Sunday, February 14 2010
'Radio Bart' may not offer any solutions, but it manages to compress an extraordinary amount of media history, compassion, manipulation and cynicism into a sharp, quick and funny 20-minutes or so.
Thursday, February 4 2010
“The chief proof of a man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness. It argues... a power of comparison and of appreciation which is in itself proof of nobility.”
Wednesday, January 27 2010
Ang Lee captures the '70s on film the way Rick Moody captures the era in the book The Ice Storm. It's the midst of the sexual revolution, the Watergate scandal is erupting, and the country's social consciousness is changing.
Either by coincidence or because I just happened to watch these all on a cold day when I needed a little warmth, the magic of the human condition emerged as a trend in these new DVD releases.
Thursday, January 21 2010
Industrial design aspires to the commanding heights of consumer society, building its policy prescriptions and dogmatic assumptions about what makes us happy directly into the objects available to us.
Tuesday, January 19 2010
Kino and Flicker Alley are the labels duking it out for silent supremacy, and the spectator is the winner.
Monday, January 18 2010
As the new millennium accelerates we witness our world consumed by an international economic crisis fueled by unrestricted consumption and greed. Hence, the relevance of Stephen King's 'Needful Things'.
Wednesday, January 6 2010
If the first act of The Matrix calls to mind eXistenZ, with Pikel licking Allegra’s bio-port and sucking gristle and skin from a gun, its third act is as antiseptic as a bad Star Trek rerun.
Sunday, December 6 2009
Philip K. Dick’s fiction is a defense of the validity of video games because despite the fact that they are not real, his stories argue that there is still something valid in the artificial.
Wednesday, December 2 2009
A scene shows Ryder blissfully tying up the manuscript and putting a rose under the string. That's rather like what Armstrong and the screenwriters did to the film: tied it up neatly with a pretty flower.
Tuesday, December 1 2009
These two new DVDs help us take a look back at forward thinkers, and although no one will like all these films equally, the whole is an experience not only edifying but, at its most radical, even pleasurable.
Monday, November 23 2009
Even anglers like myself yearn for guides with fishing IQs as rich as Squanto's, a Patuxet Native American who taught the Pilgrims how to fish.
Sunday, November 8 2009
Researchers have largely ignored the pop cultural value of the H1N1 virus: hours on the couch catching up on DVD.
Monday, November 2 2009
More surprising than the still-impressive special effects and the jokes that hold up to modern scrutiny is the fact that there are moments throughout Ghostbusters that are legitimately scary.
Tuesday, October 27 2009
No matter the vercity of the tale, The Haunting in Connecticut has just enough creep quotient to keep me engaged, especially since I grew up a few miles from the house.
Wednesday, October 7 2009
In 1989, I loathed the New Kids on the Block with a passion and intensity that only junior high-aged children can bring to their study of popular culture, yet when Hangin’ Tough Live hit DVD, I had to see it.
Thursday, September 24 2009
Films and books strive toward a common goal: telling a story. And very few modern filmmakers are as good at spinning a yarn as the late Hal Ashby was.
Wednesday, September 23 2009
The terrifying, 'it could happen today' message of this story is best told in the Atwood's book, rather than the film version.
Wednesday, September 2 2009
Bill Frisell's ambient, fuzzy, meandering guitar doodles sound like they're trying to approximate the sad stillness blowing through the corridors of Keaton's mind.
Tuesday, September 1 2009
'To Kill a Mockingbird' is more than an enlightening tale of the racial inadequacies in the South during the Depression -- it inspired people to study law.