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Underrated/Overrated

February 12, 2012

UNDERRATED

'Key & Peele' on Comedy Central: Sketch comedy isn't a common thing on TV, so credit must be given not only for the network airing this show from the comic duo of Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele but for it being so solidly funny. Here's hoping this newcomer, vaguely similar to "The Chappelle Show" both in format and a sharp facility for tweaking racial issues, gets as much time to find an audience as the middling "Workaholics."

'Point Blank' (2010): Part of a remarkable recent run of French thrillers that includes "Tell No One" (2006), this film directed by Fred Cavayé is a taut story of a man pushed to his limit after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Full of sharp twists at a fat-free 80 minutes, the film gathers steam as a nurse fights to save his pregnant wife from a web of corruption, highlighted by a compassionless turn by Roschdy Zem as a wounded criminal out for answers.

OVERRATED

'Moneyball' for nonbaseball fans: A fixture in the march to the Academy Awards, this best picture contender has an intoxicating, insider quality for baseball fans and statistics wonks, but the argument that this movie will satisfy the baseball averse feels as grounded as a hanging curve ball in Fenway Park. It's a well-written, coolly done film, but if you're the sort who didn't understand the metaphor in the last sentence, this isn't the movie for you.

M.I.A.'s middle finger: So midway through a sport so callous toward its athletes that a retired player shot himself perhaps to underscore the impact of post-concussion syndrome, Super Bowl fans found time to be outraged over a split-second obscene gesture during halftime. While M.I.A.'s move seemed like a silly brain cramp, fans of a game that sells violence and conspicuous consumption should consider that there's a lot more than artists deserving of their outrage.

— Chris Barton

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