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Dear Arnaud Hémery, Data Manager, 

That must have been one hell of a database you had to sort through! Most people would have a difficult enough time managing all the normal files for this type of film. You know: CarFlip_Camera4_Take12.xml, ThroatPunch17_AsianGang_Blooper.xml, ScarJo_LegSpread_MoneyShot.xml, etc.

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Dear Linda D. Flowers, Hair Department Head

There’s a moment at the end of Tammy (in the gag reel, naturally) when Melissa McCarthy’s wig makes a break for it. It flies off the back of her head at a speed rivaled only by the speed with which the audience went flying out the back of the theatre at the end of the screening. 100 minutes of falling down followed by 5 minutes of unscripted falling down? You kept McCarthy’s wig glued to her head about as well as the film kept us glued to our seats.

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Dear Derek Shook, Paparazzi,

You’re one of the many people interviewed about the titular Hollywood agent in the documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. Though your IMDb profile doesn’t come right out and say that you’re a paparazzi, it mentions that your “iconic photos and videos have been published in magazines and newspapers and can be seen on web sites and television programs around the world, a benchmark in any artist’s career.” Not once does it allude to the fact that these pictures are usually taken when you are hiding in a shrubbery. But the beauty of showbiz is that you can constantly reinvent yourself. It’s all about spin.

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Wish I Was Here

Dear Zach Braff, Writer/Director/Actor/Producer, 

Let’s get this out of the way: I was not a Garden State fan. When I first heard there would be a follow-up to your directorial debut, my initial thought was: “Oh dear.” But I was pleasantly surprised by Wish I Was Here. It charmed me in spite of my usual visceral rejection of all things schmaltzy and earnest. It is undeniably schmaltzy, as family dramedies tend to be.

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Planes: Fires & Rescue

Dear Amy Ross, Music Clearance,

That was a dirty trick you pulled. About a half hour into Planes: Fire & Rescue, I suddenly found myself excited – invested, even – in the action that was unfolding. The aerial team was flying to their first forest fire and I thought to myself “shit, this good!” Of course, I didn’t actually swear out loud (since I was surrounded by six-year-olds)—but this time, to my amazement, my urge to curse wasn’t provoked by the film’s shortcomings. A second later, I realized why. I’d been… Thunderstruck.

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