December 2011

The 11 Best Films of 2011

by Alan Rapp on December 30, 2011

in Top Tens & Lists

2011 was a year centered firmly on both endings and beginnings, returns to greatness, nostalgic looks back, and terrifying looks forward. The year gave us stories centered on stars and filmakers of the past, the first silent film of the new millennium, and treatises on life, death, mental illness, and the end of the world.

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Glee: The Concert Movie

by Alan Rapp on December 29, 2011

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Glee: The Concert Movie
  • IMDB: link

glee-the-concert-film-blu-rayConcert films are tricky beasts. Not only do you have to make hard decisions in how the performances are shot, especially when you have a stage full of performers to showcase, but there’s also the question of how much behind-the-scenes and backstage footage to show. For Glee: The Concert Movie there’s the added challenge when dealing with characters from a popular television show as to whether you allow the actors to be themselves or stay in character throughout the entire performance.

With footage taken from the concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey, during the group’s Glee Live! In Concert! tour the movie includes 24 songs (including several numbers chosen just for the concert series) performed by the Glee cast as well as backstage moments with the show’s cast (in character). Sprinkled throughout the movie are short interviews and mini-documentaries of selected Glee fans.

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Paula Patton Sexes Up GQ

by Alan Rapp on December 29, 2011

in Books & Magazines

In the January issue of GQ actress Paula Patton discusses her new role in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, joining the franchise, life as a spy, doing her own stunts for the film, and her marriage to Alan Thicke. You can read a little more of the interview in GQ here and take a look inside for video and stills for Patton’s GQ photoshoot.

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Catch .44

by Alan Rapp on December 28, 2011

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Catch .44
  • IMDB: link

catch-44-dvdI’m not sure if writer/director Aaron Harvey is attempting to give us nothing more than B-movie along the lines of 2 Days in the Valley or (God help us) Smokin’ Aces or if he aspires to something more like early Tarantino. Whatever his intentions, what Catch .44 delivers is a trio of attractive actresses, short skirts, a couple loving butt shots, and a movie not nearly as smart as it wants to be.

Our story begins with a theft of a drug shipment gone wrong. Our would be robbers are a trio of women working for a local drug trafficker (Bruce Willis). After the opening shootout the movie resets to the beginning of the night as Tes (Malin Akerman), Kara (Nikki Reed), and Dawn (Deborah Ann Woll) while away the hours together before their job goes horribly wrong.

Tes is the leader of the pack, or “the smart one.” A waitress in a seedy strip club who gets kicks by stealing customers wallets, she takes the job as a drug runner as much out of boredom as anything else.

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Birds of Prey #4

by Alan Rapp on December 28, 2011

in Comics

birds-of-prey-new-52-4-coverIt takes more than half the issue but Batgirl finally joins the team. The addition of Batgil may mean good things for the future of the comic but it doesn’t do much to help out here as the story is still stuck in neutral with invisible ninja assassins and super-secret scientists planting bombs in peoples heads.

Birds of Prey is a comic I want to like but now for four months it’s given me little reason to do so. The addition of Batgirl isn’t the only change that needs to be made on this title. We still know next to nothing about Starling, Katana remains a one-note character, and I don’t see how Babs sticks around for a team that includes Poison Ivy as one of its members.

The good news is Batgirl works well here, especially with Black Canary. It’s good to see the Babs/Dinah team back together. Now if we can just figure out a way to get Zinda Blake and the Huntress to replace Poison Ivy and Katana we might, might have something. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $2.99]

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