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  • February 25, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Lisa Cholodenko won't win a Best Director Oscar on Sunday night, as Kathryn Bigelow did last year for The Hurt Locker. Cholodenko didn't get nominated. But her film The Kids Are All Right could win for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), and Best Actress (Annette Bening).

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  • February 19, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    For some fans, the 1954 film adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a classic. But those attending SF36, the 36th annual Boston science-fiction marathon, will be treated to the really classic version of the fantastic Jules Verne tale - the silent 1916 adaptation by Stuart Paton. At the very least, it will be fun to compare squids.

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  • February 18, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were about as successful at rejiggering Alice in Wonderland as they were at remaking Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. They failed to duplicate Gene Wilder's sadistic charm as the candy impresario, a necessary trait for someone transforming a naughty girl into a giant blueberry or shrinking another brat to six inches tall and then stretching him back to size with a taffy-pulling machine.

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  • February 04, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Spike Lee burst into prominence in 1989 with one of his best and certainly one of his most provocative films, Do the Right Thing (1989). Lee also stars, as a deliveryman for a white-owned pizzeria in a black Brooklyn neighborhood who gets caught up in the middle of racial conflict. It screens tomorrow at the Museum of Fine Arts at 1:30 pm.

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  • February 04, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    A 300-pound transvestite eating dog shit might seem tame today, but back in 1972, when John Waters's Pink Flamingos came out, it raised some eyebrows. Doing the turd-eating honors is Waters's late muse Divine, as she and her family try to qualify as the filthiest people in the world. But after Edith Massey's egg-sucking Edie and Divine's sex scene involving her son and a chicken, coprophagy seems almost anticlimactic.

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  • February 03, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Nobody shaped Hollywood genres to his subversive artistic vision as effectively as Alfred Hitchcock, and Vertigo (1958) is Hitch at his best. James Stewart plays one of his darkest and most tormented roles as a San Francisco detective racked by both guilt and the title malady who compounds his troubles by falling in love with a dead woman - and her double.

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  • January 29, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The profession of film criticism has fallen on hard times of late, but the Boston Phoenix's own Gerald Peary comes to its defense with his aptly named documentary For the Love of Movies, a brisk and eloquent look at the history and future of film reviewing featuring such eminences as Roger Ebert, Andrew Sarris, and even jolly Harry Knowles.

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  • January 28, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The '60s officially ended for many baby boomers when they stumbled into a midnight screening of El Topo (1970) and something happened to their minds that was unpleasant and irrevocable. Here's your chance to share the same experience as the Coolidge Corner Theatre presents Alejandro Jodorowsky's ecstatic, nonsensical, visionary psychedelic Western.

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  • January 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    One of the best films about the Vietnam War, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987) also offers insight into the trauma endured by veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Starring Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio as Marine recruits, Kubrick's stark masterpiece shows the process of dehumanization, from boot camp to the killing fields.

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  • January 20, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    We all know this guy - heck, we might be this guy: the one conned into selling pot to an undercover cop, the poor schmuck who gets dumped not only by his girlfriend but by his dog. Played by the sly comic genius Paul Rudd, he's the title hero of Jesse Peretz's My Idiot Brother, whose cast also boasts Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, and Emily Mortimer.

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  • January 14, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    If you enjoy killing Nazis in Call of Duty: World at War and killing zombies in Resident Evil, and if you especially love killing zombie Nazis in Call of Duty: World at War 2, you must see what may well be the first and only zombie Nazi movie, Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow (2009), wherein hapless medical students uncover and reanimate a host of the frozen Fascists while on a ski vacation in Switzerland.

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  • January 11, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    If you only see one film by the recently deceased director Blake Edwards, maybe it should be his 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's (okay, you might want to include the best in the Pink Panther series, A Shot in the Dark, as well). Audrey Hepburn shines in her signature role as Holly Golightly, the whimsical, elegant waif who fascinates a new tenant (George Peppard) who moves into her Manhattan apartment building.

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  • January 07, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    One of the best films of last year - and certainly one of the least appreciated - Matt Reeves's Let Me In (a remake of the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In) might one day be seen as a milestone in the horror genre. In a seedy, blue-collar housing development in 1980s New Mexico, a bullied adolescent boy finds an ally in a strange barefoot girl who smells funny.

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  • January 07, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Those people at the MPAA sure have some funny ideas about what constitutes a dirty movie. They may have changed the rating of Blue Valentine from NC-17 to R, but Todd Haynes's Poison (1991) still bears its "No One Under 17 Admitted" stigma proudly. Inspired by the writings of Jean Genet, it's a triptych of stories in different styles: lurid crime drama, campy horror film, Fassbinder-like prison love story.

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  • January 05, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The films today at the Museum of Fine Arts range from Pop Art to the Dutch Masters to Japanese anime. They include Esther Robinson's A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory (2009 | 3:30 pm), a documentary about the iconoclastic '60s artist's forgotten collaborator; Hans Pool and Koos de Wilt's documentary Views on Vermeer (2009 |5:30 pm), a profile of artists inspired by the 17th century genius; and Mamoru Hosoda's animated Summer Wars (2009 | 7 pm), in which a nerdy high school girl is all that stands between Tokyo and the nefarious Love Machine.

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