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Monday, June 19 2006

Syriana (2005)

If you come away with nothing else from Syriana, it's that this concept -- winning -- is an illusion, at least in any sort of long run.


The Cult of the Suicide Bomber (2004)

Martyrdom requires a level of self-abnegation that makes self-awareness impossible.


Thursday, June 15 2006

Napoleon Dynamite: Like the Best Special Edition Ever (2004)

Napoleon Dynamite argues not only for the experience of being misunderstood, but also the gradual acceptance of knowing one is misunderstood.


Monday, June 12 2006

Valley of the Dolls (Special Edition) / Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1967/1970)

Dolls and Beyond might help us see that we are, today, all living smack in the middle of the valley of the dolls.


Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006)

Together, Neil Young and Jonathan Demme make the graying of the quintessential baby boom musician a triumph to be celebrated.


Aquamarine (2006)

Aquamarine respects bonds between girls, framing this threeway friendship as more engaging than any summertime movie romance.


Monday, June 5 2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

'If you read the script,' Tommy Lee Jones tells his two actors, 'really, it doesn't look like anyone is saying anything that actually matters.'"


Mr. & Mrs Smith: Unrated Collector’s Edition (2004)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith strips away the niceties of the classical narrative form to revel in pure spectacle, and to surprisingly pleasurable effect.


Mommie Dearest: Hollywood Royalty Edition (1981)

Watching Mommie Dearest: Hollywood Royalty Edition with John Waters' commentary track is like seeing it with your sharpest, funniest friend, who just happens to have inside dish on Melanie Griffith.


Glory Road (2006)

In a Jerry Bruckheimer sports movie, truth and good intentions have little chance against formula.


Monday, May 29 2006

Winter Soldier (1972)

The men in Winter Soldier stepped forward, spoke truth to power, sought to expose policies and expectations that had gone terribly wrong.


Date Movie (Unrated) (2004)

Date Movie is not the spoof it seemingly aspires to. Rather, it's but a dreadfully long catalog of references to other infinitely superior movies.


Tuesday, May 2 2006

Last Holiday

'So much of the movie,' says director Wayne Wang of his Last Holiday, 'is about giving up your fears and trying to live your life.'


Monday, May 1 2006

The Warrior (2005)

The warrior tries to lose himself in the Himalayas, where, director Asif Kapadia says, they used fans to blow sand, which clogged machinery and nostrils: 'I will not be doing a sandstorm shoot again in a hurry, I tell you.'"


Kenny Rogers: Legend of the Gambler (1980, 1983, 1987)

The movies echo the original tune, an odd combination of existential weariness and jaunty bravado, via buddy-movie heroics and a surprisingly hard-edged family melodrama.


The Family Stone (2005)

In trying to balance the competing forces of farce and pathos, the film is at times funny and moving, though there are so many characters and subplots that some get lost in the shuffle.


Delicatessen (1992)

There is always something to look at in this film, even in the unsavory parts.


Tuesday, April 25 2006

Robert Altman Collection: Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duvall, Carol Burnett - PopMatters

This uneven collection is a definite example of the adage 'when he's good, he's very good, but when he's bad, he's very bad'.


Monday, April 24 2006

Shopgirl (2005)

Director Anand Tucker insists his film is not about the glitzy L.A. It is, instead, about an L.A. populated with 'ordinary people just like you and me, getting on with their lives.'"


The Net (2004)

I only feel comfortable reiterating Kaczynski's arguments by framing him as the result of an experiment gone wrong in the state-sanctioned exercise of force.


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