Archive for September, 2003

Boogie nights

While some may find Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic look at the adult film industry hard to swallow, there’s plenty to recommend it. Anderson’s sophomore film is a rare treat, an adult drama about an adult subject handled in an adult fashion. Anderson and his camera never flinch, but instead manage to get up close and personal with a randy group of adult filmmakers whose world is rocked during the late seventies and early eighties. Read the rest of this entry »

Without a Paddle

In 1972s Deliverance, four city friends gather for a weekend of canoeing and get caught in a current of backwoods sexual politics and hillbilly justice. Tightly packed into a rubber wetsuit and sporting a deadly bow and arrow, Burt Reynolds emerged as a superstar. Read the rest of this entry »

Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy

For those keeping tabs, Dolphins knew all along. They tried to tell us, but being the third smartest species on Earth, we misinterpreted their squeaks and squawks as noise and their back flips as tricks. Humans can be such dunderheads, which makes our demise inconsequential when intergalactic engineers decide to annihilate Earth to build a bypass. Read the rest of this entry »

Films Review September


What begins as a light comedy spirals into a dark drama, and writer-director Arliss Howard (who also stars) has difficulty reconciling the two. Each has its own merits, especially the opening half which finds Arliss playing Leon Barlow, a sad sack writer who spends most of his time daydreaming. Read the rest of this entry »


There is a scene two-thirds of the way through Steven Spielberg’s Munich where three undercover agents confront a woman they know guilty of killing one of their team. She knows she’s about to die, and tells the men to look at her, what a waste it would be to kill her. It doesn’t work. Her perfect skin is marred by two black holes. There’s no blood, not yet, just an expression of despair on the woman’s face. She stands up and pets her cat, struggles across the room, and finally slumps into a chair. She is naked. Read the rest of this entry »

Anatomy of hell

When Japanese writer-director Nagisa Oshima’ s In The Realm of the Senses opened in 1976, the unrated, explicit drama played at the now defunct Mann Theaters in the Esplanade. Even though the film played in the last of three theaters, I always wondered what would have happened if some unsuspecting parent got confused. Imagine trying to explain why a subservient Japanese woman would fellate an older man, cut off his manhood, and then carry it around as she wandered the countryside.
Read the rest of this entry »


Already suffering from a self-inflicted black eye, it’s not surprising that the Catholic Church has denounced “The Magdalene Sisters,” a harrowing portrait of church sanctioned cruelty. Vividly written and directed by actor Peter Mullan, “The Magdalene Sisters” isn’t really entertainment but an indictment against an institution that is seemingly above the law and more than willing to dispense their own brand of justice. Read the rest of this entry »

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

I had to toss a coin to decide which would be less painful: Sit through “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” or shove a rabid pit bull in my shorts and then whack it with a stick. Read the rest of this entry »


I imagine the hardest part of being someone’s lifeline is snapping. Knowing that you hold life or death in your hands, afraid that one wrong word, one wrong move, can end it all. Most people who have a bad day go home and start over again. When a hostage negotiator has a bad day someone doesn’t get to go home. Read the rest of this entry »

All about the benjamins

Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube does double duty as co-writer and star of this highly entertaining comedy about a bounty hunter and a con artist who team up to locate a stolen van of diamonds. Cube is on the money (excuse the pun) as Bucum Jackson, a no-nonsense bounty hunter whose latest target is con artist Reggie Wright (Omar Epps). Jackson’s pursuit of Reggie takes an unexpected turn when Reggie finds himself in the back of a getaway van used in a multi-million dollar diamond heist. Read the rest of this entry »