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Does STRAW DOGS (2011) harm Mississippi’s reputation?

Does STRAW DOGS (2011) harm Mississippi’s reputation?

Posted on December 23rd, 2011

Based on the original 1971 classic, this version of “Straw Dogs” moves the locale from rural England to rural Mississippi. David (James Marsden) and Amy Sumner (Kate Bosworth) return from Hollywood to Amy’s home town to fix up her deceased father’s hurricane-damaged home and so David can get some quiet time to work on his next screenplay. They soon run into Charlie (Alexander Skarsgard) and his contracting crew hired to fix up the Sumner barn. Charlie, an ex beau of Amy’s, gives David a hard time and leers at Amy along with his cronies. An escalating series of circumstances results in these mean-spirited locals pushing too far. They lay siege to the house, giving David and Amy no choice but to fight for their lives…

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HUGO’s surprising twist raises it above the average PG film

HUGO’s surprising twist raises it above the average PG film

Posted on December 20th, 2011

Even the plot of “Hugo” is a mystery.
Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is a clever orphan in post-World War I Paris who lives in the clock fixtures of a train station. He spends his time spying on the various kiosk vendors, especially a mean toy merchant (Ben Kingsley) whom he steals mechanical parts from. He filches these parts to repair a broken robotic automaton his deceased watchmaker father (Jude Law) was repairing when he died. When caught by the toymaker, he begins a tenuous apprenticeship and a fast friendship with the toymaker’s pretty ward (Chloe Moretz). As Hugo begins to unravel the mystery of the automaton, he uncovers an unexpected secret. This secret will prove important to modern history once revealed; however, an overzealous station security guard (Sacha Baron Cohen) with a dislike of thieving orphans threatens to put Hugo in the poor house before he can complete his mission…

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The good and bad of reality shows…

The good and bad of reality shows…

Posted on December 20th, 2011

I don’t watch popular reality shows. Not to sound like Holden Caufield from “Catcher in the Rye” but I can’t abide the phonies and wannabes making fools out of themselves for their seemingly entitled fifteen minutes of fame. Traveling circuses used to have freak shows, nowadays we have the “Kardashians,” “Teen Mom,” “Jersey Shore” and an abomination called “Toddlers and Tiaras.” On one hand, I love horror movies and the fictional train-wrecks that movies and TV provide, but as Milhouse once said on “The Simpsons”… “I only like it when I’m pretend scared.”…

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MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE…  One of the best movies of 2011

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE… One of the best movies of 2011

Posted on December 2nd, 2011

“Martha Marcy May Marlene” has an oddly cryptic title but a fascinating premise. It stars Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister to the infamous “Olsen Twins”) as Martha, an impressionable runaway who, after a lengthy disappearance, finally contacts her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) for a place to stay. Lucy, now married and pregnant, takes in Martha who refuses to divulge any information about the past two years in which she was missing. Through flashbacks, we learn that Martha had been seduced and brainwashed by a Manson-like cult lead by a charismatic nihilist named Patrick (Oscar-nominee John Hawkes). As Lucy and her husband (Hugh Dancy) become increasingly disturbed by Martha’s inappropriately erratic behavior, flashbacks reveal key moments in her time with the cult which hint at the reasons behind her shattered sense of reality…

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THE DEBT quick review…

THE DEBT quick review…

Posted on December 2nd, 2011

“The Debt” follows three ex-Mossad agents in 1997 (Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds) who based their entire careers and lives around the fact that in 1966 they captured a notorious Nazi war criminal in Berlin. Despite their accomplishments, they’ve been keeping a terrible secret and when circumstances threaten to expose their shame, they set out not only correct the problem but to also right a wrong committed over thirty years prior. The story behind the secret unfolds in flashbacks with Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas and Sam Worthington (respectively) playing younger versions of the agents…

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