Monday, January 31, 2011

'what women want' remake review

Andy Lau and Gong Li star in What Women Want, the Chinese remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson movie. On the whole, it has the same strengths and weaknesses of the original film. My review is up at Screen International.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

'from prada to nada' review

From Prada to Nada wasn't made available to critics before its release on Friday. You know what that means: It must be a stinker. Oh, Camilla Belle, you were so very good in The Ballad of Jack & Rose -- what has happened to you? My full review is at Screen International.

Friday, January 28, 2011

big star - september gurls

Because I need some power-pop right about now....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'biutiful' review

I finally got around to reviewing Biutiful, which I liked more than most do. It's much better than Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's last film, Babel, but I'm afraid that he's never going to make anything as startling as Amores Perros ever again. I hope I'm wrong.

'the mechanic' review

Jason Statham, you are still the man. And I really, really wanted to like The Mechanic. But I just couldn't go all the way with you on this one -- my review goes into why.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

best movies of 2010

My indieWIRE ballot for the best films and performances of 2010 is here. For the record, I thought it was a pretty strong year. Also for the record, the film that just missed my Top 10 was Never Let Me Go. Oh, and one last thing: I'm thrilled that my top choice for Best Undistributed Film, City of Life and Death, is finally getting released in 2011.

Friday, January 21, 2011

'the housemaid' review

Korean writer-director Im Sang-soo's film is sort of an erotic thriller and sort of a camp melodrama and sort of a class commentary. But it's largely a mess.

'no strings attached' review

Other people have been relatively kind to No Strings Attached. Not me.

lcd soundsystem - one touch

I admit it: I find LCD Soundsystem overrated. Sorta. James Murphy is more than capable of delivering some superb individual tracks, but I think his albums drag as a whole. So while I can't get with the praise that 2010's This Is Happening received, my love of "One Touch" continues unabated.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2010 pazz & jop

I'm still digesting all the information, but this year's Pazz & Jop results are now live. As I guessed, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy won in a blowout. After that? I thought The Suburbs would be No.2, but that spot went to LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening. My ballot is here. (Spoiler Alert: On the album side, I'm Mr. Consensus. On the singles side, I'm very much on my own.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

the 2011 LAFCA awards banquet

A good time was had by all on January 15, 2011, as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association honored the best films and performances of 2010. My full recap of the event, which isn't televised, can be found here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

worst movies of 2010

The fine folks at Vulture asked me to contribute my list of 2010's worst films. You can watch me relive the pain of some of last year's most terrible movie memories here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

no age - fever dreaming

If all of Everything in Between was as great as this song, it would have made my Top 10 for 2010. But, hey, nobody's perfect: And No Age did provide me with part of my favorite entertainment moment of '10: Their Hollywood Bowl show with Pavement and Sonic Youth was utterly unbelievable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

'buring palms' review

I'm a fan of omnibus films, so I was very curious about Burning Palms, which is a collection of five Los Angeles-set shorts. Unfortunately, the film is more "shocking" and "provocative" than legitimately shocking or provocative. My review is up at Screen International.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

get to know me better

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association recently sent out a "Meet a Critic" questionnaire to all us members to fill out. The completed surveys are pretty fascinating -- I learned a lot about people I thought I knew pretty well. Here's mine, where I discuss the movie that changed my life, my advice to aspiring critics, and my feelings on "guilty pleasures."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'green hornet' review

Not quite funny enough, not quite action-y enough, that's The Green Hornet for ya. My review is up at Screen International.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I wrote a book about Eels

Amidst all the other writing and reviewing I did in 2010, I was working on a big project I was keeping under my hat: the first-ever biography of the Los Angeles indie-rock band Eels. Well, the secret's out: Blinking Lights and Other Revelations: The Story of Eels will be coming out in 2012.

I've done my first interview for the book, which can be found here, and it lays out the particulars of what the biography will be about and why it's been a dream of mine for a long time to write about Eels and their brilliant frontman, E.

I'll have more updates when they become available, but for now you can check out the book's Amazon page in the UK and the US.

Friday, January 07, 2011

billy bragg - way over yonder in the minor key

While in Austin over the holidays, I discovered that my sister-in-law had recently gotten into the Mermaid Avenue albums. Great stuff: Two records of music by Billy Bragg and Wilco incorporating lyrics from Woody Guthrie. "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" is from the original 1998 album. Bragg sings, and Natalie Merchant provides back-up vocals. Beautiful.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

'season of the witch' review

I've been waiting to review Season of the Witch for months. That doesn't mean I was waiting with baited breath: It's just that I was assigned to cover it since its original release in March 2010, and I've been waiting for the damn thing to come out ever since. Well, tomorrow the world finally gets to see the latest Nicolas Cage misfire. My review is up at Screen International.