Past Stories

It’s the Cheese!

This life-affirmer about a wealthy scion who learns the value of a dollar is a Chicken Soup novel 2 tha X-treme. “You look like you’ve never worked a day in your life,” grumbles rancher Brian Dennehy to Jason ...


Exploding Plastic Inevitable

 Maxed Out, James Scurlock’s exposé of the evils of credit, starts appropriately in Vegas, where financial gambling and heedless extravagance are the norm. That money-lenders, bill collectors, and interest rat...


Hacking Up Hokum

To his credit, Chris Rock has never worn a fat suit. Yet without succumbing to the career-killing layers of padding that have swallowed up Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry, Rock manages to disappear entirely into h...



Blood of Shallows

World War II cursed and blessed serial murderer Ray Fernandez. A head injury left the former family man brain-damaged and bald; other soldiers’ fatal wounds gave him a crop of pension-rich widows to seduce and rob. Once R...


DISTURBIA

Suburban teen Kale Brecht’s (Shia LaBeouf) summer of house arrest is supposed to be safer than juvie. At first, his gorgefest of peanut butter, Twinkies and trash TV is no more perilous than an upset stomach. But when a r...


Vacancy

Puttering down a rural road past midnight, Amy and Dave (Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson) think the worst is behind them: they’ve lost their son and let grief shatter their marriage. But after their car breaks down, the s...



Bobbies Gone Wild!

The biggest difference between England and the US? Bruce Willis. In the last 30 years, the UK hasn’t made a single action hero cop movie. Here, Willis alone has starred in a dozen. Face it, bobbies just ain’t cool. ...


Cheeto Nation

It seems like lately we’re constantly being bombarded with advertising campaigns that proclaim “Zero Grams Trans Fat!” or “Now with Omega-3s!” But why do these things truly matter, you ask, if the ...


SING NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE

Fifteen years after their crooning of Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” rocked their college campus, this seven-man acapella group—now on the wrong side of 35—have managed, mostly, to stay tight. They&r...



Raymond Carver Crossed with Oprah

A Raymond Carver short story is a straight-arrow shot through the forest that is human behavior. They’re economical tales—some nearly all dialogue—and they whiz by and hit the gut, leaving you with a vague sen...


Detangled Web

Into a decade glutted with superhero flicks comes a new first: a franchise that improves with every installment. Has a three-quel ever been the best film in a series? Not Terminator 3, not Godfather 3, not Superman 3, Rocky 3,&...


GEORGIA RULE

Lilly (Felicity Huffman) and her daughter Rachel (Lindsay Lohan) are a mess—a pair of Californian boozehounds who throw temper tantrums like clockwork. But that’s nothing that irritatingly wholesome grandma Georgia ...



Zombies, Schmombies

We’re in Year Six of Hollywood’s zombification of our horror movies—a reign of moderate terror—that peaked with Dawn and Shawn of the Dead, and it’s gotten steadily sillier. Hopefully this head-sla...


Hot, Throbbing Ogre

With two directors and eight writers, Shrek the Third proves the value of comedy-by-committee. That many cooks would make a terrible soup, but here they stuff a solid piece of ham. Fun, if inconsistent, this threequel seems a b...


THE LAST TIME

Salesman Ted (Michael Keaton) rakes in more cash for the struggling Bindview Corporation then everyone else in his division combined and doubled. Which gives him license to act like a real asshole. Strutting down the cubicles l...



Perfectly Executed!

Global arms-manufacturing corporation Palisades Defense—the McDonald’s of weaponry—enjoys making big claims. Their land mines, assault rifles, and missile launchers aren’t ethically questionable, they&rs...


BUG

Exorcist director William Friedkin lays a smotheringly expressionist blanket over Tracy Lett’s skin-crawling play about a battered meth freak desperate for company. Aggie (a heartbreaking Ashley Judd) is vulnerable and a...


She’s Having Two Babies

If the vomit scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin didn’t scare you off nookie for good, here comes Knocked Up, Judd Apatow’s latest blow to premarital promiscuity. Ben (Seth Rogan) is a jobless beerbarian. Broke, stoned,...



CRAZY LOVE

Linda Riss, a 21-year-old beauty from the Bronx, wasn’t impressed when gawky lawyer Burt Pugash ran up five decades ago and professed his love. But when her mercenary grandma heard about his nightclub, powder-blue Cadilla...


SURF’S UP

The risk with animation is that what’s hip in the executive boardroom is totally played out by the time every last pixel has been painstakingly placed. Aim for cool, and two years later you’re embarrassingly pass&e...


The Cool Kids Club

If you sat through Ocean’s Eleven and Twelve, you might have a dim sense by Ocean’s Thirteen that George Clooney is supposed to be Danny and Brad Pitt is named Rusty. Character is secondary; the franchise coasts by ...



BLACK SHEEP

Big-bucks rancher Angus (Peter Feeney) thought genetic engineering was a brilliant idea until his sheep turned into carnivorous zombies. One bite to a man, and he starts looking suspiciously like Jon Heder; four hours (and four...


Unholy

  Steve Carell has several rare skills: squaring his shoulders, smiling broad, acting sincere, and acting like he thinks we think he’s sincere when he’s not. He’s got the face of a gerbil and the soul of...


So You Want Quality Health Care, Eh?

The good news is Californians are almost as close to a universal plan as ever: Bill SB 840, sponsored by Senator Sheila Kuehl (who, FYI, used to play Zelda on Dobie Gillis) proposes a single-payer system that would give all&hel...



Strange Medicine

  </p>OnOn May 9th, California native Edith Isabel Rodriguez was refused by Martin Luther King/Drew Hospital in Los Angeles because the emergency room staff wrote her off as a hypochondriac and uninsured. As she wri...


LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD

John McClane’s latest smash-up struggle to save America kicks off with the aging detective (Bruce Willis, bald and beautiful) in decline, his contribution to securing our borders from terrorism limited to making sure no b...


When Marketing Departments Attack!

For 12 years, Michael Bay has been a juggernaut who rakes in more summer cash than sunscreen. Yet it was only six films ago that he was shooting softcore Playboy specials and documentaries on Wilson Phillips. While the suits ma...



RESCUE DAWN

German-American Navy pilot Dieter Dengler survived five plane crashes, which so impressed director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Aguirre the Wrath of God) that he’s filmed his story twice. Dieter’s first and worst dis...