Saturday, October 27, 2007


Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains

This doc is not about a Georgia peanut farmer’s unlikely path to the presidency. Rather, director Jonathan Demme focuses on the controversy surrounding the publication of Jimmy Carter’s 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which challenges Israel’s continued occupation of neighboring territories and construction of border barriers. While cameras follow the unflappable Carter on his promotional tour, little is revealed about the 39th president during the film’s often-boring 125 minutes. Posted at

Thursday, October 18, 2007


30 Days of Night

Freaks come out at night, right? Adapted from the horror comic book written by Steve Niles, this zombie flick is set in Barrow, Alaska, which experiences total darkness one month a year. Goth ghouls whinny and yelp as they tear through the town terrorizing the population. A sheriff (Josh Hartnett) leads the counterattack, but he’s no match for the bloodthirsty hordes. Only the sun (or maybe a marijuana grow light) can stop the savagery. Posted at

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Lars and the Real Girl

Ryan Gosling is all about damaged characters. From his Jew-hating Jew in The Believer to his loner carpenter in The Notebook to his cracked-out teacher in Half Nelson, he’s full of surprises. But his latest turn, as a delusional office drone that has a relationship with a blown-up sex doll, is a stretch even for him.

Emotionally scarred by his father, Lars Lindstorm can barely speak; he’s a basket case of halted comments and exaggerated facial tics. One day, a huge package arrives at his house: It’s Bianca, a plastic princess with whom he immediately falls in love. Following the advice of Lars’ doctor (played comfortingly by Patricia Clarkson), the town bands together in support of Lars and treats Bianca as an actual member of the community.

Humor is mined from the ridiculous plot, with Emily Mortimer, as Lars’ concerned sister-in-law, delivering the best of the subtle one-liners. Somewhere in this trifle of a movie there’s a message about kindness and compassion, as opposed to the kind of meanness that could have snuffed out Lars’ girlfriend with a simple pinprick.

Even funnier are Lars’ fellow office geeks, one of whom, Margo (Kelli Garner), he’s actually attracted to. Rather than cheat on Bianca, Lars conceives a solution that finally sets him on the path to human interaction and resolves the sticky little matter of an inanimate love affair. Posted at

Friday, October 05, 2007


Kurt Cobain: About a Boy

Based on audio interviews of Kurt Cobain conducted by Michael Azerrad while researching his book, Come As You Are (1993), A.J. Schnack has no Nirvana music or video to work with, forcing him to find creative ways to keep people interested. Cobain’s droll commentary may be riveting, but generic Northwest pics and speeding-car montages are guaranteed to send you into a classic Kurt nod. Posted at

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