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Underrated / Overrated

November 15, 2009

UNDERRATED

'Medicine for Melancholy' (2008): Like many people living in L.A., we're a frequent visitor to San Francisco, and few movies capture its confounding beauty quite as honestly as this indie drama starring "The Daily Show's" Wyatt Cenac. Though at its heart the raw, sweetly intimate story of a 24-hour one-night stand, the film also addresses the city's race and housing issues with documentary-like precision.

Bill Simmons: Among the first to offer the fan's perspective in online sports coverage, ESPN's Boston-obsessed "Sports Guy" has a hit on his hands with "The Book of Basketball," a 700-odd-page tome of roundball minutiae, personal remembrances and oddly brilliant theories that recently topped the nonfiction bestseller list. We're eager to read, and not just because we surreptitiously grew up loving Larry Bird.

OVERRATED

The 'Avatar' trailer: James Cameron has built a career on making movies with game-changing visual effects, but the first impression of this film doesn't live up to those standards. It can't be easy getting a world's-worth of computer animation in line, but we're not sure what the difference will be between seeing Cameron's CG Smurfs fight their epic battles and watching someone play a pricey video game.

Aerosmith: We're not sure if we're more surprised these rockers may have finally broken up or that people still seemed to care. Don't get us wrong, we love "Toys in the Attic" and the culture-shifting "Walk This Way" with Run-DMC, but those were long ago. Now the only question is who gets custody of the Diane Warren power ballads, Joe Perry or the man who actually referred to himself recently as "Brand Tyler."

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