Monday, May 31, 2010

'get him to the greek' review

Remember how funny The Hangover was? Perhaps you were hoping that Get Him to the Greek would be this summer's Hangover? The trailers made me hopeful but, alas, it's not. My review is up at Screen International.

Friday, May 28, 2010

janelle monae - tightrope

Have a happy, safe Memorial Day weekend. Everybody keep tipping on that tightrope.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

'prince of persia' and 'survival of the dead' reviews

If you want to see Sex and the City 2 this weekend, you're on your own. But if you're interested in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead, well, perhaps I can be of some assistance. Take a gander at my latest Consumables column for my reviews of those two films.

Friday, May 21, 2010

living colour - nothingness

A buried gem from a forgotten band. I suppose this is one of the principal reasons people have personal blogs.

"Films That Got Away" at the Los Angeles Film Festival

"Films That Got Away" is a special sidebar that runs during the Los Angeles Film Festival that is put together by members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association to highlight remarkable movies that, for one reason or another, never got a release in the Los Angeles area. Last year's trio of films -- Musica Nocturna, United Red Army, and especially The Silence Before Bach -- were all exceptional, which inspired me to become part of the LAFCA committee that selected this year's sidebar. The 2010 installment only has two movies, but they're both definitely worth your time.

On Saturday, June 19, we'll be screening The Happiest Girl in the World, a Romanian comedy that, no, isn't just another of those long, boring Romanian films that critics absolutely love. (And, hey, what's your problem with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days anyway?) This is a warm, smart, great film that's part coming-of-age drama and part social satire. Plus, it's funny.

Then, on Wednesday, June 23, I'll be presenting Katalin Varga, a dark British/Hungarian/Romanian character piece that gets more interesting and absorbing each time I see it. I absolutely hate using the word "challenging" to describe a film -- particularly one I want you to see -- but this is an uncompromising little movie. But it's also a haunting film -- and at 82 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome. I'll have more to say about Katalin Varga during my opening remarks before the film.

fringe - "over there, part 2" recap

Well, that's it -- no more Fringe until the fall. At least they gave us something to remember it by with last night's season finale. My thoughts on the episode are up at Vulture.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

'everyone else' review

When I was in New York recently, German writer-director Maren Ade's romantic drama Everyone Else was playing within walking distance of where I was staying. Alas, I didn't have a chance to see it. Now back in Los Angeles, I have. I rave about the film at The Simon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

band of horses - 'infinite arms' review

Infinite Arms is probably Band of Horses' worst album to this point. But as my review demonstrates, I hardly cared.

pavement - spit on a stranger

It seems like there are two indie-rock-fan absolutes out there right now: (1) Everybody is excited about the Pavement reunion; and (2) Nobody likes their final album, Terror Twilight. To which I say: (1) Me too; and (2) Aw, c'mon, guys, it's not that bad. To prove my point, here's "Spit on a Stranger".....

fringe - "over there, part 1" recap

Once last night's Fringe did away with the scientific mumbo-jumbo to explain how the team could cross over to the alternate universe, it was all go-go-go. My recap is up at Vulture.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

dead weather - 'sea of cowards' review

The Dead Weather have released two albums in the last 10 months. I'm not sure if their new one, Sea of Cowards, is better than than their first one, but it's close. You can read my review here.

Friday, May 07, 2010

judy collins - daddy, you been on my mind

The backstory on the reasons why I chose this video are probably more interesting than the video itself. This weekend is Mother's Day, and I was trying to figure out what artist my mom would like to see in this space. After rejecting Celine Dion and Susan Boyle, I hit upon Judy Collins. So I did a little snooping around YouTube and found this performance of Bob Dylan's "Mama, You Been on My Mind," which she changes to "Daddy, You Been on My Mind." Interestingly enough, "Mama" is one of my dad's and my favorite Dylan songs, so it fit the family theme. Bonus points for Pete Seeger just sitting there being cool and drinking coffee.

fringe - "northwest passage" recap

My wife and I thought last night's Fringe was kinda on the lame side. My recap at Vulture reflects my disappointment. Thus far, the commenters vehemently disagree. Such is life.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

hold steady - 'heaven is whenever' review

After 2008's Stay Positive, I was starting to worry that the Hold Steady were running out of gas. I shouldn't have doubted frontman Craig Finn -- the band's latest disc, Heaven Is Whenever, is a real treat. You can read my review at