Past Stories

The Reilly Factor

As a species, the teenage boy is odorous, delusional, hormonal, demanding, and cocksure, even if insinuated organ goes unused. A 40-year-old adult who refuses to evolve beyond pubescence is all of these things at double th...


Batman Tests the Limit

“Criminals in this town used to believe in things,” croaks a dying banker during the $68 million robbery that opens Christopher Nolan’s second—and better—Batman blockbuster. They had an immoral cod...


Hellboy II: The Golden Army Just Taints Funny

The two filed-down horns on Hellboy’s head are his signature and his weakness. They alone testify to his vulnerable fear of non-conformity—the fragility masked by his rough-edged ‘tude—which screenwrite...



The Zero Superhero

Will Smith rivals Meryl Streep for acting chutzpah; he may not equal America’s duse in chops, but he’s the only star since Tom Cruise to have studios stake billions that audiences will flock to see him act lonely or...


WALL-E Isn’t the Usual Trash

With humanity having wrecked the earth and ditched it to drift in space on an intergalactic cruise ship, WALL-E, a trash compactor with a heart of gold, builds an unpopulated megalopolis garbage brick by garbage brick. The oce...


Cynically Thin Ice

Underneath the Antarctic ice is an unearthly sky, a sheet of brown ice clouds over a deep blue that descends to a rock-strewn canyon, rocks which upon closer look turn out to be soldier-esque crabs camped out in the trenches. ...



Green With Penis Envy

When Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) becomes the Incredible Hulk, his eyes pool green and his skin cracks like chicken in the deep fryer. When the Hulk turns back, he often finds himself naked, aching, and disoriented in Guatemal...


Anachronistic Absurdistan

Adam Sandler’s forged his career on being an exceptional goof, an odd, over-sized child with One Big Talent, be it golf, women, or wedding singing. His Zohan is an omnipotent Mossad agent for the Israeli Army able to vau...


Steroids…as American as Apple Pie?

Chris Bell stopped believing in heroes when sworn WWF rivals the Iron Sheik and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got arrested—together—for cruising around high on pot, booze, and coke. Then in short order, Hulk Hogan, Sylvester S...



Raiders of the Lost Franchise

It’s been 20 years since George Lucas met the Devil at the crossroads and swapped him his creative soul for eternal box office might. Fan boys and girls breathe deep: The Crystal Skull isn’t a Revenge of the Sith bl...


Is God Really Such a Pussy?

When is a lion not just a lion? When it’s in a fantasy tale for kids. Seven years after Lord of the Rings re-ignited the mid-century blockbuster allegory, American children have learned a heck of a lot about history&mdas...


Adventures in Prostitution

“Wives always believe that their husbands love them, their daughters are virgins, and their sons aren’t in the basement building pipe bombs,” says high school junior Melissa (Lauren Birkell) with a note of wor...



Can You Picture This?

A picture says a thousand words, but not every syllable is true. Consider The Picture. You know the one. The Iraqi prisoner, hooded and barefoot, on top of a box with wires dangling from his fingertips. That...


Terrorize Me

“I’m not looking for trouble. I’m looking for an answer,” proclaims documentary raconteur Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) on his semi-serious hunt for America’s Most Wanted. But the question isn&r...


Laugh at Pathetic Dialogue (LAPD)

When detective Tom Ludlow’s (Keanu Reeves) alarm goes off, he loads his gun before pulling off the sheets. Tom’s the LAPD Vice brigade’s number one badass, but it’s not winning him a lot of friends. In ...



Gridiron Follies

The opening shots of George Clooney’s third and weakest directorial effort are drenched in sepia. It’s a college football game and the suit and tie crowd looks overdressed while the players seem fragilely bare in t...


Love is a Battlefield

No brawling, no beating your woman, and no DUIs. In short, nothing that would make the US Army look bad. These are the rules Lt. Col. Boot Miller (Timothy Olyphant) lays down for his men before their leave in Brazos, Texas...


Losing on the River

If Jim Morrison faked his own death and was reborn in Vegas as the Lounge Lizard King, he’d be an awful lot like Woody Harrelson’s Jack Faro. Wild-sideburned and draped in beads, Jack’s done every drug fr...



Misery Loves Company

When bad things happen on Earth, the devout claim it’s a test of free will. When bad things happen in movies, that’s intelligent design. Filmmakers torture characters so we’ll learn from their tears. But wh...


Trapped Under Farce

At the center of Bharat Nalluri’s 1930s romance are three women as different as cartoon animals. Spinster Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a wet mouse, a wretched creature who makes your skin crawl for the beam...


Rage Against the Moshing

“We’re bigger than the Stones” bragged Vietnam War protester Abbie Hoffman, the loudest of the once-infamous Chicago Eight whose prosecution for conspiracy and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic Conven...



An Exercise in Utility

Innovative auteur Michel Gondry’s latest curio is either boring or brilliantly boring.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep established him as the poet’s filmmaker; his window into ro...


YouTube of the Dead

Eighteen films into his career as horror’s political conscience, George A. Romero’s spirits are flagging. “It’s just a stupid fucking mummy movie with a thread of social satire,” grunts Profes...


Criminally Good

It’s rarer than Halley’s comet for the cliquey Sundance Film Festival to choose a first-time filmmaker’s flick to headline their kick off their opening night. But when that newbie writer-director is Martin McD...



Political Voyeurism

Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu’s Cannes Palm D’Or winning film isn’t a film at all. Imagine a movie drained of all the elements that make a movie great: smart dialogue, lively characters, dazzling ci...


Caramel

In Lebanon—as here—cutting your hair means defiance. Dying it means change, and over-processing it into ringlets is a sign of narcissistic desperation. Things aren’t too different halfway around the world. Be...


From Wits to Grunts

Colin Farrell tends towards characters who are bruised around the edges. Here in Woody Allen’s humble thriller, his Terry is bruised around the brain. A gambling-addicted garage mechanic, he’s got the dopey sweetnes...



What Would J.J. Do?

You know things aren’t going to end well in producer J.J. Abrams’ wildly over-hyped sci-fi when it’s introduced by a government reel saying that all events took place in the “area formerly known as Centr...