The meaning of "absolutely brilliant"

Kicking around in the comments, I see that some think there’s an anti-Inception bias here at Movieline HQ. Let me dispel that scurrilous rumor by saying I think Inception was absolutely brilliant and probably one of the best movies of the year. (Dixon GainRead full post »

I thought the review was well written, well argued, and made sense. Still I might go see the movie anyway just to see what all the hoo ha is about. But I have to say the tone of the comments is kind of creepy. The general message seems to be: HowRead full post »

JULY 9, 2010 1:03AM

The invisible counterpoint

The invisible counterpoint

This is a comedy about what might be considered an alternative family, if only its members didn’t suffer so acutely from the same doubts, temptations, insecurities and longings that people in nearly all families do. The Kids Are All Right is more universal than it

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JULY 6, 2010 8:01PM

Authority-based, and feudal?

Authority-based, and feudal?

James Surowiekci in his excellent book The Wisdom of Crowds points out how abysmal practicing economists (vs. just those who pontificate) are at actually predicting the market. He discusses how 90 percent of mutual-fund managers and 95 percent of bond managers (most of thRead full post »

JUNE 30, 2010 3:38PM

Marriage in the West

Marriage in the West isn’t doing very well because it’s in direct confrontation with the evolved reality of our species. What we argue in the book is that the best way to increase marital stability, which in the modern world is an important part of social stability, is to develop aRead full post »

JUNE 30, 2010 12:22PM

Growth panic

Growth panic

It takes a long, long time to grow up. Just when you start to sort things out and make some progress toward maturity, inevitably someone wanders up and offers you a jello shot or a sexy control freak of a boyfriend or a couch to nap on,

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JUNE 30, 2010 12:21PM

Knight and Day

Knight and Day

Cruise really may be the hardest-working man in show business right now, but on him (in direct contrast to James Brown), all that sweat just isn’t cool. Once coolness leaves you, how do you get it back?

As big a box-office draw as Cruise may have

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JUNE 30, 2010 12:21PM

MacGruber

MacGruber

But MacGruber never gathers any momentum. Once in a while a funny line or absurd sight gag will amble into the foreground, only to recede immediately in the rear-view mirror of memory. Forte is handsome enough — he’s ruggedly chiseled and all that. But watching at him

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JUNE 30, 2010 12:20PM

Generosity

Generosity?

But there are also places where the movie’s characters veer too close to broad caricature. Winter’s Bone is based on a novel by Daniel Woodrell, adapted for the screen by Granik and Anne Rosellini, and it took several prizes at Sundance earlier this year. (Granik’s fir

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JUNE 30, 2010 12:19PM

Ammoing up

Ammoing up

The Killer Inside Me isn’t a misogynist picture. Winterbottom takes great care to show his own attitude toward the brutal suffering of both of these characters. And it’s easy to accept that he’s made the violence graphic so we’ll grasp the full moral weight of it

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JUNE 26, 2010 1:39PM

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 takes a rather dark turn near the end (be prepared for this if you plan on taking really little kids), but the resolution is so funny and so joyous — truly a “Sometimes there’s God so quickly” moment — that I don’t think it will cause any nightmares.Read full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:38PM

The uncomfortable

What happens once the self-publishing revolution really gets going, when all of those previously rejected manuscripts hit the marketplace, en masse, in print and e-book form, swelling the ranks of 99-cent Kindle and iBook offerings by the millions? Is the public prepared to meet the slush pile?

You'vRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:38PM

Spirit of punishment

Talk about snakebit: Peggy Noonan chose Friday to publish a column writing off President Obama off as an unlucky president, comparing him to Jimmy Carter, just when his presidency has a little spring back in its step. Its title is luscious: "A Snakebit President: Americans want leaders on whom the suRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:37PM

Killer inside of you

As I wrote in April, to complain that "The Killer Inside Me" is full of misogynistic violence is a little like reading "Moby-Dick" and objecting to all the stuff about whaling. Violence against women is Thompson's text and theme and central metaphor -- and in case I haven't made this clear,Read full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:37PM

Sacrifice

Only today, the Associated Press revealed that a Kasich operative advised a state pension fund executive on how to minimize Lehman's role in the fund's losses when talking to reporters. So Kasich was understandably a little sensitive about the issue, accused me of a "smear" and complained tRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:36PM

Unresolved parental issues

You can call that pragmatism in the face of harsh political reality if you like. That's not a bad description. But the truth is that there was never any point in time when getting cap-and-trade passed was going to be anything but extraordinarily difficult. It still will be now, if ObamaRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:35PM

Flushing out more lefties

There are two pressing reasons that I find Obama's current stasis so worrisome. One is that we're at a dangerous time, given the world economy, and on the right, Obama's election has worsened a 20-year pattern of Republican obstruction and destruction (and it's got an undercurrent of hate and demonizRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:35PM

A-team

For a movie that reportedly required 11 writers and more than 10 years to complete -- all without any real reason for existing in the first place -- "The A-Team" is reasonably good fun. If you're a 12-year-old boy riding an intense Cherry Pepsi buzz and totally devoted to destroying someRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:34PM

Re: the sadness of the gore split

There is oil gushing into the ocean and people are killing humanitarian aid workers and the earth is still warming. Those things are on a different plane of sad and have already left us all terribly afraid and depressed and angry this early summer. I didn't know I had any roomRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2010 1:33PM

the movement would hurt people

Is that the Tea Party philosophy at work: "Accidents happen," people die, and private industry should be left alone, not even criticized, when they do?

I'm getting a little weary of people insisting journalists must pay homage to the Tea Party as a great infusion of political energy, and not callRead full post »

MAY 24, 2010 10:00PM

Be careful

Undoubtedly, had this been the behavior of a Republican administration, "the left's" big environmental organizations would be scheduling D.C. protests and calling for firings, if not criminal charges. Yet, somehow, there are no protests. Somehow, there have been almost no calls for the resignation ofRead full post »

MAY 16, 2010 9:38PM

Review: "Robin Hood"

 One of the surprising things about the “tea-bagger revolution,” is that without any of the sort of in-film help kindly proffered in “Life of Brian,” it suddenly becomes much harder to hear of peasant revolts against unfair taxes and instantly hate the surely unj

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MAY 15, 2010 1:52PM

Review: "Letters to Juliet"

 2010_letters_to_juliet_001

It is unbecoming of a lady to marry her steward, and so the pseudo-Italian fiancee, who is expert and fussy-obsessed with all the variant particulars concerning his “estate” -- his newly opened restaurant -- is to be discarded for a gentleman who’s only obligation isRead full post »
MAY 14, 2010 11:26PM

I want one!

The picture never looks fussed-over or flattened — it breathes, as opposed to just looking merely pretty. Pontecorvo approaches the actresses with the same uncalculated respect.

The actors here offer plenty sturdy support for their female counterparts: Bernal’s character is scattered butRead full post »

MAY 14, 2010 9:49PM

Correct thought

One of the less trumpeted features of the Internet is the unprecedented access it provides to really, really bad writing. Of course, awful books have always been with us, but nowadays a specimen of unkempt, puffed-up prose or stumbling, lugubrious verse doesn't even need to make it past an editor orRead full post »

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