State of Play – A Review

April 26, 2009

Clark Kent wouldn’t have blogged. Damon Runyon wouldn’t have had a website. Why? Because there’s no romance in on-line journalism. The newsroom is romantic. Cigarettes and type-writers are romantic. Journalism is romantic. But not on-line news. The very act of sitting alone at a keyboard is an anathema to journalism. Reporters need to be out in the world, chain-smoking, nursing a hangover, living dangerously. Even a so-so reporter-movie like State of Play still makes reporting look like a great institution. And the idea we might lose newspapers to blogs is soul-destroying. The world needs hacks, not stay-at-homes.

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Crank: High Voltage – A Review

April 19, 2009

Here’s a movie made for rapists. And guys who play Grand Theft Auto a lot. I’m drawing a line between those two that some may question, but let’s face it: video games hate women. And so does Crank 2. Crank 2 has an excuse, of course. Like the gore-porn trend in horror movies, it’s only trying to follow the lead established by games. Movies, unfortunately, are mostly about commerce. And right now, there’s nothing more profitable than one set of pixels gutting another set. But movies for guys don’t have to have this fury toward girls. Does Jason Statham’s mother know he’s making movies like this?

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Let the Right One In – A Review

April 12, 2009

This one’s about childhood, so it’s weird and bloody. When most adults think of childhood they’re thinking of some kid on TV. But TV kids always act as though someone’s watching. There’s a big difference between Ashley and Mary-Kate and who you were when you were a kid. Real kids tend to view the world from a submarine; they bob up now and again to check on the adult world, but most of the time they’re alone and their radio signals are faulty. Let the Right One In is about a boy who meets a vampire. He doesn’t tell anyone about it. But then, would any adult want to hear?

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Duplicity – A Review

April 5, 2009

Can someone please call time on Tony Gilroy? He may be smart and well-connected, but he makes in-flight movies (i.e. movies you would only watch because the alternative was a 30,000 foot drop). Even the Bourne series – knuckle-hard and email-quick as they are – are forgettable. Can you honestly remember anything from the third Bourne movie? Nothing specific, I’ll bet. And yet, you do remember something. You remember everyone saying it was good. That it was intelligent. That it was made by “grown-ups”. They’ll say the same about Duplicity. And you’ll struggle to remember a single thing about this movie, too.

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