You’ll get a few chuckles out of expendable action flick ‘The Expendables’ (Movie review)

Nowadays, it’s not unexpected to see fight scenes that are edited at such a rapid-fire pace that it’s almost impossible to tell what’s going on, or sometimes even who’s fighting who. And ever since this trend began about a decade ago, critics and moviegoers have said they don’t like it.

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Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’ finally becomes a real movie (Commentary)

“Now if only they’d make ‘Machete’ into an actual movie instead of just a fake trailer.” That’s how I ended my review of “Grindhouse” — one of my top 10 movies of 2007 — and it turns out that writer-director Robert Rodriguez had been thinking along those lines for a long time.

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Summer surprise: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is actually pretty good (TV review)

I enjoy a good mystery series in the summer. I’m the one guy that watched “Hidden Palms” a few summers ago. I watched “Happy Town” this summer up until ABC canceled it. I tried watching AMC’s “Rubicon,” too, and would’ve succeeded except that the first half hour of the series bored me to tears — and the delete button.

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‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ is so cool it’s cold — but not in a good way (Movie review)

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” based on a comic book, takes two universal interests of young males — games and girls — and combines them into one thing. The title character (Michael Cera, as usual playing a slight variation on George Michael Bluth) has to fight off seven evil exes of Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in order to win her.

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‘Fever Dream’: This time it’s personal for Special Agent Pendergast (Book review)

“Fever Dream,” the latest Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child novel, opens with FBI Special Agent Pendergast and his wife, Helen, hunting a lion in Africa. I thought, “Uh oh, I don’t really want to read P&C’s take on ‘The Ghost and the Darkness.’

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On ‘Friday Night Lights,’ why can’t the football stuff be good too? (TV commentary)

Critics have often emphasized that “Friday Night Lights” isn’t just for football fans, because so much of the drama happens off the field. That’s completely true, but what’s not often mentioned is the flip-side of the equation: The on-field stuff is often unrealistic or melodramatic enough to turn off football fans.

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Should we forgive Adam Sandler for ‘Grown Ups,’ or blame him? (Movie review)

Danielle, one of my comment-thread friends, recently brought up “The Wedding Singer,” an Adam Sandler picture that I vaguely remember as being good. Sandler used to crank out funny movies almost effortlessly: “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” are contemporary classics, and I think “The Waterboy” and “Big Daddy” deserve to be in that discussion, too.

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