Dustin Hoffman

It’s called a character arc, and everybody has one. It’s the progression of a character throughout a film as they go from “A” to “B” and change emotionally, intellectually, and physically along the way. It exists because nobody sane wants to watch two hours of some dude sitting in a chair…which just so happens to be the story of how this very list was made. When it comes to action, horror, and any other fast-paced genre of film, one of the best things about watching the characters adapt is that since the environment they exist in is so do-or-die, there is a incredibly steep learning curve – so by the end of the film, you most likely have a completely different person you started with…and considering that they are still alive, they probably got way, way more badass along the way.

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“EVERYONE HAS A BREAKING POINT,” Yeesh. There’s a good poster in here, but that unneeded and silly tagline doesn’t help matters much. But, really, how many taglines are genuinely good nowadays? Pretty much none. Screen Gems has just putout this lesser homage (via director Rod Lurie’s twitter feed) to the original 1971 Straw Dogs poster; something that’ll anger fans, but will probably work for the average filmgoers who have no idea what a Peckinpah is.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr follows Jamie Chung to Thailand, hoping to get married. Unfortunately, someone slips him roofies, which made him black out and spend a drunken night in Bangkok. Once he got out of that city, he headed over to China to become the new pot-bellied dragon warrior. After all, if a cartoon panda can do it, why can’t he? That didn’t stop him from spending another night in the hospital, and maybe a little time in a Bangkok jail. And then the real horror happened… Kevin saw The Tree of Life.

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Hello, darkness, my old friend. Times can be difficult when you’re in love with a girl but having sex with her mother. Dustin Hoffman makes the hard times look easy, though. Little needs to be said by way of praise for this classic, but in a way, it’s been reduced to its iconic leg-filled image of Hoffman’s character Ben’s face staring dumbfounded and its most memorable line. Oddly enough, the leg from the famous poster isn’t star Anne Bancroft‘s. It’s not Mrs. Robinson. It’s television star Linda Gray (who would actually play Mrs. Robinson later on in the stage production in London.

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Big news out of Cannes, a bunch of people are getting together and they’re going to make a movie. Very Good Girls is noteworthy for a couple reasons. Mostly people will probably be interested in it because it’s starring Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning, who are cute young girls. But also, some other folks might be interested to hear that a pretty substantial crew of talent is supporting the two PYTs. Peter Sarsgaard, Dustin Hoffman, and Sissy Spacek are also signed on. You know who they are I’m sure. And most people have caught wind of who Fanning is by now, especially since she’s been in those gigantic Twilight movies. But what about Olsen? She’s become kind of an it girl recently, as she appeared in Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House, which both debuted this year at Sundance. In the past few months I’ve gone from having no clue that there was a third Olsen sister, to hearing Elizabeth’s name mentioned all over the place, so I’d say that she’s one to watch.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; all your candy are belong to us. How many words do I really need expend on this introduction? If you’re a frequent reader of the column, who hasn’t managed to blow himself up building a working replica of Bill & Ted’s phone booth, you are already aware of my affinity for terrible movies and you have wasted more time than you dare admit reading this insufferable column. For those of you who haplessly wandered in hoping to find the nutritional content of the KFC Double-Down or creative Junior Mint recipes, my condolences. But now that you’re here, you should know that the JFC system is threefold. First, I point out the film’s numerous faults; heckling it from the cyberspace balcony like Statler and Waldorf. But then, on a dime, I switch it up and sing the film’s inexplicable praises like a banjo-wielding frog expounding on the merits of rainbows. Finally I will pair the film with an appropriate snack food item upon which you can feverishly chow down like a furry blue monster well on his way to crippling obesity. This week’s delicacy (which is likely to be brought to you by the words cease & desist): Dick Tracy

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I am a long time Michael Mann fan, even Miami Vice I would mark down as a misunderstood masterpiece. But Mann is not only one of the greatest filmmakers working today, he also knows good television. Whether it be the original Miami Vice series or the hit seventies series Vega$, Mann always had a knack for the small screen. Unfortunately, after the not so great Robbery Homicide Division in ’02, Mann sort of stepped away from television and went back to film full time. That is until Luck came along. And here is the first look at the new HBO series: Series creator David Milch described the pilot as “A bunch of intersecting lives in the world of horse racing.” With a cast boasting the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Nick Nolte and Joan Allen, along with Mann directing the pilot, I would say that Luck won’t need much of itself to succeed.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. When you don’t face up to the dangers of life, when you escape to a small English town with your beautiful wife played by Susan George, the trouble will find you. It’ll find you, and it’ll throw things through your windows and aim rifles at you. Dustin Hoffman knows this because Sam Peckinpah knows this. Even though the title of this movie makes it sound like it’s about canines made of hay, it’s really about violence and its inevitability. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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Culture Warrior

It’s become common wisdom to say that the best remakes are those made of non-canonical, non-classic films; that is, it’s typically better to give a second go to a film that – while possibly venerated, is hardly deemed a work of perfection that can’t be improved upon – than to redo a classic. Such a rule isn’t set in stone, of course, but it can be argued through example via some of the most celebrated of remakes (like The Thing or, in a more modest and more recent example of improvement-on-imperfection, The Crazies), and are often a result of a genuine inspiration from the source material rather than a simple means of capitalizing from its name. With the Coen brothers’ quite popular and much celebrated remake of True Grit, however, the distinction of what kind of a remake it is isn’t exactly so clear, as what kind of movie the original is proves to be something of an enigma in of itself.

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Here we are back again in Focker-dom, that wonderful place of crushing comic awkwardness, painful slapstick and the no less excruciating specter of great actors slumming for paychecks. Surely, the world did not need Little Fockers, this second sequel to the somewhat overrated Meet the Parents, but like an obligatory stocking-stuffer it has arrived – to cash in for Christmas – and must be dealt with.

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Science Fiction is, sadly, not always seen as high art. However, there are some brilliant acting talents who have dared to slum it in the world of science fiction. Here’s the 15 most notable ones.

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ActorsAvoidList

With Bill Nighy’s claim that he doesn’t like watching himself in movies, I figured I’d take the opportunity to suggest the practice to a few other actors. But it’s not exactly what you think.

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turnedon-trannies

Fantastic Fest is a time of Asiansploitation, kooky genre films, and titillating images galore. Taking a short break from this week-long bender to think about gender-bending has been especially tough, but I believe it to be important nonetheless. Here’s why….

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FSR

Kevin Carr struggles with reviews of the movies the studios allowed him to see: Inkheart, Last Chance Harvey and Revolutionary Road.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil is still schmoozing in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, so Kevin is holding down the fort with guest host David Medsker from Bullz-eye.com. And it’s the 100th episode of Fat Guys at the Movies, so you have that to be happy about!

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There’s been a lot of outrage flying around the cinematic world recently. Protest in the street and write strongly worded letters all you want, but if you really want to be offended, check out this flick.

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Kung Fu Panda Preview

We continue our week long Kung Fu Preview with some awesome behind the scenes features that show off the voices behind the lovable characters of Kung Fu Panda!

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How

Earlier this year, I feared Kung Fu Panda. I was afraid it was going to be nothing more than another Shark Tale. Fortunately, I was wrong.

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Edward Norton Hulks Up

That kinda makes you wonder if the WGA denied Norton a writing credit just because he’s an actor. If I were Norton, I would have already ripped a good shirt and a pair of pants.

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Kung Fu Panda Preview

In order to get you ready for Kung Fu action, I have prepared a little gallery of photos that shows off some of the beautiful animation work from the team at Dreamworks Animation.

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