• at the movies

    Play The Legend

    by  • 15 Oct ’09 • at the movies, rock and roll • 0 Comments

    Can rock music ever go back to the days of “headphone records,” gatefold albums, mysterious liner notes and fans creating their own image of the band in their minds? Music video did much to kill the radio star, by presenting a carefully screened image for mass consumption…but Ed Sullivan started it all rolling downhill...

    Read more →

    Woody Allen’s Later, Darker Ones

    by  • 7 Sep ’08 • at the movies • 0 Comments

    “Vicky Christina Barcelona” is the most thoroughly enjoyable hour and a half you could spend at the movies this season. At what point does Woody Allen’s “comeback” (as each of his last few movies have been hailed by critics) get to stick? Liberated from the upscale Manhattan locations that his characters could no longer...

    Read more →

    A Second Shot at Reptilian Fascism

    by  • 17 Feb ’08 • at the movies • 0 Comments

    It seems I chose a bizarre time to rediscover “V,” my favorite TV show from childhood about an alien invasion of Earth that served as a Holocaust parable. In a Penn Station book store on Friday, I noticed that familiar spray-painted “V” on the cover of a book called “V: The Second Generation.” Date...

    Read more →

    There Will Be Blood

    by  • 11 Jan ’08 • at the movies • 2 Comments

    Daniel Day-Lewis is pure, foreboding menace in “There Will Be Blood.” Although, when he finally unleashes the full force of his menace, it is not entirely what is expected. Nor, likewise, is the blood alluded to in the title precisely what one would expect from the cleverly edited promotional trailers, although plenty of the...

    Read more →

    Nothing Is Revealed

    by  • 2 Dec ’07 • at the movies, rock and roll • 0 Comments

    Todd Haynes’ new anti-biopic, “I’m Not There,” lives up to its hype as the perfect film distillation of the life and legend of Bob Dylan. The stories of six Dylan-like characters (played, among others, by a 13-year-old black boy, a British actress, Richard Gere and Batman) intertwine, and, naturally, nothing is revealed. The soundtrack...

    Read more →

    John Turturro’s Queens Musical

    by  • 22 Sep ’07 • at the movies • 0 Comments

    It’s hard to imagine in this DVD age that John Turtuorro’s “Romance and Cigarettes” could languish in a studio vault, largely unseen by the public, for over two years. In many ways a valentine to Queens, particularly the areas down south by Kennedy airport, where things get weird, Turturro’s working class characters break into...

    Read more →

    Watching the Detectives

    by  • 26 Aug ’07 • at the movies, me • 0 Comments

    I want to be Philip Marlowe. Or maybe Nick Charles. My favorite kinds of movies are film noir, particularly the hard-boiled detective genre. I love the interplay of shadows and light in black and white. I love the cynical worldview, the disdain for scruples, morals and basic decency. I love that the characters drink...

    Read more →

    The Devilish Fun of a Party Power Struggle

    by  • 6 Mar ’07 • at the movies • 0 Comments

    Veteran British actor Ian Richardson passed away recently. I took the opportunity afforded by my monthly mail order video subscription (no brand names, comrades) to stage a private film festival of Richardson’s best-known work, the BBC series, “House of Cards.” The 1991 miniseries focuses on a fictional Tory power struggle following Thatcher’s ouster, as...

    Read more →

    Cinema Fascists and Other Ghouls

    by  • 28 Jan ’07 • at the movies • 0 Comments

    “Pan’s Labyrinth” is a sort of gothic fairy-tale for adults and weird little kids. Like Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” and “Dark Crystal,” this beautifully shot Spanish language film from Guillermo del Toro guides a ten year old girl through a dark fantasy world full of monsters and ghouls with questionable motivations. The world of the...

    Read more →

    Cultural Learnings of America

    by  • 11 Nov ’06 • at the movies, society • 0 Comments

    Your honor, it was the beer talking. Not me. It’s a lame excuse coming from Mel Gibson when he’s caught being himself (a sexist, anti-Semite yob), but even lamer when coming from drunken frat boys being drunken frat boys, on camera no less! The unnamed frat boys in question were the ignominious stars of...

    Read more →


    by  • 1 Aug ’06 • at the movies • 0 Comments

    Like all of Woody Allen’s movies since his “early, funny ones,””Scoop” has received pretty uneven reviews. One camp considers it a loose, freewheeling trifle. The other, a plodding, boring mess. Count me in the former camp. “Scoop” is silly fun. It’s got Woody being Woody – stammering, neuroses, card tricks and Vaudeville humor –...

    Read more →