Archives for May 2010


Letters to Juliet

What if you had a second chance to find true love?
Amanda Seyfried, Marcia DeBonis and Gael Garcia Bernal
Directed by Gary Winick

So, yes, obviously, as a man, I can sit here and warn you that "Letters to Juliet" is an estrogen crucifixion of the bloodiest magnitude. But that would be ignoring the most interesting (and appalling) thing about it – what in the world is Gael Garcia Bernal doing in this? Four or five years ago, he was the hottest thing in international cinema, the biggest star of the Mexican New Wave, a ... more >

James Franco

On directing The Clerk's Tale and taking it to Cannes

James Franco’s short film “The Clerk’s Tale” closed Critics’ Week at Cannes. During a conversation we had together he did a close reading on the Spencer Reece poem it is based on. Screen Comment - “The Clerk’s Tale” has a hint of sweet hopelessness. It reminds me of Thoreau’s famous sentence “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”I found the following sentence especially ... more >

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

A cult rocker's delight
Sebastian Bach, Jack Black and Jimmy Chamberlin
Directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen

Malkmus is referring to the bassist/singer for Rush, the legendary Canadian progressive rock trio, and Lee's voice is indeed high—so high that early critics of the band compared it to a "rat caught in a wringer" and "Mickey Mouse on helium." Yet, as evidenced by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's probing, detail-rich documentary "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage," (winner of the Audience Award at the ... more >

Iron Man 2

Tony Stark to confront alter-ego
Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson
Directed by John Favreau

“Iron Man” was one of the best super hero movies of all time. “Iron Man 2,” likable as it may be, isn't. Downey, Jr. again dons the metal suit as billionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, enjoying the fame that being Iron Man has brought him. Life isn’t all rosy though. He’s being strong-armed by the Senate Armed Services Committee to relinquish the Iron Man weapon and the palladium in his ... more >

Bette Gordon

Filmmaker Bette Gordon launched her career in early-1980s Tribeca, a world far removed from the designer clothing boutiques, expansive walk-up loft art spaces and quaint eateries bombarding the area today. There were no crowds, there were no restaurants, just an abundance of weed-ridden vacant lots and buildings. One such establishment, located on White Street, would eventually become the ... more >

The human centipede

Shlock gone wild
Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams and Ashlynn Yennie
Directed by Tom Six

There are many types of bad movies, but a special place in movie hell must be reserved for those which serve up shlock as a substitute for substance. Now, I admit that many people would not have high hopes to begin with for a film called "The Human Centipede" but please. Bear with me. Horror films are extremely popular in contemporary America and yet those enjoying the most box-office success ... more >