Thursday, May 31, 2007


The newest animated film from director Satoshi Kon is beloved by everyone. Except me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Based on Elizabeth Shue's childhood experience of playing soccer in boys-only leagues, Gracie is a bit of a family affair. After watching this sports film, I'm assuming the real story was a little more interesting.

Friday, May 25, 2007

the police

Well, the long wait is over. The Police's reunion tour kicks off this weekend. To get you in the mood, here's a list of 10 hidden gems from the band.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

zz top takes the rock honors

VH1's annual Rock Honors program airs tonight, which includes a tribute to ZZ Top, who will be performing. For VH1's website, I looked back on the band's now 30-plus-year career. Click on this link and play along at home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

pirates of the caribbean: at world's end

This third Pirates is more ho-hum than yo ho ho.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

maroon 5 return

Make snide jokes all you want, but Maroon 5's new album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, is actually pretty good.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

the corporation

Having recently seen No End in Sight, the terrific Iraq War documentary by Charles Ferguson, I was reminded of The Corporation, an equally meticulous and riveting nonfiction film from 2004 about the roles of corporations in our daily lives. It's been a while since I've seen it, but Jonathan Rosenbaum's terrific review brought it all back. What a great movie.

wilco v. son volt

I never thought I'd live to see the day when a music critic would actually dare to say he preferred Son Volt to Wilco. Bless you, Mark Mauer.

Friday, May 18, 2007

even money

A drama starring Forest Whitaker, Danny DeVito, Ray Liotta, Tim Roth, Carla Gugino, Kelsey Grammer, and Kim Basinger comes out today. Why have you not heard of it? Because it's not very good: Even Money is the Crash of gambling-addiction movies, for better and certainly for worse.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

luke wilson is wendell baker

The Wendell Baker Story, written and co-directed by Luke Wilson (who also stars), starts off so promisingly that it's even more disappointing when the whole film falls apart about halfway through.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

michael keaton returns

Michael Keaton is the star of The Last Time, a mediocre film that doesn't have enough confidence in its central theme and instead resorts to David Mamet tricks. It'll disappear to DVD soon enough.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

roger ebert teaches a lesson in class

As film critic Roger Ebert continues to recover from surgery, he tells of a bouquet of get-well flowers that came from a most unlikely person: Rob Schneider. His response to the gift touches on the common humanity that all critics share, and mostly shows what a decent, great guy Ebert really is.

28 weeks later

Loved the first one. But the new one is just so-so. Also in Consumables, I discuss Away From Her and new singles by the White Stripes, Avril Lavigne, and Interpol.

Friday, May 11, 2007


It's done like a mockumentary, but there's a lot of heart to Chalk, a great look inside the demanding world of high school teachers.

the salon

Hoping to grab the crowds who liked Barbershop, The Salon offers a similar milieu. If you can't get enough jokes about how white people are different than black people, by all means check it out.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

the hip hop project

The documentary The Hip Hop Project operates in the inspirational, make-a-difference genre. Savvy rap fans may quibble with some of the assertions made in the film, but by and large it's an affecting look at a group of young people trying to change their lives through some thoughtfully-versed rhymes. The film opens Friday, May 11.

Monday, May 07, 2007

steely dan: hidden gems

Steely Dan, the crown princes of '70s snark, just kicked off another summer tour. In honor of that wonderful news, here is a salute to 10 of their best songs most people don't know.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

another sad end to a lakers season

The Los Angeles Lakers lost in the first round, for the second straight year, to the Phoenix Suns. Two years into the new Phil Jackson era, I have to ask one more time: Why did he decide to come back? What has he added to his legacy? Why does he want this aggravation?

I was reminded of a piece I wrote almost two years ago with a fellow writer right before the Lakers announced that Jackson was coming back to coach the team. Other people were excited about his return. I was not.

I'm still not.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

hot fuzz

I loved Shaun of the Dead, but Edgar Wright's new film, Hot Fuzz, isn't up to the same level. Also in Consumables, I review Jindabyne, Red Road and the Shins live.

waitress: adrienne shelly's unexpected swan song

Waitress, starring a terrific Keri Russell, turned out to be writer-director-actor Adrienne Shelly's last film. (She was murdered in New York in the fall of 2006.) My review appears here.