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Monday, November 1 2004

Michael Moore DVD Collector’s Set (2004)

Bowling for Columbine's most effective device is Moore's own lack of answers; he sets up argument after argument, only to see each one crumble in the face of evidence and reality.


National Lampoon Presents: Dorm Daze (2003)

Plays like the last two minutes of all the worst episodes of Frasier stitched together.


Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

'Actually,' Frank Coraci begins his commentary for Around the World in 80 Days, 'I never wanted to do a director's commentary.'"


Wednesday, October 27 2004

Straw Dogs (2004)

Perhaps David's decision is heroic, given the circumstances, but the accumulated images of his passivity remind the viewer that better choices.


Love Me If You Dare (2004)

The violence of their romance is striking, sometimes moving, and always disturbing, even as metaphor.


Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan (1980-1989)

Like most slasher movie monsters, Jason's a victim as much as a killer, driven to express his rage in the only way he can.


The Fairly Oddparents: Channel Chasers (2004)

The Fairly Oddparents is damn funny, primarily because creator Butch Hartman speaks in a rapid patter of pop culture references.


Deadline (2004)

Watching the families of both the victims and the prisoners grapple with the enormity of their losses can be torturous.


Breakin’ All the Rules: Special Edition (2004)

All rules of attraction and self-definition are just off when it comes to the utterly beautiful and notoriously nice Chestnut.


Monday, October 18 2004

Tess (Special Edition) (1979)

It is the emphasis, in both Hardy's novel and Polanski's skillful adaptation, on Tess as an individual that makes her story timeless.


Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

The investigation into issues of patriotism and accountability in Judgment at Nuremberg resonates strongly with contemporary American politics.


Io non ho paura (2003)

Michele also loses faith in the adults who are supposed to look after him.


Intermission (2003)

Intermission repeatedly frustrates audience expectations.


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Vol. 02 (2004)

The story can be read as an oblique critique of mass media: brain-hacking literalizes the process by which our experiences are constructed by the powers that be.


Conquest of Space (1955)

Merritt's protests actually date pretty well -- contemporary liberal sensibilities often subscribe to the view that space travel is a continuation or extension of the colonial impulse.


Buried in the Sand: The Deception of America (2004)

Buried's real value is not as conservative propaganda, but rather, as a distilled example of conservative political spin.


Thursday, October 14 2004

The Rose Tattoo (1955)

All this overacting hardly dampens the film's efforts to grant weighty meaning to the rose tattoo.


Wednesday, October 13 2004

Valentín (2002)

Agresti says, 'It's challenging, from such a little situation, to elaborate with details, without sensationalistic tricks and pyrotechnics.'"


Raising Helen (2004)

'Raising Helen's a happy, peppy picture, with Kate Hudson and her legs,' says Garry Marshall.


Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time (2002)

According to Goldsworthy, we must re-examine the mundane in order to break through our habitual and clichéd perceptions.


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