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Entries by Marshall Fine from 07/2012

Interview: Neil Young and Jonathan Demme's Journeys

| Posted 07.02.2012 | Entertainment

The first time, it was about creating a concert. This time, say Neil Young and Jonathan Demme, it was about capturing one. And doing it as faithfully -- both visually and, more important, aurally -- as possible.

Movie Review: Collaborator

| Posted 07.03.2012 | Entertainment

Collaborator, an assured directorial debut for actor Martin Donovan (who also wrote the script) is smart, funny and tense, featuring a riveting performance by David Morse.

Interview: Actor Martin Donovan Takes the Direct Approach

| Posted 07.03.2012 | Entertainment

"Directing this film has been an act of survival," Martin Donovan says, sitting in a Manhattan office on a warm June afternoon. "Directing a film was something I always wanted to do, something that seemed an inevitability in my development as an actor.

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

| Posted 07.05.2012 | Entertainment

After three films about Spider-Man guided by Sam Raimi, Webb takes over and takes off. The director of (500) Days of Summer uses all the visual and digital tools at his disposal, just as Raimi did -- except the tools are slicker, glossier, more digitally seamless than those long ago days of 2002.

Best Films of 2012: Halftime Report

| Posted 07.05.2012 | Entertainment

In fact, 2012 already has thrown up a host of solid films that have nothing to do with super-heroes, comic books or massive computer-generated special effects. Hopefully, a few of them will stick in memories -- or get year-end publicity pushes -- when awards season rolls around.

Movie Review: Savages

| Posted 07.06.2012 | Entertainment

When the bullets fly and the knives come out, Savages springs to gory, spurting life. Too much of the film, however, showcases its pretty stars' shortcomings -- and they're almost significant enough to sink the film.

Movie Review: The Do-Deca-Pentathalon

| Posted 07.09.2012 | Entertainment

There's not a lot to The Do-Deca-Pentathalon and yet it never drags. And, more often than you'd expect, it makes you laugh. It may not set the world on fire, but it will amuse you without boring you -- a quality that is becoming rarer and rarer.

Movie Review: Crazy Eyes

| Posted 07.10.2012 | Entertainment

Crazy Eyes was spawned by the same boozy mentality (and, sometimes, sentimentality) that has inspired the work of everyone from Dylan Thomas to Charles Bukowski.

Interview: Author Don Winslow and The Kings of Cool

| Posted 07.11.2012 | Entertainment

The Kings of Cool picks up the story of the Savages trio -- the weed-dealing Ben, Chon and Ophelia -- a few years before Savages. Prequel? Not exactly -- at least writer Don Winslow doesn't look at it that way.

The Importance of a Great Pen: An Appreciation

| Posted 07.11.2012 | Huffington Post

Somehow, when the right pen hits the right paper, there's a little bit of magic. Writing becomes fast and effortless. The pen glides across the paper, capturing the words almost as they're spoken.

Movie Review: Union Square

| Posted 07.12.2012 | Entertainment

Union Square may grate on you early on but, like its main character, all it wants is for the audience to give it a chance to show what it's really about. In this case, it's not too much to ask.

Movie Review: Trishna

| Posted 07.13.2012 | Entertainment

Gorgeously shot and acted with aching tragic truthfulness, Michael Winterbottom's Trishna is a romance of depth and feeling.

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises -- A Dissenting View

| Posted 07.16.2012 | Entertainment

There is very little about The Dark Knight Rises that will make you tense, hold you in suspense or cause your adrenaline to squirt.

Movie Review: Grassroots

| Posted 07.17.2012 | Entertainment

There's a certain rowdy spirit to Stephen Gyllenhaal's Grassroots, now playing in limited release, that gives the fact-based comedy-drama a surprising vitality for a movie that seems so schematic.

Movie Review: Red Lights

| Posted 07.18.2012 | Entertainment

Does psychic ability exist? Can human beings possess and access these kinds of mental powers? Anything's possible, I suppose. Can Rodrigo Cortes build a puzzle that remains mysterious until he places the final piece, thus surprising and satisfying an audience? No such luck, I'm afraid.

Real Violence vs. My 'Death Threats'

| Posted 07.20.2012 | Entertainment

Unlike negative reactions to my review of The Dark Knight Rises this week, actual news happened last night in the form of a tragedy, when someone walked into a suburban Denver multiplex and killed at least a dozen people.

Movie Review: The Queen of Versailles

| Posted 07.20.2012 | Entertainment

Schadenfreude is a tempting thing. That's particularly true when dealing with characters like the ones at the center of Lauren Greenfield's stunning documentary, The Queen of Versailles.

Movie Review: Searching for Sugar Man

| Posted 07.23.2012 | Entertainment

The strangeness of truth compared to the limits of the human imagination gets a crystalline demonstration in Malik Bendjelloul's Searching for Sugar Man.

Review: Ruby Sparks

| Posted 07.24.2012 | Entertainment

Ruby Sparks could be a tasty bit of magical realism in romantic-comedy form, the first produced screenplay by actress Zoe Kazan, who plays the title character. Except for one serious problem.

Movie Review: Killer Joe

| Posted 07.25.2012 | Entertainment

In a summer of movies made of bombastic special effects and obvious action, Killer Joe still has the ability to surprise by keeping it down and dirty -- though you'll need a strong stomach to make it to the end.

Movie Review: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

| Posted 07.26.2012 | Entertainment

What if you live in a society where the very ideas you harbor are punishable by imprisonment -- or worse? How much of being an artist becomes about simply having the courage to express your ideas in verbal or physical form?

Why Hollywood Studios Fear Political Content

| Posted 07.27.2012 | Entertainment

This is the least of Hollywood's worries, for my money. The major studios have a bigger problem -- such as the fact that they so seldom make movies with serious themes or content. And they never address actual political issues if they can avoid it.

Review: Celeste and Jesse Forever

| Posted 07.30.2012 | Entertainment

Both are about intense relationships between young adults that end -- and yet go on. Both are stories of love that has grown one-sided. And both ache with the unavoidable self-pity that goes along with that kind of situation -- while finding the laughs in that same circumstance.

Movie Review: The Babymakers

| Posted 07.31.2012 | Entertainment

The Babymakers wants to be a Judd Apatow comedy. Instead, it's like a third-rate Comedy Central sitcom, with dirty words, little nudity and fewer laughs than fingers on one hand.