Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Iron Man 2

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

I can remember a time when I was about 16 that I was at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. We were standing around after the game, trying to get autographs from players as they left the parking lot across the street from the firehouse on Waveland Avenue. I don’t remember much about the game; I don’t remember who the Cubs were playing, or what the score was, or who won (though, let’s be honest, it probably wasn’t the Cubs). What I do remember, though, was Mark Grace walking to his car. He was dressed in a pastel silk suit that Tony Montana would consider over the top, and had two women with him that looked like they had sprung fully-formed from the mind of someone with a dirtier imagination than an ancient Greek god’s. He got into a Porsche with the girls, and left without signing any autographs.

I knew at that moment that I’d never be Mark Grace. (more…)


Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Oh no! Touchdown Jesus!When the end of the world finally comes, you can be relatively certain that somewhere in the æther Roland Emmerich will be taking notes and comparing it to his œuvre. (And yes, I’m very proud I was able to use both “æ” and “œ” in one sentence, thank you for noticing.) His films are destruction pornography for anarchists: there’s a brief, plot-thin, badly-acted intro, a few uncomfortable moments of fumbling around, and the next thing you know the pool boy is naked and the Earth is being death-humped by aliens. And like porn, they are exciting, entertaining in the way you expect, and leave you feeling a little dirty afterward. (more…)

Inglourious Basterds

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

To add insult to injury, they called catcher's interference on him.The near-universal adoration of Quentin Tarantino has always somewhat perplexed me. While I still consider Pulp Fiction one of the 4 or 5 best movies of the 1990s, it’s the only one of his, either as director or writer, that I have any real love for. True, at times the dialog in Reservoir Dogs allows it to escape the monotonous and grueling death march of its overworked and underdone plot. And while I do have an abiding and inflexible love for True Romance, it’s almost entirely because of my near-obsession with The Brothers Scott and their bodies of work. The remainder of his oeuvre (that I’ve seen) is rife with sloppy, flabby messes, each bearing the overlong, under-edited mark of someone who was lauded as a genius too soon, and believed it. His current offering, Inglourious Basterds, proves that, while it’s too much to expect an old dog to learn new tricks, the older the dog, the more satisfied you are when they only urinate on the linoleum. (more…)

District 9

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I guess shooting at Wilford Brimley is the proper training method for stemming an alien invasion.A few years ago, when it was leaked that Peter Jackson was handed the Halo license and told to go to town on it, I was cautiously optimistic that I would eventually wind up seeing a 9-hour trilogy (and a 16-hour “director’s cut”) that would be equal parts amazing and excessive, and feature at least a couple of homoerotic bedroom scenes with Master Chief and The Arbiter. Unfortunately (fortunately?), Microsoft stepped in and demanded a level of script control that Jackson was uncomfortable with (because if there’s anything M$ knows, it’s how to control script kiddies…but I digress), and we were forever denied the wonder of a slow-motion pillow fight between a 10-foot-tall cyborg and a semi-generic alien. Truth be told, I don’t know that a Halo movie is really the videogame property most deserving of a movie treatment; I couldn’t explain the plots to Halos 1 and 2 if I tried, and I played both through to completion. (more…)

The Brothers Bloom

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

So many RAAAAIIIINDROPS...fallin' in my EYES, EYES...Sometimes movies get so close to being perfect that when they fall short of the perfection they hope to attain, they fall farther and harder than a movie that doesn’t even try. The sophomore effort of Rian Johnson, director of my favorite movie of 2005, Brick, is just such a movie. That isn’t to say that The Brothers Bloom is a bad movie–in fact, it has moments of greatness. It isn’t even to say that it’s an uneven movie–the first two acts build a convincing and sometimes beautiful world full of entertaining and fantastical characters. What it is, is a movie that changes gears so abruptly between the second and third acts that the audience is left lurching like a driving-school Dodge Omni with a 5-speed and a worn-out clutch. (more…)