Sunday, July 29, 2007


The Shakespeare in Love of romantic comedy-dramas about the young life of the French playwright Moliere. But not as good.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

no end in sight: the interview

Charles Ferguson, the writer and director of the great new documentary No End in Sight, talks to me about the film in this week's LA Weekly.

Friday, July 13, 2007


The greatest movie Woody Allen ever made returns with a new print for one week in New York starting today. The Village Voice's J. Hoberman may not be an Allen enthusiast, but his recent reevaluation of the movie is the best assessment of it I can think of.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

snow patrol

The Glasgow band is taking one more trip across America this summer. I preview their latest tour.

falling out of love with the simpsons

I ask every Simpsons fan in my life the same question: How do you think the movie will be? They all have the same response: They grimace, fearing the worst. I'm the same way. The show hasn't been great in years, so it's hard to imagine that the movie won't be a embarrassing final nail in the coffin.

Ian Jones has a great piece in The Guardian about this shared dread among longtime fans. I imagine my friends will nod their head in agreement while reading this.

talk to me

Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor are both quite good in this filmic re-creation of the life of 1960s DJ Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene Jr., but the film itself follows the biopic conventions a little too generically.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Top 10 Smashing Pumpkins Songs

Yup, they're back. Billy Corgan is taking the '90s alt-rockers back on the road in support of a new album. Thanks to the fine folks at, here's my look back at 10 classic songs from their heyday.


I taste-test the latest Pixar film in Consumables. I also take on Interview, Ocean's Thirteen, and the new albums from Amy Winehouse and Feist.

Friday, July 06, 2007

the bitter truth

"Someday, the Bush era may come to seem like a bad dream, a shameful, inexplicable interlude in American history. We're right to be outraged by Bush and Cheney, but we should also save a bit of outrage for when we look in the mirror."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

introducing the dwights

Happy 4th, everyone. If you're in the mood for an Australian coming-of-age dramedy about a crazy showbiz family, you're in luck.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

license to wed

It's John Krasinski vs. Robin Williams in this painfully unfunny romantic comedy.

And I have a question to all the married/engaged couples out there: Have any recent Hollywood movies gotten even remotely close to capturing what it's really like to be in a long-term relationship? I can't think of a one.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

edward yang, 1947-2007

There are two movies I adore that I won't let my wife watch until they run on the big screen. In the time we've been together, they've never shown in a theater in Los Angeles. Not once. One is Hoop Dreams. The other is Yi Yi.

Yi Yi, written and directed by Edward Yang, opened in the dead of winter in December 2000. I had just returned to town from seeing my family over the holidays and had noticed that the film's short run was going to be ending the next day. I had to work and catch up on things I missed while I was gone, but I had heard enough good stuff about the film that I decided I needed to see it, no matter its three-hour running time and my general lack of pep.

The movie is about a family in Taiwan, and it looks at three generations who live together under the same roof. I love great ensemble pieces for their ability to interweave several characters into one narrative to better illustrate the complexities of daily life, the comings and goings of people, and the different perspectives different people can bring to the larger world. That’s all there in Yi Yi, and it absolutely floored me. It's smart, it's funny, it's moving, it's romantic, it's plainly terrific. In this young century, I haven't seen a better film.

I haven't seen it since, wanting to wait until it showed up at one of our great repertory theaters: the New Beverly, the Egyptian, the Aero, LACMA's Bing Theater. I balked on checking out its new Criterion DVD because I always prefer a movie in the theater experience, surrounded by other people. Especially a movie that’s as generous and open-hearted and communal as Yi Yi.

I ran into Edward Yang once after I had seen the film. I tend not to approach filmmakers or celebrities, but I had to make an exception in this case. He had made a film I absolutely loved. And I just had to thank him.

I just read that he died of colon cancer here in Los Angeles. I am ashamed I never got around to seeing his earlier films as I promised myself I would. I can only assume that with his passing, they will get back into circulation. And my wife will finally get to see Yi Yi.