POSTS WITH TAG: reviews

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    Ladies and gentlemen, it's another Muppet movie! Yaaaaaay! Your weird, furry friends are back with another movie, Muppets Most Wanted, starring Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell. The movie takes you to far-flung, glamorous locations such as: Madrid! London! Berlin! And the Gulag! Yes, that famously harsh prison in Siberia. You'll love it there. The Muppets sing, dance, and make gags. Did I mention the cameos? You guys, they make Christoph Waltz waltz. I kid you not. Most importantly, there are now two Kermits.

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    Warning: This recap of season 2 of House of Cards contains spoilers.

    Throughout season 1 of House of Cards, you couldn't help but wish someone would come along and challenge Frank Underwood and his unstoppable wife, Claire. Though reporter Zoe tried, bless her heart, she was always too deer-in-headlights to get the job done, and it was only fitting that Francis pushed her in front of a moving train in the very first episode of season 2. The truth is, you forget about Zoe very quickly. So many other characters step up to take center stage as the season unfolds -- along with several who actually make Frank sweat, for once. It's not that you want to see Frank and Claire fail, it's that you begin to feel this weird need to test them, poke them, see if they're actually human -- find out how they'll react when driven to desparation. This season flawlessly delivers that -- and so much more.

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    Spoiler alert: Do not read this recap unless you've seen the first episode of Season 2, or don't mind finding out what happened.

    I liked Season 1 of House of Cards, but I didn't love it. I felt like the plot moved too slowly at times and there were far too many ho-hum characters introduced that we were expected to care about. Nothing prepared me for the non-stop excitement present in Season 2's premiere episode, appropriately titled, "Hunt Or Be Hunted." The show kicks off exactly where the last one ended, with Frank Underwood and his wife, Claire, returning from a nighttime run in the park like two vicious lions who just killed and devoured their midnight snack. Frank's murderous plan to get to almost the tippy-top of the food chain was a success, and in a few days he will assume the position of vice president. But there are LOTS of people still in the way, and neither Frank nor Claire are going to let that stop them.

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    Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 film adaptation of Scott Spencer's book Endless Love is a film that haunts me to this day. Starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt as star-crossed lovers Jade Butterfield and David Axelrod -- really young James Spader and Tom Cruise as supporting cast, too -- it's actually more dark drama than frothy romance. But in its 2014 incarnation, directed by Shana Feste and in theaters today, it's a purely effervescent, modern day fairy tale. Which means just about anyone looking for a mushy (and okay, slightly melodramatic) teen love story complete with a goofy dance scene, ridiculously good-looking leads (Gabriella Wilde from the 2013 Carrie remake and Alex Pettyfer of Magic Mike fame), and super-pretty scenery (Greater Atlanta, Georgia) will be a happy camper with this light Valentine's Day viewing.

    We caught up with Feste recently and got behind-the-scenes scoop on what went into the notably more lighthearted remake of the teen romance ...

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    The fundamental problem with Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street is that it doesn't know what, exactly, it wants to be. It seems to know it's a movie (and a long one, clocking in at three hours). It also seems aware that its strengths lie in its performances (here's looking at you, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and perhaps most strikingly, Matthew McConaughey). But outside of that, and a few beautifully artful shots, what the movie sought to do is anyone's guess. 

    I love Martin Scorsese. He, in turn, loves criminals. He loves rats. He thinks they're fascinating. He glamorizes his bad boys, often cloaking their amorality beneath a sheen of beauty (Gangs of New York, Boardwalk Empire) or, as was the case in this film (and also Goodfellas), a deliberate, cartoon-like disconnect.

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    There's a big problem when your average Tuesday night is more exciting than Snooki and JWOWW's girls' trip to Atlantic City. This episode had promise. We were supposed to see the girls let loose and get Jersey Shore-style crazy while their men stayed home to watch little Lorenzo (Jionni) or tend to their biceps and escape their fiance's always-present pout (Roger). I was looking forward to girl gossip! Hearing Snooki's deepest mom confessions and watching JWOWW break down and admit she wanted a baby right now! 

    Instead we got poop talk. 

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    There are some movies you know you're only going to see just once. The viewing experience is too overpowering, overwhelming, disturbing, and transformative for you to go through it again. That's the feeling you may have after seeing 12 Years a Slave, a film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, Benedict Cumberbatch as William Ford, Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps, and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey, directed by Steve McQueen.

    To say that this movie was onerous to watch from beginning to end is an understatement. It's an unblinking, unforgiving look at America's darkest time period. Based on a true story, Northup is a free man living in Saratoga, New York, in 1841, with his wife and two adorable children. While dining with two men with whom he thought he'd do business, he awakens the next morning in chains. He's quickly shipped off to New Orleans and sold, where he is forced to work as a slave for, you guessed it, the next 12 years.

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    If you're planning on heading to the movies this weekend, it sounds like you can't go wrong in buying tickets for The Wolverine, which is already shaping up to be a huge box office hit based on the film's reviews.

    Whether you're a hard core Marvel comics fan who has been anticipating the movie's release for months, or someone who simply can't resist seeing Hugh Jackman look all buff and sexy with his shirt off (yes, please) -- the flick is bound to please and keep you entertained and glued to the big screen. (Again -- Hugh Jackman is half-naked. How bad can it be?)

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    Everyone loves Ryan Gosling. Right? What's there not to love? The hangdog eyes. The soulful expression. The hot bod. But apparently after screenings of Ryan's new movie Only God Forgives, there is a flat-out Ryan Gosling haterparade going on. Critics are pounding on this movie like a starving monkey pounds on a coconut. The Gos plays a drug-smuggler who runs a boxing club in Thailand. Gos! Shirtless! Sounds good so far. Buuuuut that's about as good as it gets. The reviews seem to be universally bad, and the screening in Cannes was booed. Listen to this review -- it's the worst movie review you'll ever read in your entire life.

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    Talk about timing. After Kim Kardashian hired a private investigator to follow Scott Disick, he and Kourtney were furious with her. Then Kim dropped her pregnancy bombshell on tonight's episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, and she was immediately forgiven. One minute they were calling what she did unforgivable and kicking her out of the house, and the next they were making her smoothies and shedding tears of happiness for her. 

    The private eye didn't even seem to find out much on Scott beyond pictures of him out wasted at nightclubs, which was no surprise. Kourtney uncovered a bigger secret about him with just her white t-shirt -- that he wears tinted moisturizer. Still, it was the act of betrayal, and they had a right to be pissed at Kim. "This is an all-time low," Scott said.

    Then Kim called Kourtney in the middle of the night with a medical emergency, and everything changed.

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