Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2001 explained

There are thousands of interpretations of the meanings within 2001: A Space Odyssey. This might be the best of the bunch.

in the bleachers

Like a lot of newspapers of late, the Los Angeles Times has had to deal with layoffs and shrinking page counts. The sports section is a shell of its former self, but, miraculously, In the Bleachers, the one-panel cartoon from Steve Moore, is still there. (It's buried in the back, next to the minor-league baseball standings and the gambling column.) It's very much in the oddball vein of The Far Side, which debuted six years before it, but while no one would describe the strip as hip or edgy, it makes me laugh on an almost-daily basis.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

grand theft auto IV

Not only do video games make more money than movies, they get much more glowing reviews. (I'd be curious to know if the world of video-game criticism is being downsized as dramatically as their film counterparts are.)

tom morello speaks

It's not available online, but in the latest issue of Kerrang! is my interview with Tom Morello, who's back on the road with Axis of Justice, his tour that brings together country, hip-hop and hard-rock acts to raise awareness for worthy causes.

andrew sullivan is reading my mind

And if that's the case, thank you, Mr. Sullivan: You've helped cheer me up considerably this morning.

Monday, April 28, 2008

battlestar galactica: escape velocity

Was it just me, or was everybody in Friday's episode of Battlestar overacting just a wee bit? My rundown is at Vulture.

Friday, April 25, 2008


David Mamet's new film Redbelt is another of his elaborate-con dramas, but it has two interesting wrinkles: It's set in the world of mixed martial arts and, more importantly, it stars the magnificent Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

those damn subway ads

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds those "five-dollar foot-long" ads from Subway insanely, evilly catchy. Slate's Seth Stevenson interviews the commercials' "diabolical geniuses" and learns their tricks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

burt reynolds: what's the "deal"?

The mustachioed former sex symbol is the main reason to give Deal a try. But probably not a strong enough reason.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2001's moonwatcher speaks

Anybody who obsesses over 2001: A Space Odyssey as much as yours truly needs to read this.

Monday, April 21, 2008

battlestar galactica: the ties that bind

Friday night's episode of Battlestar was the season's best so far. My rundown at Vulture is here.

baby mama

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are really funny in the warm, likable Baby Mama. My review appears at Screen International.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

beyond the call

Beyond the Call is a well-meaning documentary about three unpretentious Good Samaritans who are worth admiring. Too bad the film about them isn't.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the life before her eyes

Evan Rachel Wood is quite good in The Life Before Her Eyes, a drama about grieving and rebirth, but Uma Thurman is part of the film's major problems.

Monday, April 14, 2008

battlestar galactica: six of one

After the promising season premiere, Battlestar was a lot less engaging last Friday. My recap is at Vulture.

prom night

The remake of the 1980 horror film stars Brittany Snow and a guy from The Wire. It did surprisingly well over the weekend, but is it any good? My review is at Screen International.

Friday, April 11, 2008

andrew sullivan

You should read his blog every day, but you should really read this posting.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

who you calling bald?

Like the rest of us, rock stars have to worry about losing their hair. Well, not all of them: Some do just fine without their lovely locks.

the sword

The Austin metal band is back with a new album, Gods of the Earth. Some people think they're joking with their Norse imagery and Sabbath-size riffs. They're not joking, folks -- they're here to rock.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

the return of harold and kumar

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was a fun surprise that did decent business, so of course a sequel was inevitable. Sadly, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is less funny and a whole lot cruder.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

street kings: keanu reeves tries to walk like a man

Street Kings, which opens Friday, is a perfectly competent thriller, but it's the sort that perpetuates all the tired cliches about bad cops, codes of honor and this-is-a-man's-world bravado. My review appears in The Village Voice.

Monday, April 07, 2008

another reason to love obama

On his first date with future wife Michelle, he took her to see Do the Right Thing.

battlestar galactica: he that believeth in me

So, the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica aired Friday. What did I think of it? Click here.

george clooney has a ball in leatherheads

Leatherheads has its faults, but for the most part, it's a stylish, smart period comedy. Elsewhere in my Consumables column, I take a listen to the new Death Cab single and Cadence Weapon album, and sing the praises of The Bank Job and Paranoid Park.

Friday, April 04, 2008

battlestar galactica for newbies

With Battlestar Galactica gearing up for its fourth and final season tonight, here's a handy cheat sheet of the show's political subtext. If you've never seen the program, hopefully this rundown will at least get you caught up.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

harmony korine at the silent movie theatre

Every Saturday in April, the fine folks at Cinefamily will be screening the films of Harmony Korine, including Kids, Gummo and the forthcoming Mister Lonely. For L.A. Weekly, I discuss Korine's oeuvre, warts and all.

battlestar galactica's col. tigh speaks

Michael Hogan, the terrific actor who plays the tortured Saul Tigh on Battlestar Galactica, spoke to me recently about the upcoming season, life as a Cylon, and the song he wants playing at his funeral. The details are all at Vulture.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

stephen malkmus

The former Pavement leader is back with his fourth solo record, Real Emotional Trash. If you like twisty guitar epics than can stretch to 10 minutes, it's the album for you. (And even if you don't, you should still give it a shot.)