On being a generous critic

January 24, 2013

I’ve been flipping through* Nell Minow’s 101 Must-See Movie Moments, an entertaining ebook that highlights, well, must-see moments in films that you might not have caught (or lesser-talked-about moments in films that everyone has caught). At $1.99 (and free for Amazon Prime members), it’s a steal, especially considering all of the work that must have gone into [...]

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Lulz

January 23, 2013

Ah, if there’s one thing we need more of is people from tawny Westchester County who attended The George Washington University (tuition: $40K+, one of the most expensive in America) extolling the virtues of neo-Marxism (look, if anyone reading went to GW, I’m sorry you spent that money, but you’re probably sorrier). It’s like, there you are, [...]

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Hollywood’s a bizarre place

January 22, 2013

So, a Hollywood studio has shelled out some $30M in guaranteed publicity spending and distribution rights for Don Jon’s Addiction, a film in which Joseph-Gordon Levitt plays a porn-addicted lothario who gets together with Scarlett Johansson. Tony Danza and Julianne Moore are also in the mix. From a business perspective, this strikes me as a weird [...]

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Marxists are the worst

January 21, 2013

Shot: When Bhaskar Sunkara was growing up in Westchester County, he likes to say, he dreamed of being a professional basketball player. But the height gods, among others, didn’t smile in his favor. So in 2009, during a medical leave from his sophomore year at George Washington University, Mr. Sunkara turned to Plan B: creating [...]

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Review: ‘The Last Stand’

January 18, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the big screen in a starring role for the first time since 2003’sTerminator 3 in The Last Stand, an aggressively non-cerebral throwback to the action genre he so thoroughly dominated during the 1980s and 1990s. It’s nice to have him back. Schwarzenegger stars as Ray Owens, a one-time Los Angeles cop who has [...]

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D.C.’s Lack of Dives

January 17, 2013

I was prepared to get my dander up about this DCist piece by John Fleury and Benjamin R. Freed on the District’s lack of dive bars…but you know what? They’re pretty much right! But don’t delude yourself. We’re not looking for a true dive. We’re looking for the invented nostalgia of the idea a dive conveys but [...]

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‘Reasonably thoughtful’

January 16, 2013

Emily Nussbaum’s take on FX’s Justified was quite good, hitting on the reason for the show’s inconsistency and somewhat-maddening third season dip. I definitely recommend checking it out in full, but here’s a taste: Last season became yet more serialized, only to hit a wall, hard. Extended storytelling has its own conventions and clichés, all [...]

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Some more partners for the Atlantic to team up with

January 15, 2013

The Atlantic hilariously sold space on their website to Scientology to talk about the awesome year their not-at-all creepy head has pulled together for the cult. Jim Treacher has the details here. After a relentless campaign of mockery on Twitter (and possibly some shenanigans by the aforementioned creepy cult in the advertorial’s comments section) the Atlantic pulled their [...]

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Ambiguity

January 14, 2013

“You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.” — George W. Bush, November 6, 2001 press conference. “Do yourself a favor, and don’t go see [Zero Dark Thirty]. Don’t encourage film-making that at best offers ambiguity about torture, and at worst endorses it. Spend the two and a half hours and the [...]

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‘Zero Dark Thirty’ review

January 11, 2013

The screen is black. Voices shout at us as we stare into the void. They are radio recordings from 9/11: The sounds of confused air traffic controllers overlap with the words of a frightened woman stranded at the top of one of the towers, choking on smoke while an emergency operator struggles to keep her [...]

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