Archives for March 2009



Celluloid shock treatment
Michael Fassbender and Stuart Graham
Directed by Steve McQueen

"Hunger" recounts the real events of the blanket strikes in Belfast. In 1981 during the conflict in Ireland a deadly battle was being waged inside the walls of Belfast’s infamous Maze prison. Republican inmates refused to bathe and wear uniforms in protest of Britain's rejection of their plea to be recognized as political prisoners. When their strike fails, Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) went on ... more >

Monsters Vs. Aliens

I'm with Ginormica
(voice) Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen and Hugh Laurie
Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon

Come now, is there a better title ever created to bull’s eye young boy’s hearts than Monsters Vs. Aliens? I mean, do eight-year old boys have two more favorite things, especially in movies? Find the kid who doesn’t want to see this movie, and you find the kid who is going to be overly obsessed with Camus in high school. This title screams “box of super-sugary cereal.” And lo and behold, one ... more >

I Love You, Man

Thirtysomethings gone wild
Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and Rashida Jones
Directed by Paul Hamburg

There’s one very common trait to thirtysomething male life – it gets really hard to make friends. Sports are gone, your wife is your best friend (if you’re lucky), the hangovers hurt more than they used to, and there’s something, well, uncomfortable about one grown man asking another if he wants to go out. Unless it’s The Dude and Walter heading out to bowl. The painful search for male ... more >

Last house on the left

Last movie on the left
When mediocrity becomes a badge of honor
Directed by Dennis Iliadis

There’s dumb. There’s boring. There’s dumb and boring. At least have the kind manners to choose one. Don’t be like this rancid little piece of inhumanity, Last House on the Left, a film that mistakes inertia for suspense and violence for fear. There’s really nothing positive to say about this disgusting, heavily mysoginistic exploitation flick. The first words out of my mouth upon leaving ... more >

Wendy and Lucy

The most talked-about indie film this year
Michelle Williams, Wally Dalton and Will Patton
Directed by Kelly Reichardt

After working on small films for more than a decade, Kelly Reichardt has awakened to find herself a hero to an American indie scene in need of one. With her latest two films, Old Joy and the recent Wendy and Lucy, she has firmly stamped the American cinema with her own distinct voice and style. I’ll tentatively call it “plotless films in well-forested places.” As Hollywood still sees women as ... more >

Phoebe in Wonderland

We all make mistakes. I'm just saying.
Elle Fanning, Felicity Huffman and Patricia Clarkson
Directed by Daniel Barnz

Movies about mental illness are a notorious peril. Come on, we all remember the old network disease of the week movies. That said, for good actors, I don’t think it’s all that hard to portray the mentally ill. The symptoms are documented well enough to manufacture a sufficient imitation. One side thinks you’re great. The other side thinks you’re overdoing it. On to your next project. The ... more >


So much potential, and yet
Milan Akerman, Patrick Wilson and Billy Crudup
Directed by Zack Snyder

One Thanksgiving, a friend and I had a long, involved conversation with his uncle about the origin, history, and development of the sport of racquetball. It’s a conversation that we still like to make evil fun of. Racquetball was once a game of finesse, we learned. But racquetball was never the same after Marty Whatshisname came along in the seventies, added power, and changed everything. Good ... more >