Past Stories

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Suburbia isn’t exactly the most literary setting for all things profound—and then that’s always the point. Richard Yates’ 1961 book, Revolutionary Road, sought to demonstrate that the idyllic outward app...


THE RAMEN GIRL

Ah, direct to video. Just knowing that going in should set your expectations pretty low for The Ramen Girl. Confused about whether it’s a coming-of-age film, a food movie, or a romantic comedy—it is all these things...


VALKYRIE

It was one hell of a “Merry Christmas!”—but that’s what the studios said to us when they released Valkyrie, Tom Cruise’s “plot against Hitler” Nazi pic, on Christmas Day 2008. Pass the ...



JCVD

You remember Jean-Claude Van Damme, don’t you? Chances are you do, but just saying his name makes you smirk or laugh dismissively. His “big” films back in the day weren’t exactly Oscar-caliber dramas and...


Wendy and Lucy

The most tragic part of Wendy and Lucy—director Kelly Reichardt’s tale of a young Alaska-bound woman and her dog—is not so much how things end up with them but that the protag is so downtrodden in life that sh...


Bride Wars

Ostensibly a sort of female buddy flick disguised as a romantic comedy, Bride Wars succeeds in making the bonds of friendship seem more valuable than the bonds of matrimony. On almost every other level, however, it fails misera...



The Wrestler

Should Mickey Rourke have won the Oscar for his performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson? The answer is: Dunno, but it’s kind of a shame he didn’t. Rourke’s life has been as abusive as The Ram&rsquo...


Lost in Austen

Imagine if you stepped through a hidden door in your bathroom and found yourself in Pride and Prejudice. That’s what happens to Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) in this British mini-series repackaged here as a feature film. A...


The Small Screen

The Day The Earth Stood Still Unless you just adore Keanu Reeves—or Jennifer Connelly, (who has little to do here but gape at Keanu)—you’d be better served to just rent the 1951 original version of this cautionary sci-fi ...



The Small Screen

Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog’s Oscar haul—eight of ‘em, including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Adapted Screenplay—seems a little bewildering. It’s certainly a good film, but is it the kind...


The Small Screen

Rachel Getting Married Directed by Jonathan Demme, and featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married is hard to watch at times because it’s so damn real. We’ve all sat through aw...


The Small Screen

Milk Simply put, Milk is a moving film about a guy who wanted to change the way things worked, and actually did so, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. As Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected…



The Small Screen

Happy-Go-Lucky Is it possible to exist in modern life with a positive mental attitude? Can having such an attitude become infectious for others? In Mike Leigh’s latest, Happy-Go-Lucky, Poppy (Sally Hawkins) is an elementa...


The Small Screen

I’ve Loved You So Long  French filmmakers sure have a knack for believing that the expression on an actor’s face can tell you more than a host of CGI effects. They are ACTORS after all, and in I’ve Loved ...


The Small Screen

Shadows and Faces In the way that Lautréamont cut a swath for surrealists, so did John Cassavettes pave the way for indie filmmaking. The Criterion Collection releases of his directorial debut Shadows (1959) and the mast...



The Small Screen

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People  Ethics, that transcendent force usually hidden in a protagonist’s chest for 90% of a movie, comes bubbling out of Simon Pegg (who plays wiseacre Sidney Young) like a relucta...


The Small Screen

Nights in Rodanthe All you really need to know about Nights in Rodanthe, starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere as a middle-aged couple who fall in love while staying at an inn on an island off the coast of North…


The Small Screen

The Secret Life of Bees Without its all-star cast, The Secret Life of Bees would be a really strong Hallmark Channel movie, which isn’t all bad. Set in 1964 during unrest rising from the Civil Rights Act, the film follows...



The Small Screen

Lakeview Terrace  Harvey Keitel’s Bad Lieutenant was a hurting bag of addiction and sins; Samuel L. Jackson in Lakeview Terrace is just a really terrible neighbor. Not only does LAPD Officer Abel Turner (Jackson) hat...


BRICK LANE

Based on the acclaimed yet controversial debut novel by Monica Ali, Brick Lane, the movie, will not perhaps satisfy fans of the book, which is the frustrating conundrum of most movies based on literature. Distilling a 500+ page...


MAN VS. WILD: SEASON 2

In the day and age of “no animals were harmed in the making of this production” it’s vaguely shocking to see Bear Grylls of The Discovery Channel’s series, Man Vs. Wild casually behead an insect and then...



THE DUCHESS

When costume dramas work best they either teach us something important about the historical era they are portraying, or they use that era to say something vital about our own. The Duchess, seemingly a mere vehicle to make Keira...


BURN AFTER READING

Burn After Reading, written by the Coen brothers as they were working on No Country For Old Men, must have operated as an antidote for the more serious fare of their Oscar-winner. A bit of silliness set in the intersection…


MAN ON WIRE

It is almost unfathomable to contemplate how Frenchman tightrope walker Philippe Petit was able to step out onto a 7/8-inch wire he and accomplices had illegally stretched between the two towers of the World Trade Center in Aug...



ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD

There’s a scene in Werner Herzog’s documentary about Antarctica, Encounters at the End of the World, where he asks the local expert if penguins go insane. It’s clearly a leading question, because successive sc...


November 20, 2008, IE Weekly

The Sleeping Sea King Asian Apocalypse Wilson Phillips A COLBERT CHRISTMAS The Weekly Jive Camera Obscura ¡Ask a Mexican! THE RUNDOWN GWAR Getting Tray Chic When It Comes to Health, Go Nuts Falcon’s Nest KILL VICTOR...


A COLBERT CHRISTMAS

One of the great casualties of the Internet/digital age is that with the great proliferation of channels and choices, it’s rare to have a shared communal TV watching experience. Gone are the days when everybody would make...



November 13, 2008, IE Weekly

Restaurant Guide Reality Check - In Natsuo Kirino’s new novel, a murder forces four Japanese students to get real Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson The Weekly Jive Greyhound Disappearing Without any Track...