‘Avatar’ packs punch in 3-D

December 22, 2009
James “King of the World” Cameron is known for his catchphrases, and he makes another attempt at linguistic cultural relevance in “Avatar,” with the sappy-yet-sweet line “I see you.” In the film, it refers to how our fearless leader — no, really, he’s like so fearless, you guys — Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his »

Oscar season roundup– Get thee to a theater

November 13, 2009
It’s the same every year: there are only a handful of quality films released all fall, and then suddenly, in the last six weeks of the year, there simply isn’t enough time for all the Oscar-caliber movies you want to see. The message is clear: life is unfair. But in case this life lesson still »

Why so “Serious Man”?

October 30, 2009
Larry Gopnik’s life is, like, really stressful right now. His wife is leaving him for a real jerk; he’s up for tenure and probably isn’t going to get it; his stoner, troublemaking son is about to be bar mitzvah; his indignantly superficial daughter wants a nose job; his brother keeps getting arrested and has nowhere »

Everybody eats some ‘Body’

September 25, 2009
J.J. Abrams has admitted that the idea for “Alias” (the best show in the history of television) came late one night in the writers’ room of his first show, “Felicity,” when the staff jokingly imagined what would happen if its awkward, painfully self-aware protagonist was transported from her melodramatic college existence into the life of »

‘Wood’ is too stiff

September 11, 2009
The beginning: Elliot Tiber dreams of going to California “to paint, design and be free.” Instead, he is stuck in the Catskills helping his ungrateful parents run their motel. The filthy motel, thousands of dollars in debt, has no air conditioning, towels or locks on the doors. Elliot feels repressed and uninspired! The end: After »

(100) days of summer movies

September 4, 2009
Best Movie: Summer may be known for mindless fare, but this season’s best is also the smartest. “Inglourious Basterds” is Quentin Tarantino storytelling at its finest. The swearing and blood feel earned for once, and the story is impeccably constructed, building to one of the most satisfying (and brilliant) conclusions you’ll find. Worst Movie: Despite »

Vampires = crack???!!?11??

August 28, 2009
In “True Blood” ’s first season, Jason Stackhouse — the protagonist’s goofy and charming brother who famously remarks that people only like him for his athleticism, good looks and “sex abilities” — struggles through a crippling addiction to “V.” V is the ecstasy of True Blood’s magical alternate reality, a single drop of vampire blood strong »

Blockbusters à la carte

April 24, 2009
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: June 24 Ingredients: Sweet robot cars, a militaristic agenda, Megan Fox’s boobs Recipe: With such a painful screenplay to accompany unbelievable special effects, the “Transformers” sequel will surely continue to do the cinematic equivalent of serving Grey Goose vodka in Moe’s Free Cups. The whole cast and crew returns (thank »

‘Body’ politic

April 24, 2009
Befitting a production that condemns a simplistic view of sexuality and gender, “The Student Body” evades classification. It is both performance art and play, both historical re-creation and original narrative. Although it is sometimes more provocative than constructive, it is ambitious and thoughtful throughout. Because the movie has impressive direction and stellar acting, its faults »

Hoedown throwdown

April 17, 2009
A search in my Gmail reveals 225 references to “miley.” It includes the time my friend Mike accurately predicted in 2007: “She should fix her teeth. I’m sure she will eventually when she goes sexpot;” and the time when my brother chatted “NO!” in shock after I asked, “did you see the miley lesbo pix?” »


April 10, 2009
There’s an assertion frequently made by certain Yalies, often the high-achieving, perfectionist, neurotic ones. It’s uttered in January or February, before they’ve landed their high-paying internship or job. “I don’t know what I’ll do,” they claim. “If worst comes to worst, I’ll just live in a box this summer!” “Adventureland” chronicles the realization of this »

Gilroy, remixed by Gilroy

April 3, 2009
Despite its title, “Duplicity” ultimately provides what is expected. The film is written and directed by Tony Gilroy — director and writer of “Michael Clayton” and writer of the Jason Bourne trilogy — which means a certain formula: shocking twists building to a surprising ending, gritty cinematography, an unusual narrative structure based on non-linear time, »