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Is Scientology Silly or Evil?

September 12, 2013
STOP! Just say no. The cults of celebrity and personality are powerful in America. In fact there's almost a cult of cultishness. We hunger for distinctive characters to provide archetypes and guidance for the herd. In the supposed Land of the Individual, one is permitted to be an "individual" so long as one stays within the specific set of limits prescribed by these characters. Venture outside those limits, and you're "crazy" or an "undesirable". As Internet-fed national hysteria casts its har... [Read more]
I hadn't thought much about the whole Dixie Chicks / Toby Keith controversy in a long time (if you need a refresher, check out http://www.btchflcks.com/2013/03/shut-up-and-sing-dixie-chicks.html). It made me think about whether or not I consider my personal principles in the context of entertainment. I mean, I like to think of myself as fairly principled. I've done a u-turn and made a passenger get out of my car and pick up some litter they tossed out the window. I've abruptly left a party because the host used the n-word. Heck, I even had a "Free Mr. Bates" bumper sticker on my car. But when it comes to entertainers, I seem to give everyone a pass. [Read more]

5 Movies to Not Watch in 2013

February 7, 2013
Every year there are a batch of movies that look so garish, far-fetched and expensive that you wonder who greenlighted them and how is their job at Kinko’s going now that their films have flopped at the box office. Still, every year they get made and every year we’re subjected to their hideous advertising campaigns and the unintentionally hilarious trailers that belch forth onto our eyeballs. 2013 is no different. Who knows, maybe behind the outlandish absurdity contained within each of these... [Read more]
Always interesting, sometimes revelatory director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of a rare breed of writer-directors in the game today who qualifies as a true Auteur with little regard for mass market demographics when it comes to articulating his singular vision on the screen. An oddity in the studio system, Anderson’s storylines resemble intricately layered Venn diagrams that flaunt convention and aren’t easily summed up in a single tagline. An expert craftsman, his first four films Hard Eight ... [Read more]

The Weekly Toast 12/9/11

December 9, 2011
THIS WEEK: LiLo’s race to nowhere…Tom Cruise feels the need for speed…Yoko's war on Christmas… • The film gods are at it again. Eddie Murphy has been tapped to play DC’s former Scarface-like mayor Marion Barry in an upcoming Spike Lee biopic. • Lindsay Lohan upped her trash-ante by appearing in Playboy this week. Unfortunately the leaked spreads were deemed not smutty enough by the Internet. • Tom Cruise announced a sequel to Top Gun. Goose is still dead. • Trainspotting director D... [Read more]
In the latest installment from the Mission Impossible franchise, Tom Cruise is back and this time he and the IMF crew have been framed for blowing up the Kremlin and branded terrorists “out to incite global nuclear war.” The movie is directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and the trailer features Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, Batman Begins) and Eminem’s Won’t Back Down as the soundtrack. Tom Cruise... [Read more]

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