Monday, June 30, 2008

wall-e made me very happy

My review of Wall-E is up at The Simon as part of Consumables. Also in this edition: reviews of The Visitor, Aimee Mann's @#%&*! Smilers, Gonzo, The Edge of Heaven and much more.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

ranking the pixar films

Vulture doesn't include Wall-E in its list as it ranks Pixar's eight other films. The bottom of the bunch, not surprisingly, is Cars. No. 1 is a bit of a surprise. For what it's worth, here's my ranking (including Wall-E) with links to my reviews where possible ...

9. Cars
8. The Incredibles
7. Ratatouille
6. A Bug's Life
5. Monsters, Inc.
4. Toy Story 2
3. Wall-E
2. Finding Nemo
1. Toy Story

My review of Wall-E will be up at The Simon tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Top 10 Protest Songs of the 21st Century

The staff of Under the Radar, which includes yours truly, selected the top 10 protest songs since 2000. You can find the results (and the reader response) here. I wrote about Jarvis Cocker's "Running the World" for the magazine. It's not available online, but you can enjoy the issue's cool cover(s) on the magazine's website.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the palm beach story: reconsidered

Putting the finishing touches on its month-long Preston Sturges retrospective, Cinefamily will be screening The Palm Beach Story on Friday. I write about the film for L.A. Weekly, focusing not on its humor but its underlying sadness.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

no age

Nouns is the full-length debut of the Los Angeles noise rock group No Age. It's one of my favorite records of the year so far.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

jerry seinfeld on george carlin

It takes one comedian to describe another comedian's genius, and that's why Jerry Seinfeld's appreciation of George Carlin in the New York Times is just right.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

jason patric and samantha morton in expired

Expired is an intriguing romantic-comedy about two people who aren't right for each other at all: a piggish parking official and his punching-bag fellow employee. Jason Patric is quite good, Samantha Morton less so. My review is up at The Village Voice.

Monday, June 16, 2008

battlestar galactica: revelations

The final episode before the mid-season hiatus was a damn good one. Now we have to wait until 2009 for more Battlestar. Dang it. My recap is at Vulture.

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

Abigail Breslin and her fellow young actors are quite good in this touching live-action adaptation of the popular American Girl franchise. Too bad the story's a bit of a snoozer, though. My review is up at Screen International.

Friday, June 13, 2008

get smart

Steve Carell is a decent Maxwell Smart, but the big-screen version of Get Smart is only so-so. My review is at Screen International.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

my thoughts on jack black

The Biography Channel interviewed me as part of an hour-long special on Jack Black. I haven't seen the episode yet, so I have no idea how much I'm featured in it -- or if I look unusually unattractive -- but it airs tonight. Info on the program is here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

megadeth bring the thrash

In the new Kerrang!, I go behind the scenes of Gigantour, the annual metal festival put together by Megadeth's Dave Mustaine. This year, the tour included Children of Bodom, In Flames and copious amounts of head-banging. My piece isn't available online, but it's on magazine stands now.

battlestar galactica: the hub

At a wedding this weekend, I had several conversations with Battlestar fans, and the consensus was that this final season has thus far been pretty mediocre. I had to admit it was a relief: I was starting to worry that I was the only one who had been disappointed with the recent episodes. Good news, though: Things turned around a bit with Friday's episode, "The Hub." My recap is at Vulture.

Friday, June 06, 2008

perez hilton speaks

Perez Hilton, the love-him-or-hate-him celebrity gossip king, sits down to talk about his annoying personal habits and the musicians he's friends with. The dirty details are at Blender.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

you don't mess with the zohan

Adam Sandler returns with You Don't Mess With the Zohan. If you love gags about hummus and sex-crazed men who talk in funny accents, this is the movie for you.

war and peace: the epic movie

Starting Friday, LACMA will be showing the seven-hour version of War and Peace, the 1968 winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Is it worth seeing? Yes, yes, yes. My piece appears at L.A. Weekly.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

miss conception

Heather Graham survives the embarrassing debacle that is Miss Conception, but this romantic comedy is a must-miss. For all the gory details, read here.

jamie lidell gets his groove on

Jim is the name of British soul singer Jamie Lidell's new album. The man does funk-lite right: My review appears at the Metro Times.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

weezer have a new album

This is the third time the band has named one of its albums Weezer. (Before this, there was The Blue Album and The Green Album.) My review of The Red Album appears at Blender. (And as an added bonus, here's my original review of their second album, Pinkerton, that appeared in the Daily Trojan way back in 1996.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

battlestar galactica: sine que non

Friday's episode of Battlestar had a lot of totally nutty things going on involving pregnant Cylons and dead cats. Thankfully, Bill Adama was still Bill Adama. My recap appears at Vulture.

when did you last see your father?

Director Anand Tucker's When Did You Last See Your Father?, based on the memoir of poet Blake Morrison, sports a terrific lead performance from Jim Broadbent. (After watching him in the new Indiana Jones sequel, it's nice to be reminded how good he can be when allowed to actually, y'know, act.) As a whole, the film is simply too emotional restrained, but for a male weeper, it does the job.

r.e.m.'s mike mills speaks

Not to me, sadly. But the Chicago Tribune's Mark Caro got R.E.M.'s bassist to talk about the band's writing process and why he's sick of critics calling Accelerate their "return to form." (I'm with you there, Mike.) Also fun: We finally find out who actually wrote "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"