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New Projects: ‘The Comedian’, Prince Charming, and Muppets

Robert De Niro has been gearing up what’s been known as his “passion project” for some time, a film called The Comedian in which he would play an insult comic modeled off Don Rickles. De Niro has now secured a director for the film, Taylor Hackford (Ray, Parker). Deadline exclusively reported that Hackford came on …

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‘The Bag Man’ a forgettable footnote for both John Cusack and Robert De Niro

The Bag Man Written by David Grovic and Paul Conway Directed by David Grovic USA, 2014 There was a time when seeing the involvement of either John Cusack or Robert De Niro would lend a hefty amount of prestige to any project, so the idea of both men appearing in the same film, circa the …

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‘The Family’ has its moments, but is never superlative

The famed French director Luc Besson hasn’t directed a film with a wide American release since the historic bomb The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc in 1999. In the interim he has written and/or produced a number of highly successful films including The Transporter, Taken, and District B13, and he’s directed a few French films that haven’t come across the pond, but The Family is his first attempt at directing an English-language film in almost fifteen years.

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A Feast For The Eyes: Famous Film Eateries

Locations in films are rarely the thing an average filmgoer remembers after watching a film; it’s always about the story, character and the lines they say that later form the proverbial ‘word of mouth.’ However, when you think of great confrontations, conversations and simple exchanges, they always take place in a nice public setting – …

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‘Jackie Brown’: The joy of great character development

There is a lot to be said about writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s success as a filmmaker. His films have all been met with some degree of critical appreciation and have all made some decent money at the box office. What’s more, and this might be his true legacy, his projects have sparked the imaginations of fellow …

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Exceptionally funny ‘Silver Linings Playbook unsurprising but wonderfully executed

Silver Linings Playbook Directed by David O. Russell Written by David O. Russell USA, 2012 Sometimes, it’s OK if you know the destination as long as the journey is plenty of fun. That’s the basic underlying principle of Silver Linings Playbook, a massively enjoyable crowd-pleaser that presents an off-kilter brand of romantic comedy, where most …

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‘Silver Linings Playbook’ starts off promisingly, but has trouble sustaining its energy

Silver Linings Playbook Directed By David O. Russell Written by David O. Russell, based on Matthew Quick’s novel U.S.A., 2012 It must take a lot of bravery and intelligence to not merely make a film in which characters suffer from various mental illnesses, but to have that film observe and develop those individuals in pertinent, …

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‘Red Lights’ disappontingly contrived and empty

Red Lights Directed by Rodrigo Cortés Written by Rodrigo Cortés USA, 2012 In 2010, writer and director Rodrigo Cortés made a splash with his film Buried, a low concept, low budget, but extremely well executed thriller of a picture. Two years later, he unfortunately offers up an endeavor that’s the exact polar opposite. With a …

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Win one of 10 double passes to the Toronto Advanced Screening of Rodrigo Cortés’s “Red Lights”

Rodrigo Cortés, who made a bit of a splash in 2010 with his high-concept / low-budget thriller Buried, is back with a new paranormal thriller entitled Red Lights, and if you can make it to the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Wednesday, June 27th, then you might just want to email admin@popoptiq.com with the heading “Red …

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Inside Out 2012: ‘Bullhead’ is a raging bull of a picture

Bullhead Written and Directed by Michael R. Roskam Belgium, 2011 In French, it translates to, “me parlez-vous?” In Dutch, it’s “spreekt u aan me?” Set in Belgium, with dialogue in Dutch and French, Michael R. Roskam’s Bullhead is a taut, uncompromising character study and organized crime thriller that masterfully translates Scorsese’s magnum opus quote, ‘are …

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Top 10 Hollywood Actors Still In Business

Much of our lurid film community is of the belief that America’s acting prowess died with its classic stars like Marlon Brando, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Grace Kelly. However, I’m here to argue that America’s actors are stronger than ever and can match up toe to toe with the likes …

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SOS Staff’s Gateway Films: Simon Howell, ‘Brazil’

Throughout November, SOS staffers will be discussing the movies that made them into film fanatics. (click here for the full list) Until I was about 14 years old, I was strictly a music nerd. I have distinct memories of arguing with another kid I went to school with around the time Radiohead’s Kid A came …

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Stone

————– Stone Directed by John Curran Written by Angus MacLachlan USA, 2010 An unusual hybrid of Hollywood casting and production values with a serious dose of left-field character choices, Stone, from director John Curran (We Don’t Live Here Anymore, The Painted Veil), comes as a bolt from the blue in a season full of dreadful …

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