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Home » Articles »   By MaryAnn Johanson
 

Film Reviews

Sunshine Cleaning

Spic ’n’ Span: More quirky-sweet stuff of the indie-by-design shadow industry.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 25,2009 - Which comes, of course, when her son, Oscar (Jason Spevack) gets kicked out his elementary school. He's a nuisance, but of the imaginative, unmedicated, won't-be-corralled type...

Film Reviews

Wendy & Lucy

Dog Days: A deceptively easy, effortlessly lovely film.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 11,2009 - Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is a young woman apparently wandering through life, yet seeking direction. Lucy is her dog, a “yellowish-brown” mutt, her emotional compass and her only friend.

Other A&E

Why So Serious?

Movies based on graphic literature aren’t always about superheroes.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 4,2009 - The day I’ve long awaited and long predicted may have arrived: Comic books are being taken seriously as cinema and as drama.

Film Reviews

Waltz With Bashir

Drawn from Memory: The horrors of war become an animated soldier’s story in Waltz With Bashir.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Feb 26,2009 - Animation! It’s not just for kiddie movies anymore. Actually, that’s been true at least since Ralph Bakshi’s 1972 X-rated Fritz the Cat, if not the intricately smart Looney Tunes shorts of the 1940s. But the financial success of the Disney juggernaut—followed by the Mouse’s inevitable imitators—has cemented the idea that if it’s a cartoon, it must be for the kids.

Film Reviews

Che

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Feb 9,2009 -

DVD Reviews

Met by Moonlight

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Feb 9,2009 - Sixteen episodes of Alex O’Loughlin’s sexy Los Angeles vampire trying to woo mortal Internet journalist Sophia Myles (who was more than willing), and then it was over—and we’re lucky it lasted that.

Arts & Entertainment

Video | Met by Moonlight: A look at the sexy and the sedate in cinematic vampires.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Feb 3,2009 - Have you ever seen the 1931 Dracula, with Béla Lugosi as the Transylvanian bloodsucker? Holy Satan in Hades, is it sexy. This was before Hollywood’s Hays Code—the precursor to the MPAA’s rating system, which was implemented in 1930 but wasn’t enforced with any gusto until 1934—effectively de-fanged movies, and Lugosi’s vampire is handsome, elegant, debona...

Film & TV

Cinema | Robin Hoodskis: Old-fashioned Hollywood storytelling shines again in Defiance.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 14,2009 - That Defiance is not relentlessly grim—even as it’s, you know, still fairly grim—is a credit to director Edward Zwick, whose track record on intense storytelling ranges from the starkly brutal (the 1983 TV movie Special Bulletin, about a nuclear terrorist attack on American soil) to the laughably off-key (2003’s The Last Samurai). Here, though—in the tale of three rog...

Arts & Entertainment

DVDs | Happy Doomed Year!: If you’re home for New Year’s Eve, celebrate with movies about other disastrous Dec. 31sts.

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Dec 24,2008 - Surely the obscene desperation so many put into the necessity of having a date—or at least exciting plans—for New Year’s Eve is some sort of cognitive dissonance connected to the emperor’s-new-clothes fear of being the one to come out and say it: It’s the most overrated night of the year. nSo sure, if you want to laugh at all the suckers who get depressed just because...
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