Brittany Snow

Syrup

Is it possible that all of your likes, your dislikes, the very tastes that you feel define you as a human being, aren’t really choices that you’ve made for yourself at all, but ideas that have been sold to you by slick, suit-wearing predators who pride themselves on being able to tap into your ego and insecurities in order to brainwash you into believing whatever what they want you to believe? Are you such a mindless follower that you’ve bought your entire identity off of a billboard? These are the heady questions at the center of Max Barry’s debut novel “Syrup,” which is a satirical tale set in the world of product marketing. And they’re the heady questions at the center of director Aram Rappaport’s new film adaptation of the story, which stars names like Shiloh Fernandez, Brittany Snow, and Amber Heard.

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cr would you rather

Iris (Brittany Snow) has returned home to take care of her sick younger brother after the death of their parents, but while her heart is in the right place it’s a place without a bank balance. When she’s introduced to a businessman named Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) who offers to solve all of their financial concerns if she comes to a special dinner party, plays a little game and walks away the winner, she’s forced to wonder how far she’ll go to salvage and save what’s left of her family. That’s how most charitable foundations work right?

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Pitch Perfect

The good news is that Glee has not ruined a cappella singing-centric entertainment. The better news is that first-time feature director Jason Moore‘s Pitch Perfect nearly resurrects the entire mini-genre, thanks to a game cast and a relentlessly fun energy. Yes, Pitch Perfect is about competitive collegiate a cappella groups that have group names like “The Treblemakers” and yes, there’s a truly unexpected amount of vomit present and yes, one character insists on prefacing nearly all of her sentences with an “a ca-” (“a ca-awesome!” “a ca-what?”), and yes, the whole thing should be just awful and ear-splitting. But it’s not. Pitch Perfect is instead not only a fresh and funny spin on the musical genre, it’s also just damn funny on its own, one of the true comedic gems to come out of the studio system this year (remember how we all doubted 21 Jump Street? It’s like that).

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Pitch Perfect

If we’re being honest with ourselves and one another, we can all just admit to having both seen and enjoyed an episode of Glee at one point. For some, the enjoyment lasted beyond one episode. But the feeling is the same, and it’s not hard to understand why those darn kids love to watch singing, dancing stereotypes fight with the full force of school pride. Plus, those songs are catchy. It’s all part of what makes Pitch Perfect an interesting little project. That, and the fact that it’s led by Up in the Air star Anna Kendrick, who can apparently sing and rap and play the bad girl who just changed schools and it looking to find her way (even after she’s found her rape whistle). According to this first trailer, Beca (Kendrick) finds her way into an a cappella group performing girls-against-boys style all the way to Regionals, or something along those lines. With a script from 30 Rock writer Kay Cannon, there’s a palpable self-aware element shown off in the trailer. This movie knows that it’s premise is ridiculous, and it shall subvert at all turns. Mostly in the form of Rebel Wilson, who played one of the creepy roommates in Bridesmaids. Go ahead, watch the trailer and tell me you didn’t get a few laughs out of her performance.

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If there’s one thing consistently more frustrating than a film being out-and-out unwatchable it’s a film on the cusp of being really good if not for something irredeemable getting in the film’s own way. All of the elements to make the vision happen are there and firing; the acting is solid to standout across the board, the non-linear structure is used well, and the writing is done well…for the most part. Where 96 Minutes loses effectiveness in intensity and diverts into frustration is in the primary catalyst for the film’s conflict. Partly the character at the center of it, but mostly our lack of significant knowledge about him that justifies him doing what he does and allowing us to connect with the motive. I gather that there’s much more to him beyond ignorance and anger at his current situation (at least I hope so), but all of that story happens over the course of the prior 16 years before the 96 minutes of time we experience.

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Could Milla Jovovich be headed toward making a low-rent version of Resident Evil?

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As if Prom Night wasn’t hard enough, Brittany Snow wants to get even in Myriad Pictures’ Breaking The Girl.

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Take a stab at Prom Night

Prom Night is infinitely better than the original (partly because it doesn’t feature a ten minute disco segment in the middle). Sure, it loads up with cliches and has more fake jump moments than actual scares, but considering the target market is horny teenage boys trying to get a rise out of their dates, this is understandable.

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Have a drink on Prom Night

Well, this version of Prom Night is PG-13, so you can be assured there’s no nudity or graphic sex. And that sucks. So the next best thing is to bring a date and both get drunk so you can make some nudity and graphic sex of your own. And the good news is that the more you drink, the more you date will start to look like Brittany Snow.

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