Monthly Archives: January 2011

26 posts

The Weekly Listicle: Not Your Average Romcoms!


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We like our romcoms quirky. None of this, please. Romantic comedy in the last few decades is (I’m a little ashamed to say) not my thing. I can’t handle the Bullock, Aniston, Heigl, Garner, and Hudson characters: “Oops, silly me, I just fell down a flight of stairs and embarrassed […]

Book Review: Destiny and Desire by Carlos Fuentes


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A decapitated head washes ashore near the Mexican resort city of Acapulco. A young man, Josué, whose head it once was, uses this grisly episode to recount how he came to lose it. A more dramatic curtain raiser for a novel can scarcely be imagined.

A Voice In The Night Tells Dan Fields To Shut Up (Although He Does Have A Point)


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You got me, Dan. I didn’t see Let Me In this year. But just for the hell of it, just in the interest of full disclosure, here are 25 other films from 2010 that I still haven’t gotten around to. In my defense, I’d be shocked if any critic couldn’t cull together a similar list. This inventory of missed opportunities doesn’t invalidate my Top and Bottom Ten Lists of 2010: They are great movies and terrible ones, respectively. It just means that there may be other great and terrible films out there too.

Book Review: The Big Policeman by J. North Conway


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J. North Conway’s new account of the law enforcement career of Thomas Byrnes, The Big Policeman, shows us what it took to bring some degree of order and safety to New York City’s streets in the Gilded Age. And he’s scrupulously fair to Byrnes, whose bare-knuckled approach to his job would never be acceptable to most modern Americans. He was a man of his age and, somewhat ironically, a cop who would introduce many of the basic techniques that almost all current law enforcement agencies still use.

Chloe Moretz attacks in Let Me In

“Let Me In!” Cries A Voice In The Night


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A certain writer for the California Literary Review has thoughtfully distilled a whole year of reviews, reactions, and reflections into two comprehensive and well-researched essays entitled “The 10 Best Movies of 2010” and “The 10 Worst Movies of 2010.” Having been too shiftless to organize a retrospective list of my own, I take grave exception. One of the most entertaining movies of the year failed to rouse sufficient praise or sufficient scorn in his heart to make either list.

Movie Review: Season of the Witch


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There are many different ways to go when making a film about knights, witches, pestilence, the Middle Ages and so on. Make Witchfinder General, or The Seventh Seal, or Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Do not, however, make a dull, half-assed period adventure disguised by its ad campaign as a horror film.

The Weekly Listicle: Oscar Buzz 2011 Rages On!!


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We here at The Fourth Wall are taking another look out our favorite film work from 2010 in the hopes that we can help get some deserving folks nominated. Some of our picks are long shots (my Best Original Screenplay nomination hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell), while others may in fact be locks. But the point isn’t to highlight the obscure… it’s to highlight the truly deserving.

Book Review: The Sherlockian by Graham Moore


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There is a telling scene in the novel, when Conan Doyle visits the theatre managed by Stoker and is snubbed by the celebrated actress Ellen Terry, who is wearing a black armband to mourn the death of Sherlock Holmes. “The world does not need Arthur Conan Doyle,” Stoker declares. “The world needs Sherlock Holmes.”

Credit Where Credit’s Due: “Dexter” Main Titles


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Welcome to The Fourth Wall’s newest blog series, Credit Where Credit’s Due, which will focus on memorable TV and film credit sequences. In particular, we’ll spotlight credits that excel in distilling the show’s or movie’s content into a few-minutes-long sequence, or main titles that have become an indelible part of […]

Book Review: The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards


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If anything can be said with certainty about our fickle reading public, it is that they will warmly welcome a finely-wrought family tale. It would seem that we all relish revelations of the darkest secrets in the early histories of our kinfolk. So it came as little surprise in 2006 when a young unknown, Kim Edwards, swept us up altogether with her debut family novel.

Brilliant Character Actor Pete Postlethwaite Dead at 64


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Rest in peace, sir. You may have known him as “that guy,” or “Kobayashi,” or “Father Laurence,” but you almost certainly recognize his face. Pete Postlethwaite, whose rugged features and bright, preternaturally piercing eyes made his face unforgettable, has died at 64 after a long battle with cancer. The prolific […]