that should make for easy entertainment, but instead lends itself to exasperated groans.

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‘Boyhood’ Review

Boyhood Review
Richard Linklater

Every film is a cultural artifact. As singular works of art, movies are their own self-contained contributions to popular culture, but their often essential inclusion of things like music, fashion, and slang within their own narratives puts them into a unique space – art wrapped around art, culture enveloped in culture. It’s why even bad period-set films are so fun to watch, as seeing canny cultural representations is almost always amusing, if not a bit intriguing. Blame it on nostalgia, shared memory, or even a good old-fashioned affection for otherwise forgotten pop culture snippets, but movies that work hard to accurately depict a time period or an era always have an extra it of built-in entertainment.

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