Tuesday, February 27, 2007

wild hogs

Tim Allen + John Travolta + Martin Lawrence + William H. Macy + homophobic jokes = a disaster.

Monday, February 26, 2007

a woeful oscar night

I didn't have a problem with the winners, but the broadcast was one of the weakest in recent memory. Elsewhere in Consumables, reviews of new albums by the Shins and Clipse, new singles from Timbaland and Modest Mouse. Plus, a look at Mike Judge's Idiocracy.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Back by popular demand, I'll be teaching in March at the Writing Pad. The topic? Getting Your Name in Print.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

field music

Two XTC-loving British brothers are the songwriting team behind Field Music. Their new album, Tones of Town, is so endlessly catchy that you may not notice that the band doesn't have much to say.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Neko Case: Live in Concert

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, gorgeous and atmospheric, was my favorite album of last year, but I was curious to hear how Neko Case would translate the songs in a live setting. I needn't have worried.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

babel and for your consideration: two examples of what's wrong with this year's oscar season

Great piece in the Los Angeles Times from film critic Dennis Lim. In his DVD column called "A Second Look," he uses the video release of Babel and For Your Consideration to discuss how Oscar season has become a nearly unending celebration to self-importance. For Your Consideration doesn't do enough to mock that celebration, Lim says, while Babel represents the sort of overblown "message movie" that's become a staple of the season.

amazing grace

Director Michael Apted's film, Amazing Grace, about Britain's battle to end the African slave trade in the 18th century, boasts a strong lead performance by Ioan Gruffudd. The rest of the movie, however, is a bit of a snore.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

money, baby

Doug Limon and Jon Favreau's (and also, really, Vince Vaughn's) 1996 film Swingers is perhaps the quintessential L.A.-in-the-'90s movie, a very funny, very touching look at male bonding and the singles scene. Swingers will be playing Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Aero. Screening info is here. My appreciation of the film for LA Weekly is here.

the broken west

This Los Angeles-based band has a new record, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On. Let the Big Star and Teenage Fanclub comparisons begin.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

oscar-nominated shorts

The five Best Live Action Short and five Best Animation Short nominees will be screening in select theaters this weekend. Here's my review.

a valentine to james brown

In honor of Black History Month, here's my appreciation of the late, great James Brown, who died on Christmas Day, for VH1.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

hannibal rising

It's even worse than you imagined.

top ten albums and singles of 2006

The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop music poll is out. My top tens appear here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

foreign-language films that didn't make the oscar cut

France's Avenue Montaigne, Kazakhstan's Nomad (The Warrior) and Bosnia-Herzegovina's Grbavica all missed the cut for this year's list of nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Were they robbed? Click on the titles for my reviews

Friday, February 02, 2007

can mr. smith get to washington anymore?

If you find yourself in downtown L.A. this weekend and you're hungry for a good political documentary, check out Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? Here's my review.