Friday, March 30, 2007

let's go sailing

Her name is Shana Levy. She fronts a band called Let's Go Sailing. She lives in Los Angeles. Her new album, The Chaos in Order, is out now. It's darn good.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

after the wedding

I loved Susanne Bier's last film, Brothers, but her latest -- After the Wedding, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year -- isn't quite as amazing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

do film critics matter? (part 653,363)

I tend not to care too much about articles debating the relevance of film critics -- if you read film criticism, they are relevant; if you don't, they aren't -- but Lewis Beale in The Reeler has a well-balanced perspective on the matter. The comments after the piece are the usual collection of insightful and barely literate.

Monday, March 26, 2007

peyton manning, comic genius

Yes, Peyton Manning, a football player, was hilarious on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. I sing his praises in Consumables ... and also say nice things about LCD Soundsystem, the Silos, and Low.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

the hills have eyes 2

The sequel to last year's remake of the 1970s Wes Craven horror classic is a stunning artistic statement. OK, maybe not.

Friday, March 23, 2007

usc in the sweet sixteen

After impressive wins over Arkansas and Texas in the first two rounds of the NCAA college basketball tournament, the Trojans take on the North Carolina Tar Heels tonight. Here's all the info you'll need to get ready for tonight's game.

the prisoner or: how i planned to kill tony blair

It's hard to say when audiences' saturation point for Iraq War documentaries will come -- if it hasn't come already -- but The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair is one worth checking out. It opens in New York today before expanding to other parts of the country.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

adam sandler gets serious for reign over me

I loved Adam Sandler's dramatic turn in Punch-Drunk Love and I adored writer-director Mike Binder's prickly, moving The Upside of Anger. So the comedy-drama Reign Over Me, Binder's new film that stars Sandler, should be a slam dunk. Sadly, the movie goes awry for me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

color me kubrick

Based on the true story of a Londoner's successful attempts during the 1990s to pose as famed film director Stanley Kubrick, Color Me Kubrick is a failed satire about our obsession with celebrity culture. Even though it was made by two people who worked closely with Kubrick, you can't help but wonder what the great master could have done with such potentially great material.

billy zane, odd as ever

Perhaps the only reason to see the silly thriller Memory, which opens this Friday, is to catch Billy Zane at his ironically loopy best. But that probably won't be enough enticement for most people.

Monday, March 19, 2007

teenage mutant ninja turtles

Yup, they're back -- and their new film, the animated TMNT, isn't half bad.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

tortilla heaven

George Lopez, Miguel Sandoval, and Lupe Ontiveros star in this low-budget religious comedy. Avoid like the plague.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

r.e.m. enters the rock and roll hall of fame

Looking around the Web for an appropriate piece that paid homage to R.E.M.'s greatness, I was left unsatisfied. So I turned to my man Robert Christgau. This article came out in '96 as a review of their underrated New Adventures in Hi-Fi, but it serves as a nice little encapsulation of what the Athens band accomplished. It's at least as good as Eddie Vedder's induction speech.

fight on, trojans

USC's men's basketball team starts its NCAA tournament play Friday against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Here are three tidbits about the Trojan team, in case you're interested.

caffeine, the movie

Katherine Heigl fans may be curious to check out Caffeine, the 20-something ensemble comedy in which she co-stars. I'd advise against it, though.

time for a nap

I need no convincing about the importance of midday naps, but Louisa Thomas, part of the editorial staff of The New Yorker, lays out the argument in fine fashion nonetheless. Specifically, I love that she addresses the foolishness of demonizing naps:
I can't shake the sense that napping is slothful and decadent, for the lazy and weak. In a society that places a premium on the appearance of productivity -- even at the cost of actual productivity -- just the impression of wasted time is enough to damn the practice.

Read the rest of the piece here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

fall out boy

Dedicated to always keeping an open mind, I review Fall Out Boy's new album, Infinity on High. The results? Read here .... along with my thoughts on Lily Allen, Zodiac, the Mountain Goats, and more.

Friday, March 09, 2007

captain america, RIP

Maybe only comic-book aficionados cared about the recent murder of Captain America in issue No. 25, but commentator Jacob Heilbrunn sees the iconic hero's death as symbolic of something deeper going on in the country: the realization that we're losing the war on terror.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

the ultimate gift

Fox Faith is a new subsidiary of 20th Century Fox that specializes in religious-themed films that espouse Christian values. The company's latest offering, The Ultimate Gift, ends up feeling more like a sermon than an entertainment.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

the brilliant zodiac

It's humbling and frustrating to realize that there's almost no point in writing a review when someone has articulated your points far better than you ever could. Such is the case with Owen Gleiberman's spot-on piece about David Fincher's terrific Zodiac.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

taking the academy to task -- with class

Great piece by John Sinno, producer of the Oscar-nominated Iraq in Fragments, on his disappointment with the Academy that they chose to let Jerry Seinfeld mockingly dismiss the Best Documentary nominees as "incredibly depressing" during his introduction.

Sinno does a commendable job of not coming across as a humorless grump -- and he makes several good points, including the fact that the Iraq War was never mentioned once during the broadcast.