If I made a quarter every time someone cracked a Terminator joke about Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to the screen, I'd be as rich as the Governator himself. But with his divorce scandal still simmering, the debate remains: will he be able to launch a full-scale comeback, or be forced to slink back to his mansion and his millions? Here's the five questions that matter:

1) Is Arnold still good-looking?
Like any star, the first factor to consider is looks. If a comeback kid is no longer Hollywood handsome, their chances of renewed success plummet. Think of the heat Britney Spears took when she returned to the spotlight with a few extra I-gave-birth pounds.

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Cronenberg and Pattinson on the set

Age has not weakened David Cronenberg. The love him-or-hate him director of such cult hits as The Fly, Videodrome, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises turned 69 in March, but you wouldn't know that by watching his latest effort. Cosmopolis overflows with the kind of big ideas and stylistic flourishes that young directors trot out when they are looking to create buzz. For Cronenberg, it's just business as usual.

Set mostly inside a white stretch limo, Cosmopolis marks a day in the...

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No doubt the first thing that came to your mind upon seeing advertisements for The Bourne Legacy is the question of why. Why bother making a Jason Bourne-Free Bourne film in the first place? Didn't the series already end on a well defined note?

The film itself doesn't satisfactorily answer that question. It occurs tangentially to the final Matt Damon Bourne film and adds a curious layer to the mythos—namely, that in this universe, the sole purpose of the American intelligence apparatus is to kill members of the American intelligence apparatus—but all that matters less that if the action scenes pop, which they do, and if the story stands enough on its own to keep you from feeling the weight of the previous entries in the series.

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To one person, a sequel is an extra adventure with favorite characters. To another, it's immediately assumed to be a Hollywood cash grab. They can't always agree and they don't have to. But there are movies that have proven sequels' artistic and financial value.

Gone are the days when only a few sequels released in theaters each year.  I dare you to look at a current release schedule and find any month that doesn't have at least one or two high profile sequels on the slate. Hollywood has so embraced this method of franchising that we now have to differentiate between sequels, remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, three-quels, spin-offs, prequels, and various hybrid combinations of all the above. The latest common iteration is the four-quel.

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Five-Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening August 9

Add Comment on August 10, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

Start your engines -- it's Nitro Circus: The Movie, our pick of the week


Julie Delpy has been quietly marshaling her Before Sunrise/After Sunset persona to bring new sets of touchy lovers to the screen. Here, teamed with unlikely boyfriend Chris Rock, the two suffer the incursion of Delpy's family into their cohabitation. And you know Chris Rock won't keep his mouth shut when he has something to say. 
Director: Julie Delpy
Writers: Julie Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alexandre Nahon
Stars: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Dylan Baker, Daniel Brühl, Albert Delpy
Genre: Comedy


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Hollywood is a famously liberal place. In addition to being populated by attendees of star-studded fundraisers for Obama, it's a reliable source of progressive propaganda—or is it? Earlier this year, Hollywood produced Game Change, an excoriating take on Republican presidential hopefuls John McCain and Sarah Palin that fulfilled just about every fear and resentment rabid conservatives have about the liberal media elite. And this week, it rolls out The Campaign, which looks a lot like a who's-insaner contest between GOP presidential primary also-rans Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. But studios know that to be a part of the "lamestream" media, they must pander to—and parody — both sides of the aisle.

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Jay Roach [R] tweaks Will Ferrell's perfect politician hair

Jay Roach came to fame directing the Austin Powers and Meet the Fockers franchises, but he's never hidden his political streak. In between pratfalls, he's directed two TV dramedies based on real life political events—Recount starring Kevin Spacey and Game Change, which cast Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin—plus he even also produced the 2004 Showtime series American Candidate, a reality show which aimed to find the true voice of the people. Naturally, when Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis decided they wanted to make a comedy about two Southern politicians who engage in a campaign of mutually assured destruction, they decided to take Roach out for lunch.

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