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“Neighbors” and the Limits of the Apatow Empire

Neighbors, a disappointing new frat comedy, was directed by Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement), but it has the DNA of Judd Apatow all over it. Apatow is best known for writing and directing The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, but he also started a comedy empire that has spawned numerous other filmmakers. For…

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A Director Confronts Her Past in “Stories We Tell”

Sarah Polley is one of the industry’s most exciting young directors, although I can’t blame you for not knowing her. Throughout her career,  she has followed her own path and consistently avoided the trappings of Hollywood. After starring in such mainstream hits as Go and Dawn of the Dead, she moved behind the camera at…

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Why I’m Worried About “Anchorman 2″

I don’t want to be a bummer, but I’m getting worried about Anchorman: The Legend Continues. Don’t misunderstand me: no matter what happens between now and December, I’m still going to go see it. I would probably plunk down $11.50 to watch Ron Burgundy mow his lawn for ninety minutes (somebody get to work on…

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Michelle Williams is the Reason to See “Take This Waltz”

Every once in a while, an actor’s personal life collides perfectly with a role. Usually, we think of this when the tabloids report that an actor and actress have become romantically involved while working on a project; so everyone rushes to the theater to check out their on-screen chemistry. But a more timely example might…

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Clooney and Celebrities Try to Even the Score for Obama

George Clooney is hosting a $12 million fundraiser for President Obama’s re-election campaign. Bill Maher gave a $1 million contribution, making him the campaign’s biggest individual donor. Eva Longoria has been made campaign co-chair and is doing serious outreach to the Hispanic community. It is clear that President Obama is emphasizing celebrity support in his…

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Smalltown, USA: Recap and Thoughts on Conservative Movies

Last week, we counted down the Top 5 Most (Secretly) Conservative Movies of All-Time. When I started thinking about the list, I was as shocked as you were to see some of my favorite movie stars in such conservative movies. Does this mean that the actors, writers, and directors involved in those movies are really…

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Top Five Conservative Movies: Part Two

Today, we continue counting down the Top Five Movies You Didn’t Know Were Conservative. Yesterday, we looked at two comedies (and one sequel), one that dramatized recent rhetoric from the religious right, and the other reflective of the distrust of government made popular in the Reagan era. Here are today’s picks: 3. “Knocked Up” At…