Par for the Corset

Anna Karenina

A quick preface before I eviscerate gifted director Joe Wright’s self-indulgent adaptation of genius playwright Tom Stoppard’s artifice-laden take on Leo Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina. I wrote a Master’s thesis on the influence 17th and 18th century female conduct books designed to codify feminine behavior had on the writing of Daniel Defoe’s satirical novel “Moll Flanders.” I don’t mention...

entered on 12/08/12 at 02:53 AM | read more »



Hawkes Virginity Hunt-ed

The Sessions

America’s Puritanical origins mean “sweetly sexual” may sound oxymoronic, but that phrase absolutely defines The Sessions, the softest and kindest movie to ever feature a star of “Mad About You” buck nekkid. Although nudity being “integral to the role” is a con that lecherous producers love to peddle to starlets drowning in Hollywood’s misogynistic subculture, this is a film legitimately...

entered on 11/30/12 at 05:40 PM | read more »



Artificially Sweetened Pi

Life of Pi

Forget Babe Ruth pointing a stick at bleachers; Life of Pi raises the stakes on “shot-calling” to unprecedented levels. Early on, it is explicitly stated that if the older version of Pi (Irrfan Khan) in the present day does not tell a story that convinces “The Writer” (Rafe Spall)—and by extension, the audience—in the existence of God, it’s a failure. No pressure or anything.

Considering that...

entered on 11/21/12 at 05:36 PM | read more »



A Man Did

Lincoln

A humble suggestion: Force the chittering, self-serving partisans in Washington who increasingly prefer filibusters over floor votes to watch Lincoln. Director Steven Spielberg’s latest provides a character sketch, not of its titular president, but of America’s political process. While hundreds of thousands of sons and fathers killed each other mere miles from where the House of Representatives...

entered on 11/17/12 at 05:17 AM | read more »



Falling Down 12 Steps

Smashed

The ubiquitous hyperbolic after-school-special-type of dramatization of the perils of alcoholism has lost its teeth; it no longer delivers a social bite so much as it gets drool everywhere. Thus, in many ways, what Smashed wanted to do is something necessary, as we need a reboot of our cultural cautionary tale that ditches the wailing melodrama in favor of the muted reality of modern addiction....

entered on 11/16/12 at 05:07 PM | read more »



Am I Sick?

Skyfall

The moment when the seemingly-perpetually-creepily-coiffed Javier Bardem caresses Daniel Craig’s thigh parts and whispers whatever the supervillain equivalent of a sweet nothing is, using whatever non-geographically distinct accent he uses this time, is the precise moment Skyfall becomes the best Bond film in decades. Why? Because of Bond’s response.

Instead of recoiling, the supersexy...

entered on 11/09/12 at 04:06 PM | read more »



Metal Lurching

The Man with the Iron Fists

To walk in to The Man with the Iron Fists by choice is to give up your right to bitch about story and character. This is a movie written and directed by The RZA, a member of the powerhouse rap group The Wu-Tang Clan; produced by Eli Roth, the guy who made Hostel, and overseen by Quentin Tarantino, whose grindhouse kung fu depravity knows no bounds. To claim you expected good acting and a...

entered on 11/03/12 at 07:28 AM | read more »


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The Boxtrolls

A stop-motion romp with near-nekkid trolls and a cross-dressing villain.

GRADE
B-


The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


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