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Home » Articles »   By MaryAnn Johanson
 

Film Reviews

Cinema | Spinning Stories: The Fall weaves a fascinating web of fantasy, fictions and imagination

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 28,2008 - Maybe all you need to know about The Fall is that it’s “presented by” David Fincher and Spike Jonze, two guys who screw with our brains in the name of entertainment. And we love them for it because they expand our ideas about what movies...

Other A&E

DVDs | Flopbusters: In summertime, it’s easy for interesting movies to get crushed at the box office

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 21,2008 - It’s summertime, which means blockbusters at the multiplex: big, loud, goofy movies. Even when they’re wonderful, that inevitably means that smaller, quieter films—even ones that should, theoretically, appeal to the blockbuster crowd—get...

Film Reviews

Cinema | Indigestation: Baby Mama’s take on impending parenthood is enough to put you off your popcorn

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 23,2008 - Baby Mama? Really? That’s where we’re going with this? We’re turning supposedly grown women into juvenile idiots like we’ve been doing with supposedly grown men of late? Look: Babies are great. Sex is great. Messy and ridiculous...

DVD Reviews

DVD | Urban Valentines: Great cities are romanced by great movies

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 23,2008 - I just came back from Paris—10 days and 20 hours ago, or so, as I write this. I could count the minutes, but that would be pathetic. It was my first trip there, and it was indescribably wonderful. As someone who lives in New York City—and...

DVD Reviews

DVD | No Place Like Home: We love theaters, but some movies just work better on DVD

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 12,2008 - Oh, sure, it’s always better to see a movie on the big screen, right? I mean, that’s what we cinephiles always say, isn’t it? But, you know, it ain’t necessarily so. Not always. I’m not just talking about the fact that your...

Film Reviews

Cinema | Proper Villains: Only the bad guys are good guys in the slick heist thriller The Bank Job

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 5,2008 - I wouldn’t want to live in the world of The Bank Job, in which absolutely everyone is corrupt except for the bad guys. Wait: I guess we already do. Sure, of course we do, because this is based on a true story, and what’s most interesting about...

Film Reviews

Cinema | Net Zero, Psychos Won: Untraceable pretends to comment on “torture porn” while taking advantage of it

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 23,2008 - The original working title of Untraceable was Streaming Evil—which has precisely the right amount of built-in schlock for the tedious bit of horror exploitation this is. You can imagine something titled Streaming Evil starring Sarah Michelle Gellar,...

Film Reviews

Cinema | Citizen Plainview: There Will Be Blood tells a classic tale in a thoroughly new way

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 16,2008 - There’s a reason why it seems like we are seeing the same movies over and over again: We are. This is why when a movie like There Will Be Blood comes along, it is so deep-down thrilling in a way that’s both visceral and intellectual. It feels...

Film & TV

Cinema | Picket Fancies: If you want publicity for your movie, just get someone to protest it.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Nov 28,2007 - I’m outraged, I tell ya, at how Joel and Ethan Coen have tried to fool us into thinking that Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald is actually from west Texas in No Country for Old Men. Proud Americans should boycott this movie! Spread the word to each...

Film & TV

DVD | Losing My Region: Break free of DVD coding shackles and find the best the world has to offer.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Nov 14,2007 - Ever notice that big numeral 1 on the back of your DVDs? That’s its region coding: North America is Region 1 as far as the DVD mafia is concerned. Any DVD you buy in the United States or Canada is coded for Region 1, and any player you buy here...
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