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Non-Review Review: The Internship

When did Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn get so old? The two rose to fame as part of the “frat pack” in the late nineties and the early part of the last decade, with The Internship serving as a reunion eight years after their collaborative effort in The Wedding Crashers. It’s interesting to look at how radically their screen personas have shifted. The Wedding Crashers positioned the two men as teenagers afraid to grow up, while The Internship joins them as two middle-aged men with life experience to share.

There’s a sense that something’s missing here, that we skipped a crucial step in the transition from rogue youngsters to hip uncles. The Internship doesn’t feel reckless or energetic. It feels safe and comfortable. If The Wedding Crashers saw the pair joyriding in a stolen Ferrari, The Internship feels more like a cruise in the family sedan.

A brand new day...

A brand new day…

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Non-Review Review: Tremors

Man, I love Tremors. I’m a professed B-movie geek who grew up on the particularly cheesy Wes Craven and John Carpenter films of the seventies and eighties, who has always harboured a soft spot for playful monster movies, so I reckon I’m the film’s target audience. Tremors is one of those affectionate throwbacks, those movies that don’t just aim to evoke a particular genre and time period (as The Expendables was a generis eighties action movie produced twenty-five years too later) so much as offer an up-to-date and self-aware reinvention of them (as Spielberg produced a thirties adventure serial with modern sensibilities in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Rodriguez offered a brutally hilarious modern-day Mex-ploitation film in Machete). Tremors is basically a fifties B-movie produced with late eighties A-list talent and self-awareness.

The town's gone to ground...

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My Best of 2011: Midnight in Paris & “Diet” Woody Allen…

It’s that time of the year. To celebrate 2011, and the countdown to 2012, I’m going to count down my own twelve favourite films of the year, one a day until New Year’s Eve. I’m also going to talk a bit about how or why I chose them, and perhaps what makes this list “my” best of 2011, rather than any list claiming to be objective.

Midnight in Paris is number four. Check out my original review here.

I’ve been mulling this over since I had the chance to see the film back in August. I think that Midnight in Paris might (just might) be my own favourite Woody Allen film, without any of the usual qualifiers attached. It is my favourite Woody Allen film of the decade, and my favourite one set in Europe, but I’m growing increasingly comfortable just stating that as an absolute. I, personally, prefer it to Manhattan or Annie Hall. I can’t explain it. As I noted in my piece covering True Grit as my eighth favourite film of year, perhaps it’s just that my internal “quality Woody Allen film detector” is broken. After all, I liked – rather than lovedVicky Christina Barcelona, so what do I know of Woody Allen?

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House: Season 5

It’s a strange world. It’s startling that last year’s writers’ strike produced one the most stunning years of television that I can recall. In particular the fourth seasons of both House and Lost managed to inject a new sense of life into premises that had been wearing more than a little thin. Both series finales were fantastic, and promised wonderful things for the coming year. And both series subsequently failed to live up to the promise offered by those finales. In fairness, Lost was pretty awesome this year, just not with the same concentration of awesome which defined its earlier season. House, on the other hand, faltered coming out of the date by giving us a whole myriad of poorly-handled interesting storylines and just blain terrible subplots. Just when it looked like it was going to limp past the finish line, the last handful of episodes managed to turn it around, but I’m still not sure what to make of the season as a whole.

The show had its problems this year, let's see if we can make a diagnosis...

The show had its problems this year, let's see if we can make a diagnosis...

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