Heartbreak Motel

Blue Valentine

Last year’s indie relationship flicks mostly kept the mood light. Both Jack Goes Boating and Cyrus tempered their weighty moments with socially awkward central characters who were good for a tension-breaking chuckle. Viewers loved these characters at arm’s length, not because they weren’t real or wonderfully crafted, but because we like to think of ourselves as too sophisticated to make the...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:10 PM | read more »



The Murderer’s Apprentice

The Mechanic

Things you’ll never hear: “I want to see that new Victorian-era romance starring Oscar-winner Jason Statham.” J-Stat is so synonymous with cinematic violence, someone should update the Wikipedia entry for “action movie” so it’s just a picture of his grimacing, bald cabeza covered in blood. In an ever-changing world, the only constant is Jason Statham’s movie murder spree.

The...

entered on 02/01/11 at 11:06 PM | read more »


Daily Dump for Tuesday (February 1)

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE? I lost a whole month of 2011. I mean, sure, it was January, which is so barely a month it may as well be February, but still...it can't seriously be 1/12th of the year in the tank already, can it? Man, I've got a get my act together. Speaking of getting one's act together: What's worse, Snowpocalypse 2011 or the COVERAGE of Snowpocalypse 2011? I have heard this called...

entered on 02/01/11 at 10:06 PM | read more »


Daily Dump for Monday January 31

Sorry I've been gone. Things are busy, busy, busy right now, and honestly nothing other than Sundance sales were happening much last week. Also, did I mention the busy? Because I was crazy with the busy. And I don't mean things like "watching great television like 'Community' all day" busy. I mean "Dear God, grant me the opportunity to pause this madness long enough to void my bowels" busy. I far...

entered on 01/31/11 at 10:45 PM | read more »



Tchai-Kafka-sky’s Swan Lake

Black Swan

Director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is just your run-of-the-mill “girl haunted by doppelgangers while turning into a human/swan hybrid” ballet movie with elements of bisexual experimentation. In other words, writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin are a collective Dr. Frankenstein, standing over a creation that is part horror, part pure beauty. Firmly entrenched in...

entered on 01/29/11 at 04:32 AM | read more »



Fact and Diction

The King's Speech

Remarkably unremarkable and tonally mundane, director Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech was seemingly genetically engineered by a mad scientist named Juan Tan-Oscar. Quasi-historical and wholly predictable, the film would have been dismissible as icky chum for suit-wearing Academy sharks were it not for Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth. Their tête á têtes are more frosty diction than Frost/Nixon...

entered on 01/26/11 at 06:12 PM | read more »



Falling in Lust

No Strings Attached

Director Ivan Reitman is best known for ridiculous, male-dominated comedies like Ghostbusters and Stripes, but his latest, No Strings Attached, is like a romantic-comedy masterclass. Not that it’s a masterpiece of the genre, but it so expertly strikes all the right nerves that it’s still a little irresistible.

One drunken night and one impulsive morning are all it takes to bring former...

entered on 01/26/11 at 03:42 PM | read more »


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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Those damned apes are back and anything but dirty.

GRADE
B+


We Are the Best

Set in Stockholm in 1982, this is punk rock female adolescence at its finest.

GRADE
A


Snowpiercer

Awesome, literal class warfare on a train that holds the only humans that survived the new ice age.

GRADE
A-


Obvious Child

Billed as a comedy, this is actually a sophisticated, empathetic look at a crucial issue.

GRADE
B+


The Signal

Crazy good and just plain crazy, this is indie sci-fi at its best!

GRADE
A+


Ping Pong Summer

Drowning in 1980s nostalgia, this deserves to be a cult hit.

GRADE
A-


22 Jump Street

A sequel no one could have expected to a movie nobody wanted.

GRADE
A-


Ice, Ice Maybe

I’m not saying that the impoverished are going to grab axes and violently murder the wealthy elite. But I’m also not NOT...

more »


Not So Fast, Rick Santorum

I do not have a uterus. If I understand biology, I never will. So the issue of abortion has remained at arm’s length from...

more »


Freaky Frequency

For a movie reviewer, having a favorite genre kinda feels like a parent having a favorite child; oh, they totally do,...

more »


Bad Meaning Good

The popularity of Napoleon Dynamite never really made sense. With its “special” characters and nonsensical elements, the...

more »


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