July 1, 2012 |
The setup: "Magic Mike" was released Friday, and the movie - which is about male strippers ... not that we need to remind you - is full of sexy scenes and ridiculous laughs, but it doesn't include any true frontal male nudity. It got us wondering ... is male nudity sexy or funny? SEXY Let's be clear about something: Yes, male nudity, as it is currently portrayed in mainstream film, is totally giggle-worthy. Jason Segel didn't flap his junk from side to side in"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" for the added drama - he did it for the nervous laughter.
December 19, 2012 |
Twitter is kind of like a best friend who - the first time I met him - I figured for a weird little pervert who wouldn't shut up. Following a shameless and total reversal, I now think Twitter has sliced bread dead to rights. It was like how I came to enjoy Leonardo DiCaprio movies even though when I was 14 I hated Leo because all the girls I liked in the seventh and eighth grades preferred his turn in "Titanic" to my incisive commentary about the Macarena. ("Hey, this sure makes middle school dances weird, huh?"
February 23, 2012 |
*** (out of four) Call me a sucker, but “Thin Ice” played me like a violin. In fact, a violin holds together a situation that seems like a retread through minor indie territory covered recently by “Cedar Rapids” and “Win Win.” That is, until things spin toward “Before the Devil Knows You're Dead” and writers Jill (who also directed) and Karen Sprecher twist toward something clever, if a little strained. Wisconsin insurance agent Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear)
March 14, 2012
Setup: Ah, the NCAA Tournament. The brackets. The office pools. And you really wishing you had the day off. You COULD call in sick and revel in March Madness, but should you? YES I'll give you one. One day to call in sports-sick to your boss. And I don't want to hear you wasted it nursing a hangover the day after the Super Bowl, a mere four hours of entertainment at best on a day you already had off work. Or during the World Series - unless it's Game 7 at Wrigley Field.
July 23, 2012 |
*** (out of 4) When Fang Island put out its self-titled debut in 2010, the band's MySpace described the music as “everyone high-fiving each other.” Some critics joked instead that the album's piled-on guitar riffs sounded more like a collection of “SportsCenter” theme music, but the point was the same: If you were to imagine music that sounded “awesome, bro” the result would pretty much be Fang Island and its songwriting technique of...
September 6, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) Greek writer-director Giorgos Lanthimos' original, unsettling “Dogtooth” was just about the best movie I saw in 2010. That should be enough to sell it. Track it down, please. Lanthimos' latest, “Alps,” also constructs a different version of reality. In “Dogtooth” it was children raised away from society, taught different meanings to words and different standards of behavior. In “Alps” it's a group of people (including “Aggeliki Papoulia of “Dogtooth”)
October 8, 2012 |
**1/2 (out of four) Hopefully you like Ellie Goulding. In the coming months you're likely going to see a lot of commercials that use music from her new album “Halcyon.” Goulding makes music that scans as “cool” in a generic way: slightly moody synth-pop with nods to trends in electronic music. She falls in an odd middle ground as a sort-of pop star with artsy “indie” vibes, in the same vein as Lana Del Rey or Florence + the Machine (both of whom Goulding also resembles musically)
October 12, 2012 |
***1/2 (out of 4) Not long ago, Kim Kardashian found another way to draw the collective ire of America, as she so capably does, when she began talking about her NEXT wedding before the divorce was even final on her 72-day, lace-white scar of reality show bait. Now the other half of Kanyashian (Kimye?) drops his song from the soundtrack for RZA's "Man with the Iron Fists" movie, coincidentally titled "White Dress. " Or maybe not coincidentally, as the title indicates a potential prelude to a union that would break tabloid America.
October 18, 2012 |
** (out of four) There may be a terrific short film living inside “For Ellen,” writer-director So Yong Kim's drama about rocker Joby Taylor's (Paul Dano) last-ditch effort to connect with his estranged 6-year-old daughter, Ellen (Shaylena Mandigo), as he finalizes his divorce. As is, the first half of the movie feels padded, minimizing character development while repeatedly depicting what an irresponsible bummer Joby is. Obviously that's how he is now; was he ever different, and what's he going to do about it in the long run?
November 1, 2012 |
*** (out of four) When engaged couple Alex (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) backpack in the Georgian mountains with nothing but each other and their guide Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze), what could possibly happen? A) If Bernal's work in “Y Tu Mama Tambien” is any indication, they'll all get it on. B) Dato will fall off a cliff, leaving Alex and Nica on their own. C) Dato will attempt to hunt his clients for sport. D) An encounter with deadly animals, for which they are unprepared due to a lack of Liam Neeson.