Friday, January 18, 2013 7:25 am
2012 has been widely hailed as an exceptional year for film, but I’m at a loss as to where all these great films are supposed to be. (But then, if we’ve lowered our standards of “greatness” to the point that something like “Silver Linings Playbook” is being proclaimed as a masterwork ... .)
Friday, November 16, 2012 7:28 am
Happy holidays to one and all! It’s getting to be the most wonderful time of the year, and one of the most wonderful things about it is the bevy of movie options that typically grace us during the last couple months of the year.
Friday, December 30, 2011 7:37 am
Hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the final
hours of 2011. My holiday season has been quite relaxing indeed,
with the exception of the screening blitz I’ve been embroiled in
since I realized the first draft of my year-end top 10 list was
woefully inadequate. I’m trying to cram in as many movies as I can
before my list is due for publication next week, and the experience
has been mind-reeling but, of course, invigorating in its own
Friday, July 29, 2011 8:27 am
My instructions for this week weren’t very specific — I was
simply assigned to write up something “food-related” to stay with
the theme of this week’s Lodi Living. And when I’m not given
ironclad instructions, I tend to take advantage of the situation
and use it as an excuse to get a little weird. So, I present to you
a painstakingly assembled hodgepodge of awesome food-related things
in movies, in no order and adhering to absolutely no rules or
guidelines. Bon appetit?
Friday, June 24, 2011 8:38 am
No review of “The Green Lantern” this week. I read from a
trusted source that the movie is equivalent to a self-serious
episode of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” in which Meatwad’s ability to
transform himself into a hot dog or an igloo enables him to save
the galaxy. That description —combined with the fact that the movie
has been universally panned — made my decision to focus on more
relevant issues this week pretty easy. Check back next time for a
look at “Cars 2” — reportedly the first sub-par Pixar film, but at
least it’s gotta be better than “The Green Lantern.”
Friday, February 25, 2011 8:35 am
It’s that time of year again — a time for victors to be showered
in glory, for losers to be mocked and ostracized, and for creative
artists to cheapen their craft by taking part in the ridiculous
circus that we call the Academy Awards.
Friday, February 4, 2011 9:47 am
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had much of an interest in
movies this week, as I’ve been spending most of my down-time
enjoying some imported Venezuelan rum while I watch the world come
apart at the seams on CNN. Violent clashes, Anderson Cooper getting
attacked by a mob, and maniacs on horses and camels ransacking the
streets of Cairo? Far more riveting than any moviegoing experience
I can think of.
Friday, January 28, 2011 4:52 am
Well, I guess it was bound to happen. Although I submitted my
year-end top 10 list several weeks ago, it shall have to be amended
to include one of 2010’s truly brilliant works: “Blue Valentine,” a
powerful deconstruction of a failed marriage that serves as a
showcase for not only Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, its
bright and talented young stars, but also for Derek Cianfrance, a
new director making his feature debut. (It would have come in at
No. 5, for those keeping track).
Friday, January 21, 2011 8:44 am
We continue to play catch-up with late-2010 Oscar-bait movies
as, in the interest of my own sanity, I do my very best to steer
clear of the new wide releases (I won’t endure Ashton Kutcher for
anyone — least of all you). So next week look for a review of “Blue
Valentine,” which, along with this week’s “The King’s Speech,” was
one of the promising titles that I unfortunately missed before
publishing my year-end top 10 list a couple weeks back. We’ll get
’em all knocked out sooner or later.
Friday, January 14, 2011 9:22 am
I’ll continue to do my best catching up with some late 2010
releases while we wait for the new year to really get going. So in
that vein we’ve got a brief look at the awards-season favorite “The
Fighter,” along with my predictions for this year’s Oscar
nominations. Completely meaningless, but kinda fun.
Friday, January 7, 2011 10:41 am
I spent much of 2010 bemoaning the sad state of Hollywood
studio filmmaking. But looking over a roster of the year’s most
worthwhile releases, it struck me that it might not have been such
a bad year after all. If you’re simply looking at the number of
good films released, then 2010 was certainly not one for the books
— but if you focus on the quality of the very best releases, few as
they may have been, things start to look a bit different.
Monday, January 3, 2011 4:05 pm
Last night I happened upon an episode of Inside Edition when a
report about Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" was teased. Having
just watched the movie and thinking it was one of the best films of
the year — and easily Natalie Portman's finest performance — I
stuck around to see the report.
Friday, December 31, 2010 7:06 am
Happy New Year to all, and I hope everyone had a great
Christmas. Mine was a quiet affair, with Heather and me relaxing
with a few bottles of wine and a stack of DVDs, including “Nation
Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Scrooged,” “A Muppet Family
Christmas” and, of course, “Die Hard.” In a word: perfect.
Thursday, December 23, 2010 8:38 am
I’ve been a tad grumpy lately, and for that I apologize. The
crushing disappointment of the fall movie season got to me, but you
know what? It’s Christmas, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let a
few bad movies spoil my sunny disposition. There’s much to
celebrate this week (besides the obvious), starting with the wide
release of Darren Aronofsky’s beautiful and devastating “Black
Friday, December 10, 2010 1:29 pm
So the other day I go to look up what new films have opened in
the Lodi/Stockton area over the weekend, and what do I find?
“Burlesque” and “The Warrior’s Way.” If you’re not familiar with
these titles, let it suffice to say that these are not the kinds of
films one would either hope or expect to see opening in the month
of December, when the air is supposed to be heavy with Oscar
Friday, October 22, 2010 7:56 am
Back with a proper review this week, although we’ll also delve
into all that fun auteurism stuff again. Next week, I’ll take a
look at “Paranormal Activity 2” just in time for Halloween. (It
strikes me as a completely unnecessary cash-in sequel to a film
that was perfect as a stand-alone, but there’s always a slim chance
the filmmakers learned from last decade’s “Blair Witch 2” fiasco,
and ensured that their movie augments an established mythos instead
of, you know, taking a giant dump on it.
Saturday, August 21, 2010 12:00 am
Sylvester’s Stallone’s magnum opus “The Expendables” more or
less closes out the depression-inducing summer movie season, but at
least we’re going out on a high note. Also this week: a quick look
at a dozen upcoming fall releases that will hopefully do something
to make amends for the past three months of disappointing
Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:00 am
The end of the decade coincides with the 10-year anniversary of
this column, and what better way to mark the occasion than with an
obsessive ranking of the decade's best films?
Friday, November 27, 2009 12:00 am
Now that the riffraff is safely behind us, we can kick into full
awards season mode with a look at "Precious" (one of the early
contenders for a few major Oscars) this week, followed by reviews
of, at the very least, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Road,"
"Invictus" and "Avatar" as the year winds down.
Friday, February 20, 2009 10:00 pm
Friday, February 13, 2009 10:00 pm
Friday, January 30, 2009 10:00 pm
Friday, January 23, 2009 10:00 pm
I watched a movie called "9 1/2 Weeks" for the first time the
other day. It's a "sex flick," but a great one, and a stark
reminder of why I've always considered Mickey Rourke to be one of
cinema's most appealing leading men, and perhaps - just perhaps -
the sexist bastard to ever flash his mug on a movie screen.
Friday, January 16, 2009 10:00 pm
More catching up. This week's titles will be familiar to those
who caught the year-end top 10 roundup last time.
Friday, January 9, 2009 10:00 pm
1. "The Dark Knight" (Christopher Nolan)