Posts by: James M.

Director of the Year: 2013

On January 22, 2014 By

Winner David O. Russell Within the past half-decade, David O. Russell has catapulted himself from the strata of critical appreciation to critical acclaim. Once a well-regarded but little-noticed creative force, he has gone three for three since 2010, earning Best Director nominations for The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and this year’s American Hustle, each of […]

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Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader, from all of us here at Stars & Popcorn! We stand by our traditions on this site. Ever since great-great grandpa, the Reverend Obadiah Jefferson Sessoms, first awarded two stars and three popcorn to a kinetoscope he found at the Chicago World’s Fair, we’ve been dedicated to sitting through good and […]

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It was more like a week and a half, really. With its smooth camerawork, and a clean design rife with nostalgia, My Week with Marilyn projects a good-hearted earnestness which feels artistically misplaced but not unwelcome. Though it never quite succeeds as a dramatic narrative, nor as a light entertainment, it narrowly avoids becoming an […]

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Hark! A most eloquent Twilight fan fic. If you’re a fan of a particular play, or playwright, it’s not only reasonable but expected that you might clamor for the latest revival, that you should delight in the quirks of each successive retelling and re-imagination. That quality of a work, that you can dig into it […]

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Free Birds – Review

On November 2, 2013 By

Turkeys in Time… Sometimes a film’s premise is its best selling point, and no amount of marketing flare will better persuade an audience to fill seats than just a straight-forward synopsis of channel guide brevity. Let me sum for you: In Free Birds, two outcast turkeys (voiced by Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson) steal a […]

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Mud

On April 26, 2013 By

We’re for a time adrift in the backwoods and bayous, hunting for the narratives of an overlooked America. Our reality television-tempered desires manifest this present fascination in the phantasmagoria of Swamp People, Mudcats, Duck Dynasty, and that one gator show. Numb to the last couple decades’ procession of down-and-out urbanites, indie filmmakers are scraping grit […]

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JJ Abrams Strikes Back

On February 2, 2013 By

At long last, the several warring factions of convention culture have come to the stark realization that their beloved lords and generals are none but the same.     Live long and may the force be with you. Or something.   UPDATE: 8 February 2013 Those of you who thought we were just blowing smoke, […]

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Arthur Christmas

On December 17, 2012 By

Father Christmas & Sons. Arthur Christmas introduces a little novelty to the mythic history of His Most Jolly that intrigues, if never quite endears. Like quite a few animated holiday flicks of the past decade—Prep & Landing and The Polar Express spring to mind—this Christmas Eve operation includes high-tech gadgetry and precise maneuvers by scores […]

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An effective tagline can be the most important part of a marketing campaign, a concise abstract of the film’s plot and tone, the “I Like Ike” of a moviegoers’ most anticipated short list. Most are not. Most movie taglines fall somewhere between mediocre and passable. Far too many read like an afterthought to a trailer, […]

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us here at Stars & Popcorn! As per tradition, we’re celebrating this Turkey Day with a look back at the past year and all those terrible movies we’ve sit through just so you wouldn’t have to. May I present to you… the Biggest Turkeys of 2012. […]

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Rise of the Guardians

On November 20, 2012 By

Deshi deshi basara basara, Happy Easter, basara. DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians rides the high tide of superhero fascination and proffers an Avengers for childhood innocence. It is fun and frenetic, definitely worthy its run, but it is unevenly crafted, like an ornament delicately painted, all glittery round the edges, and raw wood the underside. […]

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Life’s tough for a Double-O agent. Most of us hate our jobs enough already without having to grapple with Richard Kiel or get felt up by Javier Bardem on a daily basis. But while you and I have the photocopier and lolcats to help us survive the workweek, superspies like James Bond depend on a […]

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