May 8 - 14, 2008 

Reel World

By Devin D. O’Leary

Moviemaking Mixer

According to New Mexico Women in Film, everything you need to make a movie is in your own backyard. What resources and opportunities are available to the local independent filmmaker and actor? Find out at the May meeting of NMWF. On Thursday, May 8, there will be a Q&A with Ann Lerner of the ABQ Film Office followed by a networking mixer with filmmakers, actors and other members of the local film community. Anne Stirling of Friends of Film and Video, filmmaker Gloria Martinez and writer/director Scotty Milder (both of whom have shorts going to this year’s Cannes Film Festival) will also be in attendance. The meeting/mixer will begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Orpheum Arts Space (500 Second Street SW). NMWF members are free, guests are $15.

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“Don’t worry. Bush asked Congress for another $70 billion.”

Film Review

Iron Man

Entertaining origin story proves heroes are built, not born

By Devin D. O’Leary

The problem with introducing moviegoing audiences to a new superhero franchise (something you can expect to be subjected to once or twice every summer for the foreseeable future) is that filmmakers are obliged to spend the first outing recounting the age-old “origin” myth. This introductory tale serves to inform viewers how our chosen hero became so damn super in the first place, and why he (or, in rare cases, she) felt obliged to pull on a pair of latex-enhanced tights and fight crime. Bruce Wayne watched his parents get killed, Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, Bruce Banner built some big nuclear doohickey ... and so on. Detractors of the genre, and even the occasional imdb.com-message-board-trolling fanboy with a DSL connection, tend to denounce these “first in the trilogy” films as a necessary evil. Since so much time must be spent on backstory and character-building, there's not much left for what people came to the theater for in the first place: bulging dudes in Spandex beating the crud out of sneering villains over a CGI recreation of the New York City skyline. All you can do is hope the film performs well enough at the box office that somebody greenlights a second one and you get your recommended daily allowance of superhero action. (See for reference: Spider-Man 2, X2: X-Men United, etc.)

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“Who’s next?”

Film Review

Redbelt

Highbrow takes a pounding in Mamet’s martial arts drama

By Devin D. O’Leary

Oh, great, just what we need: another cheap action film to exploit the sudden popularity of mixed martial arts. Wasn’t Never Back Down enough shirtless teenage beefcake for one season? Do we really need another MTV-sanctioned martial arts film that ... wait a second. Was that David Mamet’s name on the credits? The David Mamet? And what’s up with this cast? Award-winning British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things) and Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing)? A who’s-who of New York stage actors (Joe Mantegna, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon)? A busload of real-life fighters (Randy Couture, Ray Mancini, Jean Jacques Machado)? And ... did that just say Tim Allen? What the hell’s going on here?

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Idiot Box

TV Makes Fun of Itself ... Badly

“Not Just Another Cable News Show” on CNN

By Devin D. O’Leary

CNN’s “Not Just Another Cable News Show” stands alongside FOX Sports Net’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” as the most bluntly declarative TV show title of the 21st century. Whether either is factually correct is open to debate.

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Week in Sloth

The Week in Sloth

Highlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.

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