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Masterminds is Toy Soldiers updated for the hacker generation. Kartheiser plays Ozzie Paxton, a teenage misfit with an unruly home life and a penchant for code-cracking and online crime. While...
Film Review  August 29, 1997, by Marc Savlov
"...Starring: Patrick Stewart, Vincent Kartheiser, Brenda Fricker, Brad Whitford, Matt Craven, Annabelle Gurwitch, Jon Abrahams and Katie Stewart. Masterminds is Toy Soldiers updated for the hacker generation..."

Heist comedy stars Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, and Kristin Wiig
Film Review  October 7, 2016, by Steve Davis
"...Despite the presence of numerous Saturday Night Live cast members, both old and new, the Not Ready for Prime Time Players can’t bring the fractured heist comedy Masterminds together again. It’s cracked from the get-go..."

The Infiltrator
Bryan Cranston takes on a drug cartel in this ho-hum thriller
Film Review  July 15, 2016, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Although The Infiltrator, which is based on Bob Mazur’s book, is again biographical, Mazur’s life as an undercover U.S. Customs agent who by day masterminds a money-laundering scheme that takes down Pablo Escobar and the Medellín cartel’s cocaine profits, and by night is a happily married husband and father in Tampa, Fla., has a reassuring resemblance to “Heisenberg.”..."

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson's delightful animated film has room for both existentialist dread and a grinning joie de vivre.
Film Review  November 27, 2009, by Kimberley Jones
"...But Mr. Fox is too visionary and, well, prankish to stay settled down, so he masterminds one last caper: a three-pronged assault on the coops and larders of the three neighboring farmers, known as Boggis, Bunce, and Bean (Gambon)..."

Letters at 3am: Zelda's Law and 9/11
9/11 conspiracy theories will outlive their perpetrators
Columns  September 23, 2011, by Michael Ventura
"...Evil, flawlessly efficient, superbly secret masterminds control our government and our economy. They are bent on world domination..."

Captain America: Civil War
It's a Marvel Universe, and we all just live in it
Film Review  May 6, 2016, by Kimberley Jones
"...With Captain America: Civil War, we’ve now entered Phase 3 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe rollout/cash grab. But I do wonder if the MCU masterminds anticipated Civil War would be a better Avengers movie than, well, the last Avengers movie..."

The ever-popular YA novels spring to life with Jack Black
Film Review  October 23, 2015, by Steve Davis
"...Based on the absurdly popular anthology of horror fiction that sold over 400 million books during its heyday, the film’s conceit is admittedly an interesting one: A trio of teens unwittingly unleashes on their sleepy little town the literary mayhem in the locked manuscripts of Stine’s works, much to the authorial dismay of the man who created those waking nightmares (a bespectacled and weirdly accented Black, looking and sounding nothing like Stine). The monsters that are due on Maple Street include a mutant praying mantis, a horde of ravenous zombies, a teenage werewolf, an army of garden gnomes wielding pickaxes, and a vengeful ventriloquist’s dummy named Slappy, who gleefully masterminds the bedlam in retaliation for his past imprisonment on the written page..."

Epic Movie
The filmmakers are completely tone-deaf when it comes to the art of film parody, and their special form of sadism-as-punch-line leaves the audience in a perpetual cringe.

Film Review  February 2, 2007, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...Halfway through this movie, I was shielding my eyes and hoping, hoping that the whole ordeal would be over soon and that it would vanish from my memory immediately and forever. To make matters worse, the talents of quirky comedy masterminds Glover (Bartleby) and Kevin McDonald (The Kids in the Hall) are criminally wasted here..."

City of Men
Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Mereilles-produced City of Men goes a long way to expanding the vocabulary of television and moving the medium toward a more cinematic approach
Screens Review  December 29, 2006, by Josh Rosenblatt
"...The Dr. Mabuse Collection (Image, $19.95): Harald Reinl may not be Fritz Lang, but criminal masterminds are criminal masterminds, and Mabuse is the archetype...."

Being Julia
There are so few really great film roles written for middle-aged women that when one comes along and it stars the near-perfect Annette Bening, it’s disappointing that the rest of the movie does not equal her performance.
Film Review  November 12, 2004, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Of course, things straighten out eventually, and the fool for love falls back to earth as she recognizes the transparency of Tom’s conniving ambition. Then, in a third act that takes until the story’s very end to bear its poisonous fruit, Julia masterminds the complete comeuppance of several characters in one fell swoop..."

Malibu's Most Wanted
On the lower, less-developed levels of Hades these days, there is, with luck, a spot reserved for the makers of Malibu’s Most Wanted, somewhere between Vanilla Ice’s cramped and airless...

Film Review  April 18, 2003, by Marc Savlov
"...The plan backfires (but then don’t they all?) as the faux gangstas cruise around South Central Los Angeles and the audience endures some of the worst raps since Fear of a Black Hat‘s Niggaz With Hats rhymed about their "peanuts." Unlike that hip-hop parody (as well as Chris Rock’s occasionally inspired CB-4), Malibu’s Most Wanted has less than zero to offer, humorously or otherwise, on the state of hip-hop today. The sight of the abrasively unfunny Kennedy sporting baby-blue FUBU gear, doo-rags, and enough golden bling-bling finery to sink a Fat Boy is enough to tank a woefully unfunny film like this, but his constant adenoidal braying and witless yammering about "keepin’ it real, yo," is tantamount to a crime against nature and an insult to comic masterminds like, oh, Pauly Shore, who, fittingly enough, worked with Malibu’s Most Wanted writers Fax Bahr and Adam Small on the Wease’s early Nineties bombs Son-in-Law and In the Army Now..."

Bait begins by trading off between two scenes: Bristol (Hutchinson), a computer-savvy psychopath, tries to pull off a $42 million heist; and Foxx, as bumbling burglar Alvin Sanders, tries to...
Film Review  September 22, 2000, by Kimberley Jones
"...But he's completely underused, not even emerging as the central figure until a third of the way through. Instead, we have Hutchinson (vaguely effeminate, in a typical Hollywood move to make homosexuality a trademark of its psychopaths) and the grim-faced David Morse as a Treasury Department agent who masterminds the (mis)use of Alvin..."

Is there anything Todd McFarlane can't do? Since introducing his Spawn comic book character in 1992, McFarlane's nightmarish superhero from hell has branched out into a wildly successful, adult-themed HBO...
Film Review  August 1, 1997, by Marc Savlov
"...And now, Spawn -- the movie. McFarlane may be the Rupert Murdoch of comic book masterminds, marketing his immensely profitable dream one media niche at a time, but he stumbles with this cinematic adaptation..."

Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick. And what's not sick is out-and-out preposterous. It's hard to understand exactly what possessed the principals involved to make this movie. Washington, you've got to...
Film Review  October 11, 1991, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Blake's sole reason for living is his psychopathic devotion to exacting revenge from Styles. He escapes from prison in a shockingly violent manner and masterminds the appearance of his own death..."

Moontower Comedy 2018: Podcast Fever!
With new series, fest dials the number of podcasts up to 10
DAILY Arts  February 21, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Podcasts have been a steadily growing presence at the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival in recent years, and it appears that the Moontower masterminds have been listening to how many of you are listening to all these audio series, because they've just announced that they're cranking the podcast dial up to 10 for the seventh fest this April...."

Gay Place
OUTsider Fest, Andrea Gibson, and more heat up the week ahead
Columns  February 15, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...Die Felicia Presents Carpenter vs. Craven Our Scream Queens host a battle between horror masterminds..."

Gay Place
Out of Time: Austin's queer transmedia fest returns for year four
Columns  February 8, 2018, by Sarah Marloff
"...Die Felicia Presents John Carpenter vs. Wes Craven Our beloved Scream Queens host a battle between horror masterminds Carpenter and Craven..."

Hello, Lamp Post, Wha'cha Knowin'?
City art project lets you question lamp posts and get answers
DAILY Arts  February 11, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...12, with a splashy party from 4-6pm, at Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe. In addition to announcing the phone number for texting your new inanimate friends, drinks and snacks will be available, and so will some of the PAN Studio masterminds behind Hello Lamp Post...."

Welcome Back, Neighbor
SNL-starry Good Neighbor to headline Austin Sketch Fest
DAILY Arts  January 28, 2015, by Robert Faires
"...The mirth-making masterminds of Austin Sketch Fest may already consider the 2015 edition of the scripted-comedy celebration to be their "Lucky 7th." That's because they've scored a major group to headline: Good Neighbor, the popular troupe whose members all work now for Saturday Night Live...."

Playing God – Literally
A smartphone's all you need to let loose your inner Zeus and control the action in Deus Ex Machina
Arts Story  December 23, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...Said humans are the seriously effed-up tragic figures from the House of Atreus – Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, Orestes, Cassandra, Aegisthus – but they won't have to follow the narratives laid out by Aeschylus if these new "gods" vote to change them up. The play has enough intervention points built into it to foster a dozen storylines, say the masterminds at Whirligig Productions, creating a choose-your-own-adventure structure that they swear contains more than 12,000 different ways the drama could play out...."

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