Revolutionary Road

Culture Warrior

Modern romance and the movies are arguably dependant on one another, as movies have a long history of affirming the idea(l) of the perfect relationship. Hollywood movies in particular have developed a mastery at the formula of bringing imperfect individuals together into perfect couplehood and framing marriage as the closure of all previous conflicts and difficulties. Many romance movies, thus, teach us what romance and couplehood are or, perhaps more dauntingly, what it should be. That romantic films are a staple in the box offices of commercial movie theaters to reparatory screenings or are marathon’d on television every Valentine’s Day is evidence of our ritual association of considering real-life romances in fictional terms. It is rare that movies, especially Hollywood, seem to do the opposite: reflect the distinction between ideal romance and the ostensible “reality” of relationships in all their complexity, grittiness, slow development, necessary problems, and (most of all) subtlety. Perhaps the most evident turns cinema makes in this direction is in the break-up movie, that rare narrative that situates itself as a disruption from the normal mode of portraying couplehood through representing its antithesis, the dissolution of a couple. The most recent example is Blue Valentine, the great Cassavetes-style, character-driven psychodrama about a couple who continue making the wrong turns and can’t make it work despite, or because, of themselves. Breakup movies from the light – (500) Days of Summer – to the heavy – Blue Valentine – often self-consciously (either by testament from the filmmaker like in […]

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This past weekend saw the cinematic glory of Resident Evil: Afterlife pushing past security to get into your local theater even though it was moving slower than an instant replay in a curling match. The absolute atrocity of this film raises a lot of questions, but one of the first and foremost is whether or not directors should work with their spouses in a leading role. Paul W.S. Anderson, who thinks Milla Jovovich is as big an action star as Sigourney Weaver, is also married to Milla Jovovich, and while we can’t prove causation for the low marks in her performance here – we can certainly point to correlation. We can also point to 9 more husband and wife teams in order to find out if working with your legally bound significant other is really such a great idea.

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This week’s Culture Warrior is so good that it took three extra days to write.

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This week’s Culture Warrior tries to figure out what common theme connects five films made by one of our most talented contemporary filmmakers. From American Beauty to Away We Go.

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This week I am pleased to bring you the most epic Blu-ray report in the history of my musings about the format. As you may have noted, I’ve taken the past two weeks off and have missed quite a few titles. So I’m playing catch up.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves signing up for random medical trials and psychological experiments. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVD’s.

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Gosh darn it, man! Can’t the Academy at least throw a bone to audiences and recognize movies that people actually bothered to go and watch? Like The Dark Knight, or WALL-E? Or Gran Torino?

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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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There was a lot of talk this year about whether or not The Dark Knight could overtake Titanic atop the list of highest grossing film of all-time. As a result, the topic of the “Kate and Leo” reunion in Revolutionary Road was not too far beneath that conversation (if you’re in my group of friends, that is).

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The 2008 film season brought us beauty in both traditional and unconventional ways. While there has been an argument that leading ladies are few and far between, I think there’s a strong case to be made against that. This list of ten female figures will hopefully offer proof of that.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil bring on the fruitcake with their big, fat Christmas special. They question the correlation between Nazis and Christmas with the release of Valkyrie and The Spirit.

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Are you an awards season junkie? Do you love to be able to sit there and look smart in front of your friends and family, most of whom only make it out to the movies once a year to see the latest Jim Carrey comedy, by being able to talk endlessly about all of the “important” movies of the year? If so, consider this your awards season to-do list.Fr

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominees for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards today, laying out what is generally regarded as a relatively accurate precursor to the Academy Awards nominations.

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I currently have 28 different DVDs of award films that various studios have sent me. That’s about 50 or 60 hours of movies to get through in the next two weeks before the nomination window opens… in addition to the other seven mainstream movies I have to see in the next week.

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Paramount Pictures makes a few changes to its 2008/2009 release schedule.

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We’ve already rolled through Universal and Walt Disney, so now it’s time to talk about Paramount Pictures’ lineup for 2008.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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