Friday, March 2, 2012 7:31 am
So … how ‘bout them Oscars? I was originally planning to do my usual Academy Awards response column this week, but really, what’s the point? I told you that the show would be awful and insulting, and lo and behold I was right — kinda.
Friday, February 24, 2012 7:41 am
I always try to get as excited as possible about the Academy Awards, that time-honored annual tradition in which Hollywood enrages the nation’s cinephiles by consistently displaying the most remarkable lack of good taste and common decency imaginable.
Friday, January 27, 2012 8:05 am
Technical complications at the “Haywire” screening I attempted
to attend have left me without a film to review this week (we’ll
catch up with that one next time, along with the Liam Neeson
survival thriller “The Grey”). But this is just as well, I suppose,
considering that the recent Oscar nominations have inspired more
controversy than I’ve ever seen associated with the Academy Awards,
and of course I have some choice thoughts about that.
Friday, January 13, 2012 7:43 am
Hope you all enjoyed my top 10 list last week, and gleaned some
useful recommendations. This week I’ll take a very quick look at
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” which made my “most promising films I
didn’t see” list but ended up being one of the most spirit-crushing
disappointments of the year. I honestly don’t have much to say
about such an empty film, so I suppose I might as well squeeze in
my predictions for the Oscar nominations, set to be announced on
Tuesday, Jan. 24, at which point you will surely marvel at my
peerless prognosticative abilities.
Friday, January 6, 2012 10:07 am
I could go on a rambling, ill-tempered rant about the shocking
lack of worthwhile films released in 2011. I could easily wallow in
righteous indignation, and throw up my hands in disgust and defeat
as I impotently curse Hollywood’s artistic bankruptcy and offer my
own theories as to why last year saw the worst theater attendance
numbers in 16 years. And I’d be right to do it. But this time of
year, I prefer to ignore the crazed, rampaging elephant in the room
and instead celebrate the few diamonds in the rough that kept me
from completely losing my mind over the course of the past 12
months. So let’s get to it:
Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig star in “The Girl With the Dragon
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, December 23, 2011 7:49 am
It’s been a very hectic holiday season for me, and I have not
fulfilled my role as movie guru nearly as thoroughly as I should
have. This has more or less been the case for the majority of the
year, actually, and consequently I find that there are a bevy of
promising 2011 releases that I simply never got around to seeing
(in my defense, the closest most of them ever played was San
Friday, December 16, 2011 7:47 am
I had promised reviews of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The
Sitter” this week, but those plans were altered by the fact that my
online source for such matters had listed an incorrect wide release
date for the former, and the nation’s critics and moviegoing public
have convinced me that I should skip the latter. So we are left
with “The Descendants,” now playing in general release after
generating incredible word of mouth during its run on the art-house
circuit. I found it to be consistently engaging yet slightly
disappointing given the buzz, but your mileage may vary.
Friday, December 2, 2011 8:01 am
How quickly things can change. Just a week ago, I was so
desperate for a movie to review that I actually sat and watched
“The Twilight Saga — Breaking Dawn: Part 1” for two hours. (I’ve
broken bones, suffered through mono, gotten tattooed and had a
wisdom tooth wrenched out of my head without Novocain, but
honestly, all pale in comparison to the sheer unpleasantness of the
Friday, November 4, 2011 8:11 am
“In Time.” “The Three Musketeers.” “Footloose.” “Johnny English
Reborn.” These are among the films now playing in multiplexes
across the country. I find this roster to be strange and
unsettling, as I have apparently been laboring under the
misapprehension that we were supposed to be smack-dab in the middle
of awards season. Silly me.
Friday, July 22, 2011 10:18 am
The history lover: Tom Kohlhepp
What I’ve been reading: I picked up
“Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World,” by Chris Scarre.
Favorite reads: I read history books designed
for junior high and high school.
Biggest sellers in your bookstore, Tom’s Used
Books: “Jaycee Dugard: A Stolen Life” — It sold out in the
Friday, December 17, 2010 10:56 am
Nobody wants to give up the perks of a good lifestyle, even if
they are facing tough economic times. There are still books to
splurge on, art that can’t hang anywhere but in your home and food
cravings you can’t resist. Local foodies, artists, writers and
musicians agree that while people are being careful and cutting
back, some are willing to splurge while others find alternatives.
Smart spending was a big trend in 2010, but local experts have
noticed some other trends in their fields over the year.
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
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