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Non-Review Review: Cyrus

Cyrus is a film that it’s hard to work up passion about in either direction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, to be entirely honest – I don’t actively dislike it or anything like that. It’s just an honest reflection on this attempt to merge the indie “mumblecore” sensibilities with more conventional mainstream movie-making. It’s funny in places, and features a great cast, but it ultimately feels far too self-assured, and more like it’s comfortable with its indie-movie clichés, rather than trying to tell its own story.

Family dysFUNction...

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Non-Review Review: Talladega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is not as good as Anchorman. That said, this reunion of Will Ferrell with Adam McKay has its charm – helped along by the fact that its comedy is framed inside a wonderful little story, and acted out by all manner of skilled performers. I think, if anything, the movie stands as a testament to the huge difference that a sympathetic and engaging protagonist and strong supporting cast can make to a comedy.

A breath of fresh air...

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Non-Review Review: 9

9 looks absolutely lovely, with a heavily stylised computer-generated style that seems intended to evoke the macabre stop-motion style of films like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride, along with more traditional and conventional animation. However, as magical as the production on the animated feature might be, the movie – somewhat ironically given the way things work out – lacks soul.

A rag-tag bunch...

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Non-Review Review: Step-Brothers

Is just me, or are the Judd Atapow machine comedies getting crasser and crasser? Sure, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up weren’t exactly incredibly clean pieces of comedy, but they certanly demonstrated far more maturity than most of the recent output from that particular comedy factory – for better or worse. It’s just hard to find bodily function jokes and profanity funny for their own sake, and – if that is the measure of humour these days – that sort of humour is a dime-a-dozen these days. That’s not to say that Step-Brothers is entirely without charm (it has more than a few engaging moments), but just that it seems to think that appealing to the lowest common denominator is a legitimate form of comedy when it can’t think of anything better to do.

Brothers in arms...

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