Author: J. Rosenfield

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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