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'Freedom' Explores What It Means to be Good

Walter's situation is indicative of that which all of Franzen’s characters face: How to negotiate our better selves against the tug of monetary gain, sexual desire, and the competitive streak that so often both defines and undoes us all.

Reviews

'Please Give' Is a Story About a Family That Lusts

Like many of Woody Allen’s more notable films, Please Give concerns itself with a certain brand of New Yorkers who go antiquing, judge one another by their reading material, and covet their neighbor’s apartment.

Politics

At the Rally to Restore Sanity, We Were 'It'

PopMatters' Kirby Fields travels to Washington -- with two-year-olds wearing matching Colonial Boy and Colonial Girl outfits in tow -- to find sanity amidst the massive event that was 'The Rally to Restore Sanity'.

Reviews

'Baseball: The Tenth Inning': When Baseball Became More than Just a Game

I'm beginning to wonder if Ken Burns has ever sat across from someone who clears less than six figures a year. I, for one, wouldn’t mind hearing from the guy at the corner bar.

Reviews

Time Does Not Follow a Linear Path In 'A Visit from the Goon Squad'

In "life" we have a subject that may be worthy of the scope of Jennifer Egan's work, but "life" isn't too far removed from "time", which may be a useful refinement as it directly leads to the book's sledgehammer of a title, A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Books

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: Two Guys With a Shared History Engaging In Some Witty Bar Talk

There are moments that make me realize just how self-inflated my initial notion of engaging in "bar talk" may have been. I never would have been able to keep up.

Reviews

Peanuts 1970s Collection, Volumes 1 & 2: Good Grief!

Much of the Peanuts humor stems from the children behaving as adults, which reminds us that Charles Schulz did not write with kids in mind (he hated the publisher-chosen name “Peanuts” and thought it demeaning).

Reviews

These Roger Corman's Cult Classics are Two Sides of the Same Punk Coin

The punk coin: Suburbia the self-serious, political, amateur tale of disenfranchised youth; Rock ‘n’ Roll High School the irreverent, juvenile, cartoon-ish spin on the familiar all-authority-is-fascism motif.

Books

There’s Something Admirable About Being Able to Recognize the Beauty In All of That Mess

Relax, PopMatters readers. All of those back issues of The New Yorker stacked by the bed, the ticket stubs tucked in a drawer, the movie titles written on the back of junk mail -- all of these don’t really mean anything. You’re probably all right. Probably.

Music

Filesharing from Carter to Obama

There is a difference between sharing files and sharing music. In the '70s, victory was hearing your favorite song on the radio. And now it was all here, right in front of me. Just a click away.

Reviews

The Blind Side

This is, among other things, a funny, moving, unpretentious, and well executed movie that has something to say about stepping out of your comfort zone and making a difference.

Film

Where the Wild Things Are

Even if its pleasures outweigh its disappointments, Where the Wild Things Are is another in a series of Spike Jonze’s ambitious but flawed projects.

Film

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried, by Susannah Gora

This book is part cultural analysis of ‘80s youth films, part trivia, and whole bunch walk down memory lane.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Crown Publishing Group

Books

Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History, by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

This heist takes years to plan, two of which are spent in residence casing the joint. The 'joint' is the Diamond Center, in the heart of the Diamond District in Antwerp, Belgium.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Union Square

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Union Square Press

Reviews

Inglourious Basterds

The bad news is that the Weinsteins may have been right about trimming some of the fat; the good news is that even a flawed Tarantino is better than a perfect most anyone else.

Reviews

Wings of Desire

If you Google the phrase “Criterion has done it again”, you will get 37,500 hits. I have a hunch that now that Wings of Desire is back on the streets, this number is going to increase significantly.

Internet

MCA's Heavy News

This is more about the surprise I felt when an hour after my heart ached for my own mother it ached again in a similar way for someone whom I have never actually met. So I’ve spent probably months listening to the Beastie Boys. So what? This gives me the right? The short answer is “Yes. Yes, it does."

Music

Now and Then, Smells Like Teen Spirit: The Death of Kurt Cobain

There was a stretch when Nirvana was the soundtrack for our Friday nights. No, check that. There was a stretch when Nirvana was our Friday nights.

Kirby Fields
Books

Rick Rubin: In the Studio, by Jake Brown

Part of my antagonism toward this book stems from my feeling that it’s not so much as “written” as it is “researched”.

Reviews

Arctic Monkeys: 3 August 2009 - New York

There’s a difference between being “fan friendly” and “for the fans”, and this was definitely a show that was for the fans.

Reviews
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