Cynthia Nixon

James White

It takes seven stages to get over grief. Twelve steps to kick booze. An as-yet-undetermined number of steps or stages or whatever to stop being an unsympathetic and unmitigated asshole. Josh Mond’s James White chronicles the eponymous James White (Christopher Abbott), who could stand to benefit from attempting to take a few steps in any direction, as long as those steps are aware from his grief, his alcoholism, and his profound addiction to being an asshole. Sensitively told and clearly close to Mond’s heart, James White follows James during a terribly gray period in his life, just after the death of his father (who he did not love) and the seemingly inevitable demise of his cancer-stricken mother (who he does). As James fumbles to come to terms with his life, he continually makes not just terrible decisions, but stupid ones, poor ones, idiotic ones, the kind that ensure that the haze and daze of his existence, the stuff he can attribute to a life steeped in guilt, won’t ever lift no matter how things shake out for him.

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Stockholm Pennsylvania

“Do you remember Mr. and Mrs. Dangett?” Somewhere in a single room at the bottom of a single house, a single man and a single girl live out their entire lives. Nikole Beckwith‘s Stockholm, Pennsylvania chronicles what happens after all of that, after a sheltered child is returned to her real life and her real home, and what that feels like almost after nearly two decades away. Saoirse Ronan stars in the well-tuned drama as a small child once known as Leanne, kidnapped as a toddler, renamed “Leia” (after some sort of princess, she tells us later), and sentenced to live in a basement with a stranger (Jason Isaacs) for the foreseeable future. Beckwith’s film explores what happens after Leanne/Leia is rescued and given back to her shell-shocked and emotionally unstable parents (Cynthia Nixon and David Warshofsky). It’s not exactly easy.

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What's a "bus"?

Though it ended its television run nearly a decade ago, HBO’s Sex and the City still remains the gold standard in female-driven ensemble sex-coms (just imagine the Hollywood pitches that include the line “It’s like Sex and the City, but in [fill in city here]!”) and, for better or worse, the series is still relevant to television today. Hell, the Sex and the City tour business is still booming in New York City, complete with cupcakes and cosmos. While I wasn’t a first-run fan of SATC and, though I knew plenty of people (mostly women) who thought it represented some sort of canonistic experience for gals of a certain age in a certain type of city, I never felt that way. SATC may have felt like aspirational entertainment to some – even now, living in New York City in a lovely apartment that actually has bedrooms, I still think Carrie’s studio is awesome – but it doesn’t even remotely present a realistic view on life in the big city (especially New York City). Nevertheless, SATC is a constant source of background television viewing for me, along with Friends and Seinfeld, and it continues to play out in syndicated form across a number of different television channels. What I’m saying is, the show is still on a lot, and it’s often on a lot within my viewing range. I’ve seen every episode of SATC by now – and multiple times – and I have even endured both of the feature films […]

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RampartUKPoster

Word on the street is that Oren Moverman‘s Rampart is pretty damned good. It stars Woody Harrelson as an LAPD cop in the wake of the Rampart scandal in the 1990s. It also features Ice Cube, who doesn’t at all still represent the LA of the early 1990s. The thing is, even if the movie were terrible, this poster would still be awesome. It looks absolutely stunning, and we’re giving one away. Plus, one (1) lucky winner will get a Harrelson-signed script to go with their new wall art. How do you enter? Excellent rhetorical question! Here’s how:

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Rampart

There’s dirty cops and there’s bad cops, and there’s a difference between the two. In Oren Moverman’s Rampart, a large-scale scandal threatens to ruin an entire police division, but the possibly-orchestrated (and conveniently televised) fall from grace of a single, uninvolved officer forms the plot of the filmmaker’s sluggish and sloppy second feature. Writer and director Moverman again teams with his The Messenger star, Woody Harrelson, as maybe-fall guy Dave Brown, a renegade cop unhinged by the possibility that he’s been bad all along, he just didn’t know it. Though Rampart makes copious mention of the complicated real-life scandal that shook up Los Angeles and the LAPD in the 90s, the film itself instead focuses on the fictional tale of Harrelson’s Dave Brown. An old school cop, a former solider who spends a touch too much time harkening back to his Vietnam years, Harrelson fills out Dave with enough of that classic Woody charm to keep him endlessly watchable, but frequently hard to care about (Harrelson will likely get some Oscar buzz, and if anything in this film is awards-worthy, it’s Harrelson’s work). A cigarette-chomping, skirt-chasing alcoholic, Dave doesn’t have much to recommend him besides swagger and a smirk, but even that can’t save him when he’s caught on tape positively kicking the crap out of a citizen who (at least on the video) appears to be doing nothing wrong. Sent to the media and popping up on newscasts across the city, Dave’s bad behavior may be ruining his life, […]

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fp-79076

I’m not quite sure why I decided to watch Sex and the City in its entirety. It could have been my curiosity about the show, or my desire to put Sex and the City 2 in some fair context in an Internet blogging landscape overwhelmingly composed of male writers and male readers, or maybe I was seeking out some sort of endurance test…or maybe all these are lame excuses to shamelessly justify watching a show that one would so easily encounter ridicule for watching.

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fp-78945

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads to the desert to grade Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

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Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City was never intended for my demographic, but I refuse to fault it for that, for in critiquing those media objects not intended for us, we must be careful not to confuse preferences of taste with quality.

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sexandthecity_wide

I feel a bit odd heaping praise on the film – even more odd than attending the 400+ person screening with our illustrious Executive Editor Neil Miller and being two of only about a dozen guys in the house. But there’s a lot of good things in this movie.

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sexandthecitydrink_wide

Gather together for girls’ night out and see Sex and the City. Grab your cosmopolitan, and get ready for some laughter with your favorite girlfriends from Manhattan.

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Since the first episode of the first season aired, people have been wondering about Carrie and Mr. Big. Fans will now look to the movie for all of the definitive answers…

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published: 02.01.2015
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published: 01.31.2015
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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
B-


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