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Film & TV

Family Tides

Happy Endings explores the many ways we bind ourselves to one another.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Got family? It’s not such a straightforward question anymore. How could it be, for me and so many other thirtysomethings? We marry late or not at all'or we’re gay and told our marriages don’t count'and are often separated from relatives...

Film & TV

Pure Nirvana

Van Sant demythologizes the death of a rock icon in the brilliant Last Days.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - In the first decade after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, not one of the umpteen media postmortems got the story right. I think it started with Kurt Loder’s comically solemn MTV commentary outside the house where the Nirvana frontman made his...

Film & TV

Keepin’ It Unreal

A sibling story dissolves into clichés in the urban drama Four Brothers.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - The four brothers in Four Brothers behave just like … well, four brothers. When the Mercer boys reunite in Detroit for the funeral of Evelyn (Fionnula Flanagan), the woman who adopted them all, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah...

Film & TV

Plane and Simple

Red Eye offers a lesson in making a taut, efficient thriller.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Roger Ebert, though best known for raising or lowering a pudgy digit, is also one of our wisest philosophers about the movies. And with the taut suspense thriller Red Eye, we see proof of one of his most insightful maxims: “A good movie is never...

Film & TV

Piece Meal

Jim Jarmusch serves up another intriguing puzzle in Broken Flowers.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - If you’ve seen a movie directed by Jim Jarmusch, you know that all the pieces of his jigsaw puzzles generally don’t get used by the final credits. Some of the elements of his slow-moving, quick-thinking pictures just don’t fit anywhere;...

Film & TV

Crock of the Bay

American cinema’s poster boy for excess blows up The Island.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Michael Bay may be the poster boy for everything that’s horribly, painfully wrong with Hollywood filmmaking, but on a certain level you’ve almost gotta love the silly bastard. Ever since he made the transition from videos and commercials...

Film & TV

Tragically Unhip

The lowdown, dirty stuff of life looks beautiful in Me and You and Everyone We Know.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - You’ve got your indie movies that are self-consciously “hip” and tediously self-aware; they go to great lengths of easy oddity to avoid getting themselves labeled “mainstream,” and in the process they end up like something...

Film & TV

Wheel Men

A little paralysis can’t shake the machismo from the fascinating subjects of Murderball.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Do not for one second feel sorry for the subjects of Murderball. They might very well beat the living crap out of you if you do. It’s hard to remember a documentary in which it was such a benefit that the characters were not entirely likeable,...

Film & TV

The Break Fist Club

The spirit of John Hughes energizes the hero high school romp Sky High.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - For the majority of my adult life, Disney’s live-action films have mostly … what’s the word I’m looking for? … oh yeah, “stunk.” Not that the rosy tint of nostalgia has me kidding myself that the live-action Disney efforts...

Film & TV

Space Invaders

Post-9/11 allegory wrestles with blockbuster action in War of the Worlds.

By Scott Renshaw
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Is it terrorists?” terrified teenager Robbie (Justin Chatwin) asks his dad Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) at the outset of the alien invasion that drives Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds'and you can understand his confusion. Characters find...
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