Thursday, March 31, 2011

'hop' review

Hop is probably going to do pretty well this weekend. And, hey, it's got a darn cute bunny as its main character. But, lordy, is it generic. My review is up at Screen International.

'source code' review

Source Code has a lot going for it, so why isn't it more fun? I examine that question in much detail over at Yahoo.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'in a better world' review

Bad movies win Oscars all the time. Look at Braveheart. Or Crash. And now let us add director Susanne Bier's In a Better World to that list. She may have walked away with the Best Foreign Language Film trophy, but her movie is deeply infuriating -- I explain why over at Yahoo.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'trust' review

David Schwimmer's Trust is about a very serious subject: the rape of a 14-year-old girl by an Internet predator. But the movie is one of the cases where it's so relentlessly "dramatic" that it becomes oppressive rather than revealing. Or, as I said in my Yahoo review, my prevailing thought was that I wished everyone in the movie would lighten up a little. That's when you know you've failed as a dramatist.

Friday, March 25, 2011

bob mould - sunspots

With Husker Du, Bob Mould was probably best known for crafting corrosive rock songs. But the dude has a gift for the pretty as well. Here's the instrumental "Sunspots" off his first solo album, Workbook. On a side note, whichever of you stole my CD of Sugar's File Under: East Listening let me know, OK?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

'sucker punch' review

I think I actually like Sucker Punch more than a lot of my colleagues -- and I don't really like it. My Yahoo review goes into why I think it's a rather unusual big-budget studio movie, which makes it all the more disappointing that it's not so good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'miral' review

I try not to let expectations (high or low) influence my reading of a film, but after all the horrible things I've heard about Miral, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't hate it. Now, did I love it? Not quite .... I explain all over at Yahoo.

Friday, March 18, 2011

warren g featuring nate dogg - regulate

Maybe an obvious pick this week, but "Regulate" was a song I really loved back in the day. I decided to go with the official video version, even though some of the lyrics are censored.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'limitless' review

Bradley Cooper does some of his best work in Limitless. It's not a great film, but it works pretty nicely. I share my deep, probing thoughts about the movie over at Yahoo.

Friday, March 11, 2011

sleater-kinney - don't talk like

My dirty little secret is that I was never the biggest Sleater-Kinney fan. I liked them, I respected them, but they never quite blew my socks off the way they did for so many other music critics. But "Don't Talk Like" from The Hot Rock is one of those exceptions: I could listen to it on a loop, and believe me I have. And as I get older, the lyrics become more and more resonant: "Don't talk like/you're 19/you're 35 if you're a day."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

'red riding hood' review

Gary Oldman camps it up. Amanda Seyfried does her best to seem sultry and innocent at the same time. And the whole thing feels like Twilight but with less vampires. Ladies and gentlemen, that's Red Riding Hood for you -- and here's my full Yahoo review.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

'the lincoln lawyer' review

For the first time in a long time, Matthew McConaughey isn't just tolerable but actually good in a movie. That film is The Lincoln Lawyer, a modest but sturdy little courtroom thriller. It's a movie for parents who don't like all those explosions and just want some good-old-fashioned storytelling. It's not perfect -- far from it -- but it's well done. My review is up at Screen International.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

'mars needs moms' review

There have been good sci-fi animated films of late: Monsters vs. Aliens, Wall-E. Sadly, Mars Needs Moms is not one of them. My review is up at Screen International.

Friday, March 04, 2011

decemberists - dear avery

Because you need some pretty melancholy for your Friday, right? Right. This is off the Decemberists' new album, The King Is Dead.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

'beastly' review

Some movies make you long for those hormone-driven days of high school. And then there's Beastly, which is a teen remake of Beauty and the Beast. I've rarely been happier being an adult than after sitting through this dopey, mawkish fantasy drama. My review is at Screen International.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

'the adjustment bureau' review

Matt Damon seems to have bad luck with movies he releases in March through Universal. Last year brought Green Zone, and this year we have The Adjustment Bureau. It's not a bad film, but it's a terribly frustrating one. I explain why over at Yahoo.