Recent Features
Finding Steve Buscemi: The Perfect Understatement

It’s only when you internalize Steve Buscemi’s movies [they] become a part of your life in an extremely personal, emotional way.

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If You’re Going to San Francisco…

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival perfectly captures the dangerously unstable compound called rock music right before it exploded and permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

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My Love-Hate Relationship with River Phoenix

From the moment that he appeared on screen in the film -- with a cigarette balanced between his fingers and the close-cropped haircut of a little boy -- media outlets had him pegged as the James Dean of the '80s.

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Horrifyingly Close to Reality

Western culture’s perspective of torture is complex and paradoxical; it's considered immoral, illegal, primitive, and indecent, yet it's shocking to see that torture methods continue to be used in the interrogation of prisoners of war.

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17 Sep 2009 // 9:00 PM

Comic Re-Imagining

Not all comic book adaptations are created equal, especially not when comparing our own imaginings with what actually happens when books are moved from print to screen.

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16 Sep 2009 // 9:00 PM

Princess Tiana’s Blues

Princess Tiana could get Disney out of the race-relations doghouse, but only if they’re true to their vision.

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Captain Obama and the Final Frontier

Obama's four-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new kinds of political confusion; to boldly go where no rational health-care reformer has gone before.

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Part Four: December 2009

At last, dessert, with just a few more entrees tossed in to satisfy those coming late to the table. The big guns -- James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson, Terrence Malik -- are still putting the finishing touches on their over the top treats, hoping that viewers will appreciate the care and craftsmanship that went into each one. As usual, it looks like the Hollywood heavyweights are once again saving some of the best for last.

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Part Three: November 2009

Finally, it's time for the main courses, the big dishes that may leave a lasting impact come end of the year entertainment evaluations. Sure, there's some junk food included for the less mature mindset; a second helping of romantic vampire dross and an over the top world ending banquet that may just be more appealing to audiences than some of the high class cooking present.

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Part Two: October 2009

The banquet continues to get bigger during this equally elephantine cinematic salad course. Everything, from another unnecessary helping of serial killer Jigsaw to a pair of takes on two famous literary classics turn up this month. So do the standard spook shows, Romcoms, stunt spectaculars, and other familiar (if often tasty) samples of celluloid cuisine.

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Part One: September

Our spread starts off with a collection of cast-offs, creative risks, and the contractually obligated releases. While there may be a substantial helping of something entertaining during this hefty four-week first course, don't be put off by such a portion size. To paraphrase an old saying, too many mediocre movies can definitely spoil the season-ing.

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Buster Keaton: The Sound of His Obsession

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.

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Not to be Silenced: To Kill a Mockingbird

'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.

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The Horror of Science and Magic in Hellboy

While the popular imagination often depicts science and magic as locked in a fundamental opposition, Mike Mignola's Hellboy depicts the true horror that lurks beneath.

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Dear Mr. Denby: In Defense of Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino drives critics nuts because he loves movies. 'New Yorker' critic David Denby drives The Rockist nuts because he hates movies.

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Hellboy Versus Hellboy: The Competing Authenticities of Mignola and del Toro

Is avant-garde horror director Guillermo del Toro's vision of Hellboy too compromised to achieve the cultural impact of the original comicbook?

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G.I. Joe’s Future Hangs on the Unbalanced

The fate of 'The Rise of Cobra' (both the toys and the movie) might depend on something completely out of Hasbro’s control: nostalgia.

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Build to Suit: Guillermo del Toro and the Mythology of Hellboy

The mythology of the Hellboy films is, to use del Toro's own apt description, “…a jazz riff on what the comic book is”.

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17 Aug 2009 // 8:59 PM

Remaking History: An Interview with Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino talks about his decision to rewrite world history with Inglourious Basterds and the critical reaction to his recent films.

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“No Dad, What About You?!”: The John Hughes Generation Conflict

John Hughes went to bat for us teenagers against the evil Baby Boomer adults and the damage their material expectations inflicted on the classic American nuclear family.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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