I have four major reviews to write by May and I’m freaking out. Here’s a summary of recent ingenstions before I go down the rabbit hole.

The African Queen by John Huston (1951) is dispiriting because in order to be a hero a missionary has to dump your gin into the river. I guess that counts me out.

The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan (2008) has in it a cool motorcycle and also The Greatest Actors of the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries. Jesus. All right, listen, seriously. This movie was very nearly free of content and the absurd circle jerk of critical admiration confuses me. I well understand and have frequently participated in the phenomenon of intellectuals-stampede-to-blockbuster-which-yields-to-cult-stud-analysis-and-also-features-explosions. But this is far from even that. It’s one part Rambo four parts water. Notice that everyone who tells you it’s brilliant is male and/or owns a Trans Am.

Deep Blues by Robert Palmer (1982) features some groundbreaking and fascinating elucidations of the connections between African music and the blues, some wickedly entertaining interview footage with Muddy Waters, and a whole lot of somewhat repetitive but none the less Dorito-like anecdotes about Delta and Chicago blues musicians.

Burn After Reading by the Coen Bros. (2008) is such a curious waste of time and talent. Every one of these fine actors seems to burrow down into their two-dimensional goofy/manic characters and, basically, disappear. Disappointing. Something could have been made of this, but wasn’t.

Charlie Bartlett, by John Poll (2007) is in so many ways excruciatingly dull, cliched, and mawkish, BUT: 1. Robert Downey Jr. and Hope Davis are exquisite actors, 2. Kat Dennings looks a lot like an old girlfriend of mine, and 3. I love the proposition that a 100 tabs of Ritalin could turn a dull high school dance into Studio 54.

Plus Super Chickan. Oh my oh my. Get you some.


  1. em

    i think you must be feeling very cranky in the new year. i thought brad pitt did a great job, slurping on slurpies throughout, hilarious. did you see before the devil knows you’re dead and the savages? e

  2. Everyone just did the same thing over and over: Malkovich rages, Pitt bops, Swinton trembles, Clooney oozes. McDormand was the only one I could enjoy. I love the moment when Clooney shows her his homemade sex machine and you realize her expression isn’t one of horror but joy. I saw The Devil Knows Your Dead and didn’t like it (see below). I turned off The Savages after half an hour (something I never do) because I don’t like thinking about rest homes or Buffalo individually and especially not together.

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