Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
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
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
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
Friday, March 04, 2011
Thursday, March 03, 2011
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
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.