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December 2011

It Pays to Be a Spinner

Act of Valor (2012)

Relativity Media

Just when you’re safe from the onslaught of torture porn, Hollywood has a new form of sensory assault: military porn. No, we’re not talking about Dirk Yates (googling him would be NSFW). “Act of Valor” is a new drama that proudly boasts a cast of active-duty Navy Seals. Their wooden acting and monotonous line delivery are comparable to those of porn stars. But the dramatic scenes are few and far between amid the “action” sequences, if you catch our drift. So, no, we’re not being facetious for calling the film military porn.

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A Justice League of Their Own



In a perverse sort of sense, documentarians play a very similar role to that of an investigative journalist. They sense a story, pursue it endlessly, albeit with the permission of their subject and eventually bring that unreported story to the masses. It’s an important vocation imbued with passion and dedication; and yet while the aim of the documentarian is invariably didactic, his or her work is more often than not rip-roaringly entertaining.

Mike Barnett’s “Superheroes” is a fascinating example of a genre pic that manages to effortlessly suffuse entertainment with unbridled insight into a little known subject: that of the real-life superhero.

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