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Friday, October 23, 2009

In Theater: The Vampire's Assistant 

John C. Reilly is just about the last guy you’d think to cast as a vampire. He’s older, pockmarked, plays mostly goofy roles and is blessed with a mop of loose, curly hair. (And then there’s that slightly muppet-like voice.) It’s a pleasant surprise, then, to see him own the role of Crepsley the vampire, a tired and cynical old soul who puts on a kind of magic show with the traveling Cirque du Freak. Reilly is a talented performer, which aids him well: he’s good enough to be great without really trying, a fitting style for such a downbeat and aged character.

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(ken-lowery.com)

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Friday, October 16, 2009

In Theaters: Where the Wild Things Are 

With just ten sentences and a handful of beautiful artwork, Maurice Sendak made a timeless children’s tale in Where the Wild Things Are. Max, Mr. Sendak’s wolf costume-bedecked young hero, escapes a scolding mother to become king of a horde of monstrous-looking Wild Things until it’s time to go home again. And in those scant few pages, Max’s brief journey becomes a celebration of the essential wildness of a child’s imagination.

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(ken-lowery.com)

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Friday, October 02, 2009

In Theaters: Zombieland, The Invention of Lying 

Zombieland:

Well, this was inevitable. Between the time I wrote this and the time you read it, thirty zombie movies were produced in North America. Zombies are the poor horror filmmaker’s shortcut to social relevance and easy gore, and the genre now finds itself so overworked that any new zombie film that throws in a dash of genre bleed—say, the “alternative lifestyle” faux-doc like American Zombie or the Norman Rockwellian Cold War spoof Fido—is heralded as a minor work of genius before disappearing mere months later into merciful obscurity.

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(ken-lowery.com)

The Invention of Lying:

With The Invention of Lying, Ricky Gervais (creator and star of the originalThe Office and Extras) seems to be making a bid to be a soft-hearted Woody Allen. The opening titles cards are a familiar white-on-black text, and almost immediately Gervais begins his narration with a bit of snarky meta-commentary on the credits themselves. Gervais gives us the premise: he lives in a world where lying was never invented, and everyone is brutally honest with everyone else all the time. It’s just the sort of modern fantasy premise that would feel snugly at home in an Allen movie.

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(ken-lowery.com)

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