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Review: Movie 43

Movie_43_PosterStar power is no match for tasteless, offensive and unfunny comedy.

The “Movie 43” wraparound features Dennis Quaid as a lunatic with an abysmal script who forces Greg Kinnear’s movie producer to buy the piece at gunpoint. Coincidence? Probably not, as almost each and every sketch of this comedy anthology is so silly, nauseating and degrading it seems like the only plausible way the producers could manage to recruit so much top-notch talent.

Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet make it through better than most. Jackman will likely never live down having a pair of testicles dangle from his neck for the sake of this movie, but between the giggle-worthy visual and the duo’s charm, “The Catch” is easily “Movie 43’s” finest few minutes. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber’s “Homeschooled” is another portion that at least respects its leads, but breaks down entirely when the scenario drivels on and right into a strange and unsatisfying conclusion.

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Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

On the weekend that every cinematic action hero hits the big screen in just one film, The Expendables, how can moviegoers be expected to accept Michael Cera as just as much of a hero? Thanks to the ingenious filmmaking techniques of Edgar Wright, some may find that Cera is more of a leading man than any of those muscled up stars. Cera isn’t given CGI biceps, but the film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series, Scott Pilgrim, is packed with the most fantastic kind of digital effects, ones that actually enhance the film. However, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn’t a flick that relies on a sole asset; it’s a success and innovative achievement on every front.

Scott Pilgrim is the perfect role for Cera. He’s a musician, he’s geeky, has lady issues and frequently mumbles amusing nonsense. To his friends’ and sister’s dismay, Scott’s dating “a 17-year-old Chinese schoolgirl” named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Scott’s into her, but she’s clearly on the juvenile side. When he invites her to check out his band, Sex Bob-Omb, she becomes their very first groupie. His bandmates, Kim Pine and Stephen Stills (Alison Pill and Mark Webber), and their friend and wannabe Sex Bob-Omb, Young Neil (Johnny Simmons), aren’t thrilled but tolerate Scott’s baggage. Then there’s Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) and snarky sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick) who both insist Scott grow up and ditch Knives.

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Interview: Daniels and Stone on Paper Man

It isn’t easy to find somebody who can truly understand you. Everyone needs that one person with the ability to dispense appropriate advice, someone to spill secrets to, or perhaps, just someone to make you soup. So what happens when that individual is nowhere to be found and you’re desperate for comfort? In Richard Dunn’s (Jeff Daniels) case, you create an imaginary friend and, in Paper Man, that pretend pal is Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds).

How excellent is Captain Excellent? Excellent enough to make Daniel wish that if he had a make-believe buddy, he’d be just like him. “I wish he could be and look like Ryan Reynolds. That would be nice,” Daniels told ComingSoon.net. But there’s much more to Captain Excellent than his bold blond hair and colorful costume. Richard relies on the Captain for support, maybe even more so than on his wife Claire (Lisa Kudrow).

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Review: Paper Man

Why do people suffering from writer’s block resort to solitude? Haven’t they seen The Shining? Whether or not it seems like a bright idea at the start, eventually you’ll lose it and attack your loved ones. Okay, maybe you won’t exactly end up wielding an axe, but peace and quiet can only take you so far. Paper Man is the offspring a husband and wife writing-directing team’s trouble putting pen to paper. Unhappy working inside Hollywood’s big studio system, Michele and Kieran Mulrooney chose to ditch the corporate world and focus on independent projects. It worked and the result is Paper Man.

Richard Dunn (Jeff Daniels) has some major issues. Not only was his first novel a flop, but he’s suffering from a serious case of writer’s block, his marriage is on the rocks and oh yeah, he has an imaginary friend named Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds). In an effort to give him a fresh start Richard’s wife, Claire (Lisa Kudrow), drives him out to a rented house in Sag Harbor. They spend the weekends together, but soon Claire returns to her surgical work at New York’ Presbyterian Hospital while Richard remains out east trying to develop his second novel, a piece with a connection to an extinct animal, the Heath Hen.

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