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click to enlarge - Smokin' Aces  -  -  - Universal  -  - After he finished neo-cop classics like Narc and - Ticker, too many people expected Joe Carnahan - to be a one-trick pony of sorts. So it seems like no one - really got it when he delivered an overblown, viscerally - flamboyant crime-caper-comedy about a coke-addled - Vegas magician named Buddy Israel who finds scores of - caricaturized hit-men after him. Which is a shame, - because it's actually an extremely fast-paced, - nonsensical shoot-'em-up that works until the last 20 - minutes, where it switches gears and becomes some sort - of dramatic morality tale that just falls apart on every - level. The acting, action sequences and set pieces are - top-notch  but the ending reeks of having nowhere to - go but down and sideways.  Louis Fowler
  • Smokin' Aces

    Universal

    After he finished neo-cop classics like Narc and Ticker, too many people expected Joe Carnahan to be a one-trick pony of sorts. So it seems like no one really got it when he delivered an overblown, viscerally flamboyant crime-caper-comedy about a coke-addled Vegas magician named Buddy Israel who finds scores of caricaturized hit-men after him. Which is a shame, because it's actually an extremely fast-paced, nonsensical shoot-'em-up that works until the last 20 minutes, where it switches gears and becomes some sort of dramatic morality tale that just falls apart on every level. The acting, action sequences and set pieces are top-notch but the ending reeks of having nowhere to go but down and sideways. Louis Fowler

click to enlarge - The Venture Bros.: Season Two  -  -  - Turner Home Entertainment  -  - From Cartoon Network's groundbreaking Adult Swim - lineup comes the second season of the Jonny - Quest-inspired Venture Bros. , one of the - funniest shows on television. At the end of season one, - we found brothers Dean and Hank dead and the Venture - family in a state of (somewhat) mourning. Meanwhile, - the Ventures' arch villain, the Monarch, is trying hard to - reclaim the love of manly voiced Dr. Girlfriend. Season - two takes up after the funerals, with no time to rest. - Clones are made, villains have their get-togethers and - Dr. Orpheus takes on a bigger role. Extremely self- - referential and laced with knowing in-jokes galore, - The Venture Bros.  is a goofy tribute to the - action shows of the 1960s, laced with a typically snarky - attitude for today.   Louis Fowler -
  • The Venture Bros.: Season Two

    Turner Home Entertainment

    From Cartoon Network's groundbreaking Adult Swim lineup comes the second season of the Jonny Quest-inspired Venture Bros. , one of the funniest shows on television. At the end of season one, we found brothers Dean and Hank dead and the Venture family in a state of (somewhat) mourning. Meanwhile, the Ventures' arch villain, the Monarch, is trying hard to reclaim the love of manly voiced Dr. Girlfriend. Season two takes up after the funerals, with no time to rest. Clones are made, villains have their get-togethers and Dr. Orpheus takes on a bigger role. Extremely self- referential and laced with knowing in-jokes galore, The Venture Bros. is a goofy tribute to the action shows of the 1960s, laced with a typically snarky attitude for today. Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Naked You Die  -  - Dark Sky Films  -  - It's holiday break at St. Hilda's School for Girls. These - ladies love to sit around the pool, reading the latest teen - magazines filled with their fave Hollywood stars. - Occasionally, they try to solve the mystery of who's - behind the killings of their classmates. Is it the - diminutive, creepy gardener who hoards the ladies' - underthings? Is it the creepy, mannish new professor - who's as stern as her Adam's apple will allow? Is it the - leather-tanned, sleazy riding instructor who's planning - to marry one of the girls when she turns 18? Or maybe - it's the swimming instructor who walks around campus - in full wet-suit gear for no apparent reason? A fun '60s - shocker from the pen of celebrated Italian master of the - macabre, Mario Bava.   Louis Fowler
  • Naked You Die

    Dark Sky Films

    It's holiday break at St. Hilda's School for Girls. These ladies love to sit around the pool, reading the latest teen magazines filled with their fave Hollywood stars. Occasionally, they try to solve the mystery of who's behind the killings of their classmates. Is it the diminutive, creepy gardener who hoards the ladies' underthings? Is it the creepy, mannish new professor who's as stern as her Adam's apple will allow? Is it the leather-tanned, sleazy riding instructor who's planning to marry one of the girls when she turns 18? Or maybe it's the swimming instructor who walks around campus in full wet-suit gear for no apparent reason? A fun '60s shocker from the pen of celebrated Italian master of the macabre, Mario Bava. Louis Fowler

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