Monthly Archives: August 2011

28 posts

The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, London


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The fact that it can now boast of being the longest-running comedy currently in the West End suggests that it taps pretty successfully into a tradition as firmly British as Hannay himself: a need to mock the idea of hearty “Britishness”, even as we celebrate it at one remove.

A Brief Apology To Final Destination 5


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My recent review awarded Final Destination a moderate “star” rating – for the benefit of the general public, who at the most basic level may have no interest in the concept – but hopefully the article (as well as this one) makes it clear how much fun I had watching it. As with books, food, and other pleasures, there is a big difference between movies that are no good for you, and ones that are simply no good. Fortunately, a lot of you out there will enjoy this as one of the former.

Movie Review: 30 Minutes or Less


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If 30 Minutes or Less weren’t so bogged down with gratuitous cursing, violence, and boobs, it might’ve had the potential to be an American version of the brilliant Edgar Wright buddy-cop spoof Hot Fuzz. As is, it’s bound to go down in the annals of “meh” comedies. Transgressive material is only great when it’s done correctly, and 30 Minutes or Less gets it wrong.

Movie Review: Final Destination 5


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Final Destination, however, is no celebration of torture. It is a series of horror films playing on a universal human phobia — that deadly freak accidents threaten us with every step we take. Since the premise does not depend on machines made explicitly for hurting and killing people — in fact, quite the opposite — this series has the potential to live on as long as people keeping buying movie tickets.

The Weekly Listicle: The Art Of The Heist


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This week, I join forces with Brett Davinger to chronicle some of the best heists, rip-offs, and holdups ever put on screen. So just sit quietly and keep your hands away from the phone, where we can see them. This won’t take long.

Indy Bridge

“Summer Loving, Had Me A Blast!” – A Quick Look Back


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So if you’ve been following the world of video games during the last couple of months of the glorious heated atmosphere period of the North American Continent we call ‘Summer’, you may have noticed a trend. No, not that apparently, no one wants to buy a 3DS. Or that if […]

Art Review: Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, Philadelphia Museum of Art


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Living in close proximity to the growing Jewish population of Amsterdam, the biblically-minded Rembrandt experienced an artistic epiphany of lasting significance. Why not paint the portrait of Jesus, a 1st Century Jew from Galilee, using a live model with Jewish features? The resulting portraits, seven out of a likely eight that were painted, now grace the walls of a landmark exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Art Review: Avant-Garde Art in Everyday Life, Art Institute of Chicago


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Stasis, whether in art, life, economics or political culture, was distasteful and to be done away with. Having spent much of the 1920’s doing typographic and book design as well as designing toys and puppets, Sutnar was well-placed to bring his left-of-center, democracy-inspired radicalism to everything from porcelain to book covers.

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes


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The fantastic Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies and King Kong in Peter Jackson’s remake, plays Caesar – and Serkis is a genius. The ape looks exactly the way you’d figure a creature in the midst of a rapid-fire evolutionary jump would look. He moves the way you see chimps move in the zoo, but with an added humanity.

Movie Review: The Devil’s Double


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Uday is a prince who has everything and can get away with anything. He rapes, he murders, he beats people, he has the best clothes, the best cars, the best liquor, a torture staff on call, and an endless supply of cocaine, yet there is an energy missing to the film that would be amenable to such a lifestyle.

The Weekly Listicle: Will Return In 10 Years


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Some franchises come out with a new installment every year (Saw). Others make us wait a bit longer before allowing us catch up with our favorite characters. This Listicle honors those sequels released at least a decade (give or take) since the last entry in the franchise. This does not […]

Trailer Watch: Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist


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How does Tower Heist look to all you out there? Will it be in-your-face fun from the director of Rush Hour or on-the-nose crud from the director of X-Men: The Last Stand?

Book Review: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles


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The theme of making a life choice between love or ambition has been a staple of literature since the Aeneid. You might think that this novel has little new to recommend it besides the unorthodox choice of the Depression as a setting for a romance Rules of Civility, however, is a book of amazing depth. In this, his first novel, Amor Towles reveals an exceptional flair for character development.