Self-Defense (2005 Dec 09)

There are two philosophies of how a public (or semi-public) figure should react to an attack. The first states that ignoring it is the best approach. The attacker is looking for attention and validation and to give it to him/her is to satisfy a ...

The 12 (Actually, 13) Movies of Christmas (2005 Dec 06)

Let's face it... most Christmas movies are bad. They're enough to keep any self-respecting movie-lover up all night with visions of The Santa Clause and Jingle All the Way dancing in his/her head. To counter the charge that Christmas movies are all...

Predictable as Ever? (2005 Dec 03)

From my review of Aeon Flux: "I'll never understand why studios sometimes choose to withhold films from critics. The lack of advance screenings of Aeon Flux establishes an expectation that the film is likely to be tough to sit through. It's the ...

November Leftovers (2005 Nov 30)

I'll end this month by providing follow-ups to a few recent entries I have written that have generated significant e-mail volume. Starting tomorrow, it's time to turn the page on the calendar to December. That means a few columns about King Kong ...

The Game's Afoot (2005 Nov 29)

Over the years, I have gotten my share of irate e-mails from annoyed devotees who don't think I give video games enough credit. I think at some point, I may have written something along the lines of "this movie has a plot worthy of a video game" - ...

Presents and Lumps of Coal (2005 Nov 28)

At long last, December is upon us (or close enough so it doesn't matter). This one month - 31 days long - is the critic's reward for enduring the other 11. I like to think of the movies released during the Holiday season as presents. The majority ...

Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past (2005 Nov 24)

In the United States, today is Thanksgiving. Historically, the holiday commemorates a feast that occurred to mark the first successful harvest in the United States, and the peacable interaction between the pilgrims and the Native Americans. (How ...

Putting off the RENT (2005 Nov 23)

Attentive readers will note that I originally had scheduled a review of Rent to be available yesterday, with the review of The Ice Harvest coming over the weekend. It didn't work out that way. From the beginning, since there was a screening ...

REELVIEWS 2 (2005 Nov 22)

And now for a word from our sponsor...Since I don't accept advertising, that would be me. Pardon this shameless column of self-promotion, but I want to let those who care know that my second book, ReelViews 2 is available for purchase. It's the ...

Born Yesterday (2005 Nov 19)

Apparently, Universal Studios doesn't have a high opinion of its customer base. Or, to put it another way, they must think we were all born yesterday. Even if you believe that Universal is jumping on the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" bandwagon...

So in which Order Do You Watch Them? (2005 Nov 16)

As of a couple of weeks ago, every Star Wars fan had the opportunity to add the final chapter to his or her six-volume DVD set. And, judging by the crowds at Best Buy, that's what everyone was doing. Shopping that day was an odd experience. ...

The Mind of the "Enemy" (2005 Nov 11)

I recently had an e-mail dialogue with someone whom I'm tempted to call "close-minded," although that may be an unfair label. The topic of discussion was the recent film Paradise Now, which tells the story of two potential suicide bombers. The film...

SAW II Unseen (2005 Nov 09)

My decision not to review Saw II has generated a surprising volume of e-mail. Keep in mind that a decision on my part not to see and/or review a movie is not an attempt to make a statement about the film's quality. After all, until I have seen ...

Last Gasps, or the Format War that Wasn't (2005 Nov 07)

The theater industry had better figure out quickly what to put in all those multiplexes. Rather than aiming nasty comments at Robert Iger and Steven Soderbergh for "turning coat," they should examine reality. The numbers, both at the box office and...

Disappointments All Around (2005 Nov 03)

My enthusiasm for various aspects of pop culture is wearing thin. I don't think it's that I have grown too picky. Instead, it's that the people producing it have gotten lazy, lost their inspiration, succumbed to greed, or some combination of the ...

#1: GETTYSBURG (Randy Edelman) (2005 Oct 30)

Not what you expected? Gettysburg has been a favorite of mine since I picked up the soundtrack shortly after seeing the movie in 1993. Over the years, it has grown on me. I took several plane trips during the mid-1990s with it as my only CD ...

#2: KING KONG (John Barry) (2005 Oct 27)

I am one of the few people who will admit to liking the 1976 version of King Kong. There are three reasons for this. It was the first movie I saw in an indoor movie theater and, as such, it left an imprint on the impressionable mind of a nine-year ...