Poetry Versus

Louder Than a Bomb

Although awarded points for its use in wooing the opposite sex, poetry has long carried a cool index below the cultural Mendoza line. Emotionally resonant? Yes. Culturally significant? Sure. Bad ass? Not so much.

Things began to change in the mid 1980s, when Chicago’s Marc Smith created a “poetry slam,” a competition in which writers battle each other individually or in teams using spoken...

entered on 07/23/11 at 12:13 AM | read more »



100% Ewok-Free

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

I missed it.

When the first outbreak of “Harry Potter” fever hit, I was old enough to find J.K. Rowling’s minutiae-laden prose unappealing, old enough to slightly sour at the taste of her light revisions to the epic journey recipe. Worse still, I was not yet old enough to have my own children with wide-eyed imaginations strong enough to obscure those faults on my behalf. In short, I find...

entered on 07/15/11 at 11:09 PM | Comments (1) read more »



Man(agement) Slaughter

Horrible Bosses

Let’s face it: Nobody likes their job anymore. For the past few years, those of us lucky enough to punch a clock have clung to our job like a leaky rubber raft in a sea of economic uncertainty. We keep waiting for a bigger, better boat to rescue us, but none ever do. Meanwhile, our raft has started micromanaging us. “Don’t stand up and look around,” it nags. “Just be happy you’re here,” it says....

entered on 07/11/11 at 06:13 PM | read more »



Norwegian Troll Binge

Troll Hunter

Seemingly assembled from the recycled limbs and organs of cult films from various genres, Troll Hunter is an endearing little Frankenstein’s monster of a movie. Although writer/director André Øvredal uses the exhausted imaginative crutch that is the fake-documentary format, he does so with alternating strokes of whimsy and horror. Had his bearded, burly central character been less stoically...

entered on 07/08/11 at 11:57 PM | read more »



Hymn and Awe

The Tree of Life

In distinguishing between pretentious, inaccessible, pseudo-artistic prattle and actual works of genius, audiences ultimately wind up relying on Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart’s infamous method of determining what is and isn’t pornography: “I know it when I see it.” At the precise moment when writer/director Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life becomes transcendent for some, it becomes...

entered on 07/02/11 at 07:57 AM | read more »



Headline Blues

Page One

I won’t feign objectivity. Although director Andrew Rossi’s documentary Page One may center on The New York Times’ ongoing fight for survival, it’s more than that. The film is a snapshot of the collision between new media and mainstream journalism…with the latter as the bug, and the former as the windshield. Because there’s a chance you risked smudging your fingers to read this review, you know...

entered on 06/26/11 at 02:04 AM | read more »



Out of the Past

Midnight in Paris

The rosy-hued vision we often have of that always-intangible past is a fitting subject for Woody Allen, a director with a large segment of fans who pine for the kind of movies he made during his own vaguely defined “golden age.” His new picture, Midnight in Paris, is about a man with a similarly frustrated relationship with the present, and despite its handful of problems, it ranks among his...

entered on 06/20/11 at 03:40 PM | read more »


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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+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


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