Monthly Archives: December 2012

33 posts

Book Review: Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm


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The value of Pullman’s new translation, I believe, lies in his willingness to encompass the darkness as well as the light in the tales, and his determination to retell them in language that does not belong to any particular historical moment or sensibility.

Movie Review: Promised Land


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In certain movies, there comes a single moment that completely changes one’s opinion of it. It can be due to an unnecessary twist, an out-of-character action, or the film completely switching gears, but really any individual thing can cause viewers to re-evaluate how they view a movie. I will not spoil Gus Van Sant’s new movie Promised Land, but, suffice it to say, it has one of those, which I will call Moment X for purposes of this review.

Movie Review: West of Memphis


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Damien Echols was a “strange” young man. His long hair was dyed jet black, contrasting with his pallid skin and piercing eyes. He wore black and scribbled childish graffiti under overpasses, some of it punctuated with pentagrams. Echols considered himself Pagan.

Hard Nut: Mark Morris Dance Group

Dance Review: Hard Nut, Mark Morris Dance Group


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All the guests have become very drunk and the little desfile march is given over to interpretive liberties, such as the men and women dancing The Stroll (Circa 1960) downstage á la American Bandstand, with a little disco hand gesture (Circa 1978) thrown in, and then the Funky Chicken (Circa 1963), with one couple staying true to classical ballet (Circa Louis XIV) as they shoot their arms through exaggerated port de bras. The audience is roaring, and so is the fireplace that fills the TV screen.

Dana Schutz: Devourer

Art Review: Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels, Denver Art Museum


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Her canvases are vast, and painted in bold swathes of cartoonishly bright colors. The subject matter is intensely physical and often unsettling: bodily functions, explosions of emotion, and sometimes apocalyptic scenes of death and disaster.

Movie still: A Prophet

100 Greatest Gangster Films: A Prophet, #44


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As a prison movie, it would rank in our all-time Top 10. As a gangster movie, not as high, but we do heartily recommend it. The film is directed by Jacques Audiard, whom critics delight in calling “The French Scorsese.”

Book Review: Astray by Emma Donoghue


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Though some stories in Astray are more poignant than others, Donoghue once again shows herself to be a writer who excels at evoking characters with startling precision. The result is an exceptional collection that meditates widely on the way in which even the most stable-seeming lives can quickly unravel, revealing the contingent nature of the idea of stability itself.

Movie Review: Django Unchained


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The real gem, though, is Jackson as Stephen, a character so loathsome that audiences will want to throw their snacks at the screen any time his face appears.

Broadway Review: Dead Accounts Starring Katie Holmes


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Everyone notices Jack’s flamboyant behavior and his sudden preponderance of cash. Jack evades their questions until, finally, he can no longer bear lying to his family. He finally confesses that he and his old-money wife Jenny are splitting up. Oh, and one more thing: Jack has embezzled 27 million dollars from the bank where he works.

Movie still: M

100 Greatest Gangster Films: M, #45


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A child murderer is terrorizing the city. The police hunt is intense, but fruitless. So the cops redouble their efforts—rousting bars, hassling citizens walking the night streets, turning a bright spotlight on the creatures of the back alleys. The killer still remains at large, but there’s an unexpected side effect: with every flophouse and crime den being raided on a nightly basis, the underworld pimps, thieves and pushers cannot operate.

Vegas:

Vegas Recap: ‘Estinto’ (Season 1, Episode 10)


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Another plus — the writers continue to explore the far western cultural landscape. Tonight we get references to the internment of Japanese-Americans and to tubercular patients moving west for the climate, as well as a lady evangelist with overtones of Aimee Semple McPherson.

Early Review: Warm Bodies


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The latest attempt to capitalize on the zombie craze, Warm Bodies tries to provide a different spin on the genre by presenting a love story between a zombie and a human.

The Worst High Profile Christmas Movies Ever Made


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The tone for the entire film is mostly depressed, angry, pessimistic, and confused, which is best evidenced by Fred himself, a repo man who steals Christmas presents for his own apartment. He is a total jerk, and more of a depressed burnout than the fun-loving slacker that the trailer makes it seem.