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Dear White People

You could make a (film geek) party game out of guessing director Justin Simien's influences, but his vision seems to spring directly from what's up…

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Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

Best and Worst Oscar Actors

View image Ernest Borgnine ("Marty"), Oscar-winner for Best Actor, 1955.

Edward Copeland announces the results of his third annual Oscar survey, this year devoted to the best and worst choices for Best Actor, 1927 - 2006. Survey participants chose Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks and Jeremy Irons among the best best actors, but guess for which films? Worst best actors included Dustin Hoffman, Russell Crowe, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.

My own choices are below, after the jump...

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Flamers

View image Rob Schneider in "yellowface", playing Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."

"Flamers" was the title of a screenplay by Barry Fanaro ("The Golden Girls," "Kingpin," "Men in Black II") that had been re-written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor ("Citizen Ruth," "Election," "About Schmidt," "Sideways"). Once Adam Sandler decided to star in the movie, this script was serially re-written some more by Sandler, his friends, and various others. The result opened this weekend as "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," directed by Dennis Dugan ("Happy Gilmore," "Big Daddy," "The Benchwarmers").

The film has not been well-received by critics (14% at Rottentomatoes.com at this writing). Manohla Dargis, in the New York Times, wrote: Fear of a gay planet fuels plenty of American movies; it’s as de rigueur in comedy as in macho action. But what’s mildly different about “Chuck & Larry” is how sincerely it tries to have its rainbow cake and eat it too. In structural terms, the movie resembles a game of Mother May I, in that for every tiny step it takes forward in the name of enlightenment (gay people can be as boring as heterosexuals), it takes three giant steps back, often by piling on more jokes about gay sex (some involving a priceless Ving Rhames). Into this mix add the stunningly unfunny Rob Schneider, who pops up brandishing buckteeth, glasses and an odious accent in apparent homage to Mickey Rooney’s painful, misguided turn as the Japanese neighbor in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” has been deemed safe for conscientious viewing by a representative of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a media watchdog group. Given the movie’s contempt for women, who mainly just smile, sigh and wiggle their backdoors at the camera, it’s too bad that some lesbian (and Asian) Glaad members didn’t toss in their two cents about the movie. If Mr. Sandler dares speak in favor of gay love in “Chuck & Larry” — at least when it’s legally sanctioned, tucked behind closed doors and not remotely feminine — it’s only because homosexuality represents one type of love among men. Here, boys can be boys, together in bed and not, but heaven forbid that any of them look or behave like women. But there's a little more to this one than the usual Sandler vehicle. New York Magazine explains some of the backstory in "A Peek at the Movie ‘Chuck & Larry’ Could Have Been":And in the dramatic conclusion of Payne and Taylor's script, Chuck and Larry kiss on the courthouse steps — "not just a timid exchange," the stage notes add, "but the long, passionate melting together of soul-mates. Tongues and everything. Hot. Wow." Needless to say, this scene never made it into the final version.I believe that ending was already perfomed by Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

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Flowers from a gigolo

Rob Schneider (right) in "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo."

A note from Roger Ebert:

A beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to the house the other day. A handwritten note paid compliments to my work and wished me a speedy recovery.

Who was it from? A friend? A colleague? An old classmate? The card was signed, “Your Least Favorite Movie Star, Rob Schneider.”

Saints preserve us.

It will help to establish a context if I mention that my review of Schneider’s latest film, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” contained three words which provided me with the title of my new book: “Your Movie Sucks.”

Continue reading at RogerEbert.com...

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Oh no! The secret is out!

A trio of guys try and make up for missed opportunities in childhood by forming a three-player baseball team.

A serious breach of security has ripped through the movie industry. Somehow, some way, a critic in Florida (of course) got in to see "Benchwarmers" -- and leaked it to the press! Well, OK, so maybe that shouldn't be considered much of an intelligence leak (more like a diaper leak), but it happened to Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel, and he's going public about it. On his blog, Frankly, My Dear..., Moore says he got an invitation to a screening Monday night at a local theater, where seats were saved for the press. It seems the regional Sony publicist had forgotten to inform him that the press had been uninvited. (He should have read Scanners last week!)

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It's deuce on stupid movies

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Q. Rob Schneider is one of the biggest actors in what I call the Stupid Movie Genre, and I never pay money to see these films in the theater or to rent them. These films do cater to the lowest of our culture. But what Tom McCullough from Indianapolis wrote in the last Answer Man column that really cheesed me off: "I live in Indianapolis, and I know there's a bunch of 'Deuce Bigalow' fans in this town. They're beer-guzzlin', dope-smokin', truck-drivin', pit-bull-ownin', head-shavin', ball-cap-wearin', crime-commitin' jack-ass psychopaths."

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'Deuce' doesn't score with readers

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Q. Did you really need to pick on Rob Schneider in your review of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo"? RottenTomatoes.com shows that he scores a 10 out of 100 on the TomatoMeter, which is even lower than Steven Seagal. Why not just say that the movie sucked, as opposed to saying HIS movie sucked?

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Truth is the curse of the critic

Q. On "The Tonight Show" last week, I was a little surprised when you named "Kill Bill, Volume 2" as the best film of the year so far. I thought it was exemplary in lots of ways, but I'm not sure that it really taught me anything about real life or real people.

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