Author: J. Rosenfield

Little Shop of Horrors

Overview: A sad-sack flower shop employee is tempted to commit murder by a smooth-talking plant that feeds on human blood. Warner Bros; 1986; Rated PG-13; 94 Minutes Feed Me: In case that brief plot description didn’t tip you off, Little Shop of Horrors is an insane film, and that adjective assignment barely scratches the surface. On paper, this film should not work. Not only is it a comedic remake of a 1960s horror film, it’s a musical to boot. Little Shop’s success comes from its refusal to concede its own absurdity. Rather than apologizing for the film’s sillier aspects...

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Rebel Without a Cause

Overview: Three teenagers try to deal with bullies, parents, and their own burgeoning angst. Warner Bros; 1955; Rated PG-13; 111 Minutes The Narrow Scope Iconography:  Only a handful of movies  are as deeply ingrained in America’s collective consciousness as Rebel Without a Cause. It’s the kind of movie that viewers assume they know before they ever see it. The image of James Dean in a white t-shirt and a red leather jacket has become shorthand for “rebellious, dangerous teenager.” There’s a lot more to Rebel Without a Cause than what pop culture has preserved. Lost ‘Cause’: Because of the...

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Punch-Drunk Love

Overview: An emotionally unstable man (Adam Sandler) falls in love while dealing with phone sex operators who tried to swindle him. Columbia Pictures; 2002; Rated R; 95 Minutes Andersonian: This was the first Paul Thomas Anderson film I ever saw, and for a long time I thought I really loved it. It probably helped that I wasn’t yet aware of the rest of his filmography. Punch-Drunk Love can’t help but feel slight when stacked up against There Will Be Blood and The Master. Knowing what Anderson is capable of as a filmmaker kind of cuts this film off at...

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Overview: Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is sent on an adventure with a company of dwarves looking to reclaim their homeland from a dragon. Warner Bros. 2012. Rated PG-13. 169 Minutes. Store Brand: After seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey three times in theaters (once opening weekend, once to experience Peter Jackson’s ill-advised High Frame Rate 3D experiment, and once with my sister on Christmas), I’d had my fill of the trilogy. I had trouble expressing my dissatisfaction without comparisons to the Lord of the Rings films, so I thought I was being too hard on it. The problem is...

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