Summer Comes Early (2005 Apr 26)

Though the weather may still be warming, summer always comes early to movie theaters. This weekend in fact, with the opening of a couple of high-profile pictures: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (about which I am guardedly optimistic) and XXX: ...

Without a Dead Parrot (2005 Apr 24)

So is "Spamalot" a series of "Monty Python" skits interrupted by irreverent musical numbers? Or is it an irreverent musical interrupted by "Monty Python" skits? The answer will probably depend on what your perspective is. This "new musical ...

A Quick Word and What's to Come (2005 Apr 23)

No lengthy discourses today. A few random thoughts...On serializing The Price of the Crown... Thus far, I have gotten close to 100 e-mails, and about 98% are in favor of posting it. The others think I should avoid giving away what I might be able ...

Serialization? (2005 Apr 22)

I was a writer long before I began penning reviews, and I was a perfectionist long before I started writing. Perfectionism is good in science and engineering, but it's a terrible burden for a writer. Nothing is ever good enough. Re-writing becomes...

My Horse for a Kingdom (2005 Apr 21)

The summer movie season unofficially begins during the first weekend of May. That means that 2005's first warm-weather blockbuster will be Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven. (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was due to open the same weekend, but...

Fixing What's Broken (2005 Apr 20)

Can the ratings system be fixed? Perhaps, but only with radical action. Maybe not as radical as what I'm about to propose, but mere "tweaking" will not be enough. Out-of-the-box thinking is required, and there's not a lot of that in Hollywood. ...

MPAA Alphabet Soup: A & PG (2005 Apr 19)

Over roughly the last decade, Roger Ebert has been lobbying for an "A" rating somewhere in between the "R" and "NC-17" - an indicator to potential viewers that a film is adult in nature but not pornographic. (That would raise the question of what ...

In Praise of the R-Rating (2005 Apr 18)

Note: For those who don't live in the United States, here's a quick recap of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rating system:G: General Audiences. Suitable for all ages.PG: Parental Guidance Suggested. May not be suitable for young ...

Spoilers, Anyone? (2005 Apr 17)

There is a certain kind of movie viewer who wants to know the entire plot of a film before it opens. Such a person delights in uncovering clues and finding out things first. For him or her, movie-going is the culmination of a long treasure hunt. ...

Endings - Both Good and Bad (2005 Apr 16)

I'm going to push off my discussion of the R-rating and the MPAA in general (a rant that it likely to take three days because there are three aspects of the ratings system I want to cover) by another day or two because there's another subject that ...

The Economics of a Night at the Movies (2005 Apr 15)

What better topic for Tax Day than to discuss how much it costs to take a date to the movies? (Feel free to ignore the following discussion if you routinely go alone and/or surf from theater-to-theater - a tactic that will allow you to see multiple ...

Beating the Dead Horse (2005 Apr 14)

When it comes to reading, I'll devour almost anything, but my preferred genres are mystery (preferably British) and fantasy novels. When P.D. James releases a new book (a trend that lamentably won't continue much longer since she's getting close to ...

The Truth Is out There (2005 Apr 12)

Sorry, "X-Files" fans, this isn't for you. (I'm not one, but my wife is, so I know what that phrase means to you.)I have never understood why Hollywood is always so eager to slap a "Based on a true story" tag on movies. Most of the time, the basis ...

Lining Up...Again (2005 Apr 11)

It's always nice to have a helpful group of on-liners to show me the error of my ways. Such is the case when it comes to the poor, misunderstood group of Star Wars fans who are lining up in L.A., hoping to be among the first to file into the theater...

TV Thoughts (2005 Apr 10)

A month or two ago, I wrote something about how I regularly watch four television shows: "24," "NYPD Blue," "Lost," and "Battlestar Galactica." Two of those are no longer running new episodes. "NYPD Blue" has shuffled off the squad room in the sky...

The Remake I Didn't Know Was a Remake (2005 Apr 09)

"24" and "Lost" tomorrow... I promise. A movie opened this weekend that I didn't recognize as a remake until after I had posted the review. The film in question is Fever Pitch and it shares its title with the 1997 original. I saw that movie 8 ...

Talk about a Long Line (2005 Apr 08)

For those of who waiting with baited breath to hear what I have to say about "24" and "Lost," you'll have to wait another day or two. Something else caught my attention and I have to make mention of it. Last night, my wife told me about a news ...