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NERVE, the best bad movie in a long time

The PokemonGo craze couldn't be more timely
Dave Franco, Emma Roberts and Emily Meade
Directed by Ari Schulman and Henry Joost

The best thing about “Nerve” is that it doesn’t care what you think of it. While it’s not a crazy surreal soup like “The Lobster,” it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a film that feels quite so free in its own skin. The new Emma Roberts film starts like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and ends like “The Warriors” or “Escape from New York.| Its’ “The Hunger Games” as told by John Carpenter. “Nerve” is a ... more >

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Can flattery help keep you alive?
Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman
Directed by Peter Jackson

Middle-earth continues its domination of the silver screen with this latest installment, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," the second film centering on the adventures of the hobbit Bilbo and his band of merry men (and dwarves and wizards). Peter Jackson has delivered a terrific film that also has a unique Achilles’s heel. The one weakness in this otherwise highly-entertaining movie is exactly ... more >

James Bond GETS AN UPDATE

The line shaken not stirred is a thing of the past

The days of James Bond dropping his famous “shaken not stirred” line are behind us. According to a story in advertising trade Ad Age, Daniel Craig will be drinking Heineken in the next installment of James Bond. Marketing for the world’s most famous franchise was turned on its head a while ago, however. First, the Aston Martin disappeared, then the Rolex: our man in MI5 has since been ... more >

Miss Representation

The film Adam Carolla does not want you to see
Cory Booker, Margaret Cho and Katie Couric
Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

The most poignant scene in Miss Representation, Jennifer Siebel Newsom's documentary on the sorry state of female imagery in popular culture, is where Newsom reveals that she made the film for her newborn daughter. A teenage athlete molested by her coach, Newsom developed a severe eating disorder and inferiority complex about her looks. She excelled at Stanford University, but when she later ... more >

B-13 Redux

French parkour cadets are back at it again
Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle and Tony D'Amario
Directed by Pierre Morel

First I shall say, Viva La Mag! I've seen several films recently that Magnolia Pictures acquired and they are definite winners. Food, Inc. and Bronson come to mind. In fact, both of these made SCREENCOMMENT.COM'S Best-Of list for 2009, published earlier this month. At first I was thrilled to hear that the B-13 team had come up with a new chapter in the urban squalor saga set in Paris' less ... more >

Peter Greenaway in Venice

At the Biennale

That old farceur Peter Greenaway continues to enjoy legitimacy and relevance. The trained painter who directed Drowning by Numbers has mounted a light and-sound exhibit at the Venice Biennale which appears to be quite exceptional. This is not his first revisitation of Renaissance art. In 2007 and 2008 he mounted other exhibits in Italy as part of a series of works entitled 'Nine Classical ... more >

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST

By KEVIN BOWEN You know from that opening Google Earth shot – that one that starts in outer space, re-enters the atmosphere, hovers over a city, and ends on a street corner, always in New York – that you should not expect much from Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. That shot has turned into a cliché more quickly than any kind of shot in the history of film. Actually, that awareness probably starts with ... more >