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Looper (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilerly is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4 More than any other genre, sci-fi asks its viewers to leap particularly far to suspend disbelief.  The worst of these movies trade in lowered expectations simply to create spectacle (e.g., that can defy the laws of physics).  But the best writers and directors of the genre take this unique opportunity to delve ... Read More »

The Master (2012)

The Master (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilerly is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3   Some members of the film critic world have dubbed writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson the new Kubrick, and with five years passing since the release of his last film, The Master is easily one of the most anticipated films of this year.  Anderson’s unlikely romantic comedy Punch-Drunk Love (2002) marked a transition away ... Read More »

Compliance (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4    Even before the title appears onscreen, we are provided with the familiar descriptor, “Inspired by True Events.” But the letters cover the entire screen, as if writer/director Craig Zobel is exclaiming, “Hey, just remember, I didn’t make this stuff up!” And Zobel is not kidding. The ... Read More »

Prometheus (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  3   1979. In the universe of science fiction films, nobody planned on sequels. And in 2012, franchising seems to be the agenda for every big-budget movie. But more on that later. I went through great pains to avoid any spoilers – a testament to how much ... Read More »

Shame (2011)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?:  5 Generally speaking, it seems to me that there are two ways that Hollywood presents victims of abuse.  The first is as defenseless children – either literally or emotionally – and nothing more than receptacles for evil deeds and objects of our pity.  The second is ... Read More »

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