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21 Years: Richard Linklater - Clips


Indie filmmaking is one of the best niches to find super-talented directors and writers; and none more so than Richard Linklater. Having recently received a flood of praise for the extraordinary and innovative 'Boyhood' - a movie filmed over thirteen years with the same actors - actors and movie makers everywhere join this appraising documentary marking 21 years of amazing cinema from this artist. With works including the decade spanning romance trilogy 'Before Sunrise', musical comedy 'School of Rock', animated thriller 'A Scanner Darkly', crime drama 'Bernie' and underdog flicks 'Slacker' and 'Bad News Bears', the Texan cine-hero continues to produce imaginative and totally unique, genre-crossing stories with comedy 'That's What I'm Talking About' and a 'School of Rock' TV series marking his upcoming projects.

Continue: 21 Years: Richard Linklater - Clips

21 Years: Richard Linklater Trailer


Richard Linklater is well known in the film industry as one of the stand out names in indie movie making. Responsible for a wide variety of films including the decade spanning romance 'Before Sunset' (and its sequels), music fuelled comedy 'School Of Rock', social misfit drama 'Slacker', and innovative animated thriller 'A Scanner Darkly', Linklater has inspired a generation of filmmakers and scooped two Oscar nominations and numerous film festival awards along the way. After 21 years, this Texas born innovator is still thoroughly impressing, his latest project 'Boyhood' having caused a stir for its unique quality of having been filmed over thirteen years. Just what will he do next?

Continue: 21 Years: Richard Linklater Trailer

Veronica Mars Los Angeles Premiere Held At The TCL Chinese Theatre In Hollywood

Joey Lauren Adams - Veronica Mars Los Angeles premiere held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 13th March 2014

Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams

Veronica Mars Los Angeles Premiere

Joey Lauren Adams - Celebrities attend Los Angeles premiere of 'Veronica Mars' at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 12th March 2014

Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams

The Texas Film Hall Of Fame Awards

Joey Lauren Adams - The Texas Film Hall Of Fame Awards held at Austin Studios - Austin, Texas, United States - Thursday 7th March 2013

Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams

The 20 Year Reunion Presentation Of 'Dazed And Confused'

Joey Lauren Adams - The 20 year reunion presentation of the 1993 coming of age comedy film 'Dazed and Confused', held at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre - Austin, Texas, United States - Wednesday 6th March 2013

Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams
Richard Linklater, Anthony Rapp, Joey Lauren Adams and Nicky Katt

Come Early Morning Review


Excellent
For some reason, Come Early Morning was gone by early afternoon. I'm not sure why this indie gem was so utterly overlooked, but it's well worth a screening, especially for Ashley Judd fans who are often disappointed by the dreck in which she so often chooses to star. This movie is a wonderful bookend of sorts to Judd's first significant feature, the luminous Ruby in Paradise. In both films, Judd plays a not-quite-white-trash southern woman trying to carve out a place for herself in a tough world. In Ruby she was a 20-ish waif fleeing an abusive family in Tennessee. Here she's a 35-year-old construction contractor in Arkansas so damaged by her distant alcoholic father (Scott Wilson) that she's utterly incapable of having a meaningful relationship with a man.

Lucy Fowler's modus operandi is to get totally drunk down at a local roadhouse called the Forge and then hook up with whichever man strikes her fancy. The next (early) morning, she finds herself picking up her panties off a motel room floor, sneaking out before the guy wakes up, and racing home to rehydrate and treat her hangover before heading out in her pickup truck to a construction site. Her roommate Kim (Laura Prepon) looks on disapprovingly.

Continue reading: Come Early Morning Review

The Break-Up (2006) Review


Grim
In most romantic comedies, some find themselves pining for the two leads to finally put their differences aside and reunite, slow dancing while an overused R&B tune plays in the background and the comic relief best friend tells a last joke. It's a genre that's been done to death, of course, but perfectly enjoyable when all the elements are in alignment. When the elements aren't there, however, the result is fairly ugly. The Break-Up -- a solid argument against real-life couples being allowed to play opposite each other in purportedly romantic films -- spends about five minutes setting up Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston as a couple and then proceeds to fill the rest of its running time with all the reasons why they really should break up; and well before it's over you'll be wishing they'd just call it quits.

Accomplishing the quite difficult task of neutering the normally volcanic presence that is Vaughn and further dampening Aniston's already meek comedic abilities, The Break-Up takes some quite considerable assets and squanders them completely. Vaughn and Aniston play Gary and Brooke, a couple who meet-cute at a Cubs game, are shacked up together in a nice downtown condo before the end of the credits, and are relentlessly bickering and splitting up just a few minutes later. Vaughn plays Gary as a more muted and oafish version of his standard motormouth self -- not a pleasant creation -- which leads one to believe that the film will eventually allow him to use his charm to win back the uptight and angry but still in-love Brooke. The critic's oath precludes this writer from giving away the admittedly surprising (though not necessarily in a good way) ending, but what can be said is that little in this film goes as expected.

Continue reading: The Break-Up (2006) Review

Dazed And Confused Review


Extraordinary
This film started a number of careers, and it's definitely a classic and a high moment in the career of director Richard Linklater (also known for Slacker, the disappointing Before Sunrise, and the new Waking Life).

It is an entertaining fictionalization of high school graduation weekend of the senior class of 1976 in Linklater's former home city of Austin, Texas. Jocks, rednecks, cheerleaders, stoners, frosh, and the other high school demographic groups are all lovingly and respectfully rendered on Linklater's canvas. Though I didn't graduate until the mid-'80s, I'm pretty sure that the amount of pot smoking is this film is not exaggerated. And as evidence of the director's commitment to brutal realism, Foghat's "Slow Ride" is heard not once, not twice, but three times before the end of the movie. Rock on.

Continue reading: Dazed And Confused Review

The Break-Up Review


Grim
In most romantic comedies, some find themselves pining for the two leads to finally put their differences aside and reunite, slow dancing while an overused R&B tune plays in the background and the comic relief best friend tells a last joke. It's a genre that's been done to death, of course, but perfectly enjoyable when all the elements are in alignment. When the elements aren't there, however, the result is fairly ugly. The Break-Up -- a solid argument against real-life couples being allowed to play opposite each other in purportedly romantic films -- spends about five minutes setting up Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston as a couple and then proceeds to fill the rest of its running time with all the reasons why they really should break up; and well before it's over you'll be wishing they'd just call it quits.

Accomplishing the quite difficult task of neutering the normally volcanic presence that is Vaughn and further dampening Aniston's already meek comedic abilities, The Break-Up takes some quite considerable assets and squanders them completely. Vaughn and Aniston play Gary and Brooke, a couple who meet-cute at a Cubs game, are shacked up together in a nice downtown condo before the end of the credits, and are relentlessly bickering and splitting up just a few minutes later. Vaughn plays Gary as a more muted and oafish version of his standard motormouth self -- not a pleasant creation -- which leads one to believe that the film will eventually allow him to use his charm to win back the uptight and angry but still in-love Brooke. The critic's oath precludes this writer from giving away the admittedly surprising (though not necessarily in a good way) ending, but what can be said is that little in this film goes as expected.

Continue reading: The Break-Up Review

A Cool Dry Place Review


Grim
Novelist Michael Jaffe wrote a big weepy article about how his book (Dance Real Slow) was languishing and how it would never make it to the big screen. Well, one look at this piece of crap passed off as a movie and it's obvious why: It sucks! Amazing that with a talented cast, the movie (plot: Single father.) just sits there like a stuffed monkey.

Chasing Amy Review


Excellent
The intro sequence of Chasing Amy, comic book frames of oddly familiar characters, informs us immediately that we are entering the world of Kevin Smith. That world is one over-populated with comic book fanatics, philosophical drug dealers, and ambitionless twenty-somethings. To Smith, the film's director, that world is New Jersey.

Like characters found in other recent Gen X movies, Smith's heroes are unjustifiably hip. Chasing Amy there are two groups of characters, Jersey boys afraid of the city, and fixtures of the NYC underground. But regardless of background, every character in Chasing Amy is poised with a witty remark or comical/philosophical riff on love or life. Smith even highlights the (self)-importance of his protagonist, played by Ben Affleck, by unabashedly naming him after the coolest literary character of the twentieth century, Holden Caulfield.

Continue reading: Chasing Amy Review

Beautiful Review


Good
Few things simultaneously sicken and seduce the feminist spirit in quite as thorough a way as an American beauty pageant. Now an inextricable fixture on our cultural landscape, the pageant defines, glorifies, and objectifies Woman as a prescription for all time. An evening spent watching the Miss America proceedings on TV is like a psychosexual time warp, dragging us back to a kinder, simpler time when the female of the species need not worry itself over difficult issues like voting or wearing shoes. So it was not without a sense of irony that I walked down the cinema for a screening Sally Field's Beautiful.

Irony is the central force of Field's representative pageantry, and in the tradition of Drop Dead Gorgeous, it is no disappointment. But this is also a human story, about women in search of identity and belonging.

Continue reading: Beautiful Review

Harvard Man Review


Good
James Toback's latest white-teens-in-trouble doesn't offer much we haven't seen in Cruel Intentions, Bully, or every one of Toback's prior films (Black and White, Two Girls and a Guy, etc., etc.). At the same time, it's a rowdy and fast-paced thrill ride that makes it hard not to enjoy.

A cast of excellent character actors doesn't hurt. Scruffy Adrian Grenier is the titular "man," a Harvard student, philosophy major, and basketball player (at what, 5'2"?), who tries to make a deal with his girlfriend's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) mobster father in order to throw the big Dartmouth game, thus ensuring a big gambling payoff so he can buy his folks a new house (theirs was conveniently whisked away by a tornado). Meanwhile, Grenier's Alan bangs his professor (Joey Lauren Adams), encounters an iffy bookie (Eric Stoltz) and his assistant (Rebecca Gayheart), all of whom might be mixed up in a group sex kinda thing. Put Alan in an LSD-infused mania for half the movie and you've got Harvard Man.

Continue reading: Harvard Man Review

Michael Review


Weak
I have a theory about Michael. Take Groundhog Day, substitute William Hurt for Bill Murray. Substitute Travolta as an angel for the groundhog. Take out all the time travel stuff. Oh, and take out the funny stuff. Same movie.
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