The existential crisis, or, Hungry like the wolf

Sometimes to even live is an act of courage. — Seneca The survival instinct is an interesting one. In the most extreme of circumstances — that is, in its purest form — it is without logic. It is animal. Survive to survive, and for no other reason. In Joe Carnahan’s The Grey, seven men are … Continue reading

In the wink of a young girl’s eye

Director Jason Reitman (Son of Ivan Reitman, a pretty well known director himself) has made some of the most easily digestible, yet incredibly smart films of the past few years. He has an impressive level of discernment when choosing projects and a penchant for protagonists who are hard to like but impossible to resist. His … Continue reading

Three strides back and kind of OK with it

Have I mentioned that there are too many Best Picture nominees? Has that come up before? I digress. Once again find myself a few movies shy of the full category. And although I did manage to sneak The Help in at the buzzer – too late for an article – I was unable to get … Continue reading

Silence is golden. . . maybe

The Artist is a much cheekier film than I had expected going in, because as much as it strives for (and attains) authenticity it also spends a good deal of time winking at those who don’t like (or at least think they don’t like) silent films. Its story is a sort of mash-up of Singing … Continue reading

Baseball is like church: Many attend, but few understand

“It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball” — Billy Beane Many great things have been said about the game of baseball (and a few silly things, too — Just Google Yogi Berra), but the above quote wraps it all up nicely and puts a bow on top. I would argue that you’d be hard-pressed … Continue reading

When good Americans die they go to Paris

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast — Ernest Hemingway I have been lucky enough to have visited Paris twice in my life (so far) — once on a back-backing … Continue reading

You are born, you die, and in between you make a lot of mistakes

Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is a difficult film. It speculates, but does not clearly state. It admires a mother’s warm smile, the smallness of a newborn in its father’s arms, and the cosmic ballet of the universe as one in the same. In short, it is a film about everything, and it is … Continue reading

The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her

Hawaii is a vacation spot. To most of us, it’s not a place where people live and certainly not where anyone dies. My wife even remarked during the opening minutes of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants that it was strange to see office buildings through Matt King’s (George Clooney) own office window. “I didn’t know they … Continue reading

Little girl lost

I just missed your heart. Hanna (2011) begins and ends with that line, but it doesn’t feel the same way the second time. When Hanna first utters it she is standing over a deer she has just hit with an arrow.  Its breathing is panicked and frightened. She quickly (and somewhat coldly) puts it out … Continue reading

There are trolls in them thar hills

I clearly haven’t been paying enough attention to U-verse’s On Demand feature, because it turns out that they’ve been offering advanced rentals of movies not yet in theatres for some time now. What kind of cinephile am I? Since this discovery I have been known to occasionally shut off my Netflix streaming (only occasionally) and … Continue reading