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Home » Articles »   By Greg Beacham
 

Film & TV

Clown Art

Adam Sandler joins show-off director P.T. Anderson for the uneven, fascinating Punch-Drunk Love.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Paul Thomas Anderson is modern American film’s biggest show-off, and Adam Sandler is our most successful class clown. Their collaboration on Punch-Drunk Love is only an odd match at first glance. If you check the labels on their completely different...

Film & TV

Have Gun, Will Blather

Michael Moore preaches to the converted in Bowling for Columbine.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - What happens when somebody who spends his life tilting at windmills actually brings one down? You’ll find out in the most interesting scene from Bowling for Columbine, documentarian/provocateur Michael Moore’s entertaining and dismaying senior...

Film & TV

Saturday Night Feeble

Eminem recycles familiar street kid-with-a-dream melodrama in 8 Mile

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Eminem is losing It—whatever It is. Don’t be fooled by the new platinum album, the magazine covers or his smash hit semi-autobiographical movie, 8 Mile. They’re all ripples from his original splash into our consciousness as a skilled...

Film & TV

Stark Raving Manchester

An English music scene comes alive with fact, fantasy and fun in 24 Hour Party People.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - You can’t appreciate the depths of surrender required to appreciate 24 Hour Party People until you see Steve Coogan, playing real-life music impresario Tony Wilson, talking to the actual Wilson, who’s playing the producer of a television show...

Film & TV

Feeble Empire

If you can’t buy The Four Feathers’ story, just shut up and enjoy the pretty pictures.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - TO: THE GUY SITTING BEHIND ME AT THE FOUR FEATHERS FROM: GREG RE: SHUT UP Hi. It’s me, the guy who kept telling you to shut up. Yes, you’re funny, and yes, I really cannot seriously expect you to believe that shit, but would you just shut...

Film & TV

Alma Muddle

Stealing Harvard finds an ex-Kid in the Hall needing to go back to comedy school.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - When it comes to comedy, the knife is tiny. There’s a very short distance between the cutting edge and the big dull middle of the blade. People slide down that slope all the time without knowing it, but since it’s so hard to quantify the essence...

Film & TV

In the Darkroom

Creepy obsession dwells behind the superstore film counter in One Hour Photo.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Maybe the slumping box office and the national economy’s drunken swerve off a cliff can account for all the time our filmmakers are spending in massive discount stores these days. Auteurs have gotta make ends meet, after all, and Wal-Mart is always...

Film & TV

Freestyle Mogul

Robert Evans tells the story of his wild Hollywood life in The Kid Stays in the Picture.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - It’s too bad the Pulitzer Prize is awarded for biography, but not for hagiography. If it were, Robert Evans’ 1994 book The Kid Stays in the Picture surely would have won. It’s an incredibly entertaining masterpiece of revisionist history...

Film & TV

Smooth Criminals

Underworld sound and fury signify plenty of excitement in Gangster No. 1.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - By now, the number of films made about British gangsters and lowlifes must outnumber the actual gangsters. The Brits, with their embarrassingly insatiable twin loves for cheap celebrity and the worst aspects of American culture, are just plain obsessed...

Film & TV

Fuzzy Navel-Gazing

S1m0ne presents another synthetic exercise in reflexive cinema.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - After watching S1m0ne, yet another fleetingly clever reconfiguration of the same ideas in every single film about the entertainment industry since Nothing Sacred, I’ve come up with a way to encourage filmmakers to stop the navel-gazing that’s...
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