Richard Venture

Richard Venture

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Series 7 Review


Excellent
The title Series 7 stands for the seventh season of the highest-rated reality based show on television, The Contenders. Set a few years from now, the program rules are laid out with unsparing precision: Six average, everyday citizens are chosen via random lottery to mercilessly kill one another. This will continue until one survivor remains. Sound familiar? When historians chart the downfall of human empathy, they will see that we were only one step away from moral paralysis in our increasing apathy to Survivor, Temptation Island, and The Real World. Here we are, now entertain us.

This satire couldn't be more cutting edge. Former tabloid TV producer Daniel Minahan (and co-screenwriter of I Shot Andy Warhol) takes dead aim on glib, pre-packaged network formulas for success. A terse narrator (Will Arnett) offers mock-sympathetic encouragement for the contestants as well as in-depth play-by-play ring coverage. Opponents are given screen time for weepy confessions to their assigned guerrilla cameramen, dispassionately filming their fight or flight confrontations on hand-held digital video.

Continue reading: Series 7 Review

Scent Of A Woman Review


Excellent
Al Pacino got his ribbing for "hoo-ahhh!"ing his way through Scent of a Woman, but underneath the scenery chewing, there's a sweet and watchable film to be seen. Pacino is a blind ex-army man with skeletons galore, Chris O'Donnell is a prep school kid who's landed in some unexpected trouble and takes on a job watching Pacino over Thanksgiving. They learn from each other, just as each finds a way to save the life -- figuratively or truly -- of the other. Fun to watch.

Series 7 Review


Zero

Satire has never been as ugly and unpleasant as it is in "Series 7," an extreme "what-if" spoof of reality TV that oversteps its intentions by making its plot, its atmosphere and its characters all so abhorrent and grating I walked out of the press screening after 20 minutes. And I had to really force myself to stay that long.

The movie isn't really a movie at all -- it's just shaky, "Cops"-style video footage from "The Contenders," a fictitious "reality show" in which common Americans are picked by lottery to try to assassinate each other.

The show's reigning champion (10 kills in two "tours") is Dawn (Brook Smith), a hard-bitten loser with a million axes to grind from her screwed-up upbringing. She's nine months pregnant and willing to do whatever it takes to make it through a third tour and thus free herself and her baby from the grip of the show.

Continue reading: Series 7 Review

Richard Venture

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Series 7 Movie Review

Series 7 Movie Review

The title Series 7 stands for the seventh season of the highest-rated reality based show...

Series 7 Movie Review

Series 7 Movie Review

Satire has never been as ugly and unpleasant as it is in "Series 7," an...

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