Neveldine/Taylor

Resident+Evil+Afterlife

I’m not entirely certain, but I think I’m late to the conversation about “vulgar auteurism.” While I’m sure I’ve heard the hundred-dollar phrase at some point before, it wasn’t until this weekend that my Twitter feed became overloaded with musings about it (and the inevitable punnery – i.e., “vulgar aneurism”). As far as I can see, more has been written in an attempt to either define or dismiss the phrase (or both) than actually practice it. After reading some pro and con pieces about attempts to assess supposedly “disreputable” films by the likes of Justin Lin, Paul W.S. Anderson, and Neveldine/Taylor, I found myself at a crossroads. I’m not convinced that the term has much (if anything) valuable to offer serious criticism, or constitutes a significant intervention within good ol’ auteurist readings. At the same time, I can’t align myself with its critics, notably their implicit or explicit dismissals of the possibility that Hollywood’s postmodern modes of address have anything to offer serious assessments of film as an art form. Thus, in lieu of taking a side in the admittedly insular “debate” about “vulgar auteurism” (think of it as the revenge of “cultural vegetables”), that this debate is happening at all evidences several important points about both the state of mainstream cinema and the role of the discerning critic within it.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes the week off because the studios didn’t screen the new releases anywhere near him. In fact, he was specifically told not to come to one particular screening. And that can’t be a good sign, can it? What else can you expect for the movies in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, ‘cause the new ones in the theaters don’t stand a chance of winning anything next year. To take away the pain of not seeing movies this week, Kevin makes a deal with the devil, selling his soul for the ability to set his skull on fire whenever he sees a bad movie. Unfortunately, the light from said flaming skull got him kicked out of the theater because someone thought he was using his cell phone to pirate the film.

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The Avengers and The Walking Dead weren’t the only highlights from this past Saturday at NYCC. While some were walking the show floor and enjoying many of the smaller panels going on throughout the day, a majority had one goal… Get their ass to the IGN theater. And while a fair amount were merely their to squat a seat for the two big events that would go on later that evening, I was there to enjoy some really awesome panels, the first of which was for the new FOX show Terra Nova.

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San Diego Comic-Con is a busy place. No one can cover everything, or even a significant portion of everything. Judgement calls must be made, like sleeping through panels or buying cool toys instead of waiting in line at Hall H. Or you know, just covering A instead of B. I found myself in that situation when it came time for the Sony panel that featured a lot of cool things, including The Amazing Spider-Man and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Instead of suffering though the line at Hall H, which I gladly would have done, I caught up with Spartacus and then went off to see Jason Momoa, the next Conan. Luckily I was able to read all about the Sony panel on Twitter and, well… Shit.

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crank3-bdreview

Robert Fure takes a 1,000-volt shot to the heart for breakfast but still thinks Chev Chelios should have stayed dead.

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