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American Hustle

American Hustle

The Con over Reality: making the case
Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper
Directed by David O. Russell

In "American Hustle"’s would-be signature moment con-man Christian Bale shows G-man Bradley Cooper a Rembrandt in a gallery. He explains that it’s really a fake. Who is the better artist, he asks, the original artist or the person who took the time and skill to fake it? Well, I would say the artist. He is the one who perceived it. He is the one who conceived it. He is the one who summoned the ... more >

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

A possible Oscar contender, so watch out
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by David O. Russell

A romantic comedy may feel like a strange new direction for director David O. Russell (“I Heart Huckabees,” “The Fighter") but his adaptation of Matthew Quick’s namesake novel is a winner, serving up equal parts romance and uplifting drama. What of Bradley Cooper 2.0?  He plays a demanding role to perfection. His Pat Solatino, a bipolar Philadelphia man who spent eight months in a psych ward ... more >

The Words | REVIEW

Plagiarize at your own peril
Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana
Directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal

“The Words” is a nested film with three intertwined stories about writers and as such will be followed with rapt attention by any writer in the audience. Whether anyone else will be interested in a movie filled with good intentions but whirring on empty, I’m not sure. For starters, Montreal once again trying to pass off as Paris once again feels off. But then, the entire movie—by first-timers ... more >

The Hangover II

Same shenanigans new locale
Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms
Directed by Todd Phillips

I watched “The Hangover II” (a.k.a H2) at the multiplex because I wanted to find out how the sequel would stack up next to the original and wildly successful 2009 original, and also because I wanted to be part of the event of watching the movie inside a theatre packed with movie-goers rearing to go. H2 is an event because it helped launch—together with “Kung Fu Panda 2”—this summer tentpole ... more >

Limitless

A trippy transformation movie
Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro
Directed by Neil Burger

Has there been some secret value to a flipped-out Charlie Sheen declaring himself the Nietzschean uebermensch, living by a porn star code that mere mortals could only hope to appreciate? I would say yes. In his little henpecked heart, every man would love to stand on top of a building waving a machete against the world. The cubicle chorus of a billion Internet clicks equates to an army of sad ... more >

REVIEW – The Hangover

 [rating=2] "The Hangover" opens from the desert around Las Vegas. A man bleeds from his lip as he speaks into his cell phone. He instructs a faraway bride to hang up her bridal gown. She’s not going to need it. They don't know where the groom has vanished. This edgy scene suggests that if you eat to the center of this comedy, you will find a secret of darkest cherry – something bleak and ... more >