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  • June 26, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Say what you will about the guys running Iran, but they are indeed media savvy. How do you get thousands of people off the streets and into the house and put an end to all these pesky demonstrations? Why, you broadcast the most popular trilogy of all time on the TV. According to this anonymous posting from someone in Tehran in "Salon," one of the state television stations is offering marathon showings of "The Lord of the Rings."

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  • June 26, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and now Michael Jackson. In one week it's like an entire issue of "National Enquirer" has been wiped out.

    I was never a big fan of Jackson's music, but I certainly respected his impact on Pop Culture. How could you not? Not only are there an overwhelming number of references in the mainstream media, but he makes appearances in the most obscure independent and foreign movies.

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  • June 23, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    The distributors of "The Stoning of Soraya M," according to the "Hollywood Reporter," face a delicate opportunity as the release of the film coincides with the ongoing turmoil in Iran over the disputed election. The film is based on the true story of the 1986 stoning death of an Iranian woman accused of adultery by her husband who wanted to get rid of her for a new wife.

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  • June 22, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    What with the crashing economy, the North Koreans having a nutty and Iran melting down - to name just a few of the crises spinning at the moment - the status of the death penalty would seem to be near the bottom of President Obama's list of priorities. Nonetheless, he'll have no choice but to take a stand on the issue pretty soon, since the cases of six federal death row inmates will probably see their stays of executions expire in the next few months.

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  • June 17, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    What with the increasingly tense protests against the disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmedenijad, not to mention the ongoing threat of their nuclear program, the state of filmmaking is not the first thing people think about when the subject of Iran is raised. Nonetheless, I think it's germane, and so does Vadim Rizov at GreenCine.

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  • June 15, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    The deserved success of "Up" and other Pixar CGI epics unfortunately overshadows the visual glories of animated films made the old fashioned way, laboriously by hand. Films like "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," "Snow White." And "Aladdin?" Well maybe not so much "Aladdin," if only because it was in part responsible for deep sixing one of the most ambitious and dazzling feats of animation ever attempted, Richard Williams's "The Thief and the Cobbler

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  • June 10, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Are there no undivorced dads in the movies any more? And do they all end up going to some imaginary realm to find with their inner child and so be able to reconnect with their children? My theory: these movies are written, produced and directed by divorced Hollywood dads who are overworked and are trying to find with their inner child if not to reconnect with their inner child than at least to dredge up some material the kids in the audience (or their parents might) like and thus earn enough to make child support payments.

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  • June 09, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Well, I guess that clinches it: film criticism, at least in print journalism, is dead.

    So say no less than the head marketers of MGM/UA and Universal studios, as quoted in a recent New York Times article (by way of Jeffrey Wells's "Hollywood Elsewhere" website). And, as we all know, the purpose of film criticism is to sell the product of major studios.

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  • June 08, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Truth, they say, is the first casualty in war. Sometimes it's also the last.

    Some seventy years after the Soviets and the Nazis signed a treaty agreeing to invade Poland and split the country between them, Colonel Sergei Kovalyov, a Russian historian, recently published an article which appeared on the official website for the Russian Ministry of Defense entitled "Fictions and Falsifications in Evaluating the USSR's Role On the Eve of World War II" in which he explains how the war as all Poland's fault.

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  • June 06, 2009
    By Peter Keough
    Not to beat the issue to death, but the credit cookie mentioned below reminded me of a posting I did three years ago, which seems to have vanished into electronic oblivion. So I'll resurrect it here. It was about [SPOILER!] "Best/Worst Blow-Jobs in a Non-Pornographic Film," an award I thought at the time I might bestow on Carlos Reygadas's "Battle in Heaven,"

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  • June 03, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    NOW I remember what I wanted to ask Ed Helms about "The Hangover" when the two-minute warning from the publicist put me in panic mode. True, he said that all the "deleted" photosof the boy's lost night in Vegas - shown in a montage over the credits in the end - were posed. But were they simulated? In particular one involving Zach Galifianakis and a woman old enough to be his mother.

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  • June 02, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    A lot can happen in two minutes. Especially if you talk really fast. Plenty of time to slip in a gratuitous question about misogyny.

    PK: Alright. So you went back in forth actually from "The Office" to...

    EH: Yeah. Five days a week in Vegas and two days a week in "The Office." I worked like 45 days in a row.

    PK: Since we only have two minutes, I'll give you three topics, Mike Tyson; tiger; and getting tasered in the nuts.

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  • June 01, 2009
    By Peter Keough


    VIDEO: Peter Keough interviews Ed Helms

    If some prognosticators are right (or if you want to believe the people at Warner Bros.), the sneak, sleeper hit of the summer will be Todd Phillip's ("Old School") "The Hangover," a crude, lewd, vomit-spewed comedy about four guys who go to Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up not remembering a damn thing.


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