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Reviews

'Margin Call' Review: Last Call Before The Financial Meltdown
Jenni Miller reviews J.C. Chandor's directorial debut, and isn't thrilled: "What could have been a dynamic narrative instead ends up as baffling and quite often as boring as an Economy 101 textbook."

'Sucker Punch' Review: Zack Snyder's First Misfire
Todd Gilchrist isn't swayed by the latest Snyder flick: "Here, he simply didn't bother enough with the basics of storytelling – in particular, clarity of purpose and depth of feeling – to make his pop-culture mash-up into more than the sum of its parts."

'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules' Review: Kid Favorite Returns for a Rambling, Wimpy Sequel
One more not-so-flowing review for this week, with John Gholson writing: "It passively avoids anything resembling a good time, and coasts instead on the brand name of a book series that a lot of kids enjoy, trading laughs (and effort) for an empty-headed, quick-buck, lowest-common-denominator time at the movies."



Original Columns

Top 5 Blu-ray Picks of the Week: 'Stand By Me,' 'How Do You Know'
'Stand By Me' is Peter Martin's top pick this week, but thinks you should skip 'The Tourist.' "Notwithstanding the presence of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie and the Golden Globe nominations it received, this is a thriller without thrills."

Girls on Film: Why Aren't There More Reboots with Women?

Monika Bartyzel posits that if we're getting inundated with reboots, some could at least get sex changes: "If Hollywood can give Joss and the Hulk multiple chances, offer up a myriad of Terminators that never live up to the original and give Wolverine another origin story in a handful of years, American cinema can certainly recast a few reboots with women, giving actresses time to shine as people, rather than female stereotypes shackled to old Hollywood habit."

The Week in Geek: Which Director Should Take on 'The Wolverine'?
John Gholson picks some potential choices for the recently vacated director's chair, including Kathryn Bigelow: "The violence in her films always seems to carry consequences, and Wolverine is an especially rich character if you're exploring the emotional toll of a lifetime of violence. She's a bit of a long shot, but a fascinating choice."

Eat My Shorts: SXSW 2011 Shorts and Mediums
Christopher Campbell digs into the festival's shorts, like 'The Blitzen Trapper Massacre': "Watching Wilson (as himself) murder the members of his favorite band after they reject him is almost as great as watching Lars von Trier bludgeon a loud audience member in the Alamo Drafthouse bumper seen during the fest last week (sadly not online)."

Framed: Django
Alison Nastasi views a frame from Franco Nero's 'Django': "It's in this movie, however, that we first get to watch the evolution of something special that helped define the spaghetti western as an iconic genre."



Original Features

Actors We Miss: Natasha Richardson
Marina Zogbi takes a moment to remember the second anniversary of Natasha Richardson's death: "An actor of delicacy and soulfulness, Richardson left a legacy of strong, haunting performances in diverse, often challenging films. Her strength and fearlessness are in short supply in Hollywood; she is sorely missed."

Paul W.S. Anderson on 'Shopping,' Car Crashes and How He Ended Up in Hollywood
Jenni Miller talks to the filmmaker about his latest film, 'Shopping.' "I grew up in the northeast of England, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and the whole subject of ram-raiding -- you know, stealing [a car] and joy-riding -- was very much a part of kind of that culture. It was big, big news when I was growing up, and it was happening even as we were making the movie as well. So that's the primary inspiration from the story, was a lot of the events in the film were kind of lifted from real-life events."

Paul W.S. Anderson Talks 'Resident Evil,' Video Games, 3D and 'The Three Musketeers'
Part two of Jenni's talk with Anderson.

Stars in Rewind: Carla Gugino, Age 17, Dumps Zack Morris
Before she was dancing in 'Sin City,' Gugino hit the pre-'Bell' world of Zack Morris in 'Good Morning Miss Bliss.' Peter Martin writes: "It's a brief appearance in a long-forgotten TV show, and a reminder of how grateful we are that she grew up into a fine actress who is quite prepared to kick our butt if we ever cross her."

Brian Trenchard-Smith on 'BMX Bandits,' Forgotten Gems and the Current State of the Film Industry
Peter Hall talks to the 'BMX Bandits' helmer about a lot of things, including Nicole Kidman: "My instincts were that she has luminescence, a connection with the camera and therefore a connection with the audience. She had screen chemistry and not every actor has that however good they may be."

Scenes We Love: Stand By Me
Alison Nastasi digs into the train track scene from 'Stand By Me': "It's this moment on the train tracks, however, where the group starts to realize that while they set out seeking adventure, everything beyond the clubhouse doors and backyard sleepovers is a lot bigger and badder than they initially realized."

Their Best Role: William H. Macy in 'Edmond'
Digging into Macy's work, Peter Martin thinks Macy's best is Edmond,' writing: "Macy suggests all of these possibilities with his body language and facial expressions, and his marvelous facility with Mamet's incendiary dialogue, the words exploding like fire bombs wherever they land. And with his eyes, which can dance from a feral glare to an angry pout to a soul-piercing stare without hesitation but always with purpose."

Cinematical Seven: Girl Gangs That Kick Ass
Alison Nastasi offers up other cinematic girl gangs, including Angelina Jolie's ladies from 'Foxfire.' "It's a pretty over-wrought affair -- the part erotic, part ridiculous topless tattoo scene helps confirm that -- but the film presents some important girl-centric issues with lots of spirit and a healthy dose of romanticism (there are lots of candles, even)."

Cinematical at SXSW 2011: The Complete Recap
Peter Hall wraps up all of Cinematical's content from this year's SXSW -- "over 30 films and events."
CATEGORIES Columns, Cinematical