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Home » Articles »   By Greg Beacham
 

Film & TV

Con Air

There’s insubstantial scheming made fun and easy in Nine Queens.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Wouldn’t it be great if confidence games were as easy in real life as they are in the movies? Imagine being able to get away with that bill-switching nonsense John Cusack tried in The Grifters—showing the bartender a $20, then handing him...

Film & TV

Kind of a Drag

Period cross-dressing comedy is no great Shakes(peare) in Triumph of Love.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Enjoying Triumph of Love, a new film based on an 18th-century French play by Pierre Marivaux, requires just as many leaps in logic and plausibility as any heist caper or shoot-’em-up action film—only without the payoff of a cool heist or a...

Film & TV

Daylight Savings Crime

The director of Memento gets creepy and sleepy in Insomnia.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - If you’re casting a movie about a world-weary old guy who can’t sleep, Al Pacino is the obvious choice. The decades have done marvelous sculpting work on Pacino, from his artistically wrinkled face to his gently doddering gait. Until he opens...

Film & TV

Penguin Logic

The New Guy seeks out new heights of profound pointlessness.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Several years ago at Sundance, singer Lyle Lovett premiered a short film scored to his song “Penguins.” Basically, it was Lauren Bacall and a few other celebs dressing up in penguin suits like the ones worn by 19-year-olds at Sea World, then...

Film & TV

Irony Deficiency

The tedious Jason X tries too hard to prove it gets the joke.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Don’t you long for that not-too-distant past when ironic, cynical, pop-culture-saturated humor was the exclusive domain of adults who spent their youths snickering in the back of the classroom? These days, every grownup wants to be a literate wiseass:...

Film & TV

Wedded Blitz

Two new films tread familiar “heartwarming family drama” territory.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - After nearly two decades exploring every fold and crevice of the vast lower intestinal tract that is modern cinema, I’ve grown hearty and resourceful, learning to love movies in spite of themselves when necessary. I can laugh at any sans-a-joke...

Film & TV

Happiness is a Warm Dogma

Light romantic comedy gets an avant-garde edge in Italian for Beginners.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - It’s about time Dogma ’95 went all warm and fuzzy. Cutting-edge cinema’s favorite ultra-verité style of the moment won’t stand any test of time unless it can be used effectively on films that don’t involve grimy...

Film & TV

Spin Control

“Turntabling” past and present meet in the fascinating documentary Scratch.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Scratching, in the physical sense, is the act of moving a vinyl record against a needle to create the familiar whizzing, dipping, bending sounds that infiltrate every form of entertainment these days. In a larger, more cosmic sense, scratching is the...

Film & TV

Canned Cameron

Unfunny Cameron Diaz is locked in the unfunnier box of The Sweetest Thing.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - It’s the most baffling movie riddle of the spring, even tougher to unravel than the mystery of Jodie Foster’s magic expanding breasts in Panic Room: Why would Sony give Cameron Diaz $15 million to star in The Sweetest Thing, and then force...

Film & TV

Poetic License

Piñero portrays a bad-boy artist with pretty-boy gloss.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Miguel Piñero was a charismatic poet, playwright and stickup artist who lived a fairly evil life and died young in New York City’s vast Puerto Rican community. You might not know anything about his work—and that might be a good thing, since...
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