Shouting at the screen (and the page)

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*Spoiler alert: The following review of The Sixes by Kate White doesn’t tell you who did it, but it tells you who didn’t* Jurassic Park hit theaters for the first time when I was nine years old. My mother had thought about asking our live-in nanny, Lori, to come with us but in the end … Continue reading

The existential crisis, or, Hungry like the wolf

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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

Suzy’s binoculars and Wes Anderson’s camera

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In Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, “emotionally disturbed” 12-year-olds Suzy and Sam run away from their depressing and angst-ridden 1965-era lives to be with each other out in the open air of a New England island.  Their plan doesn’t have much of a future, but the brevity of their escape makes it all the … Continue reading

The fool’s experiment

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We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universe, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act. — Charles Darwin If I had a dime for every time I’ve watched Aliens (1986) I’d have, well, a lot of dimes. It remains … Continue reading

Death, taxes, and telexes

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Hilary Tamar, a professor of legal history at Oxford, is devoted to the sacred cause of Scholarship, not to mention Truth. But Hilary (gender unspecified) regularly ditches that high calling to instead investigate and solve crimes in Sarah Caudwell’s four mystery novels about British barristers. I read them all recently and enjoyed the heck out … Continue reading

In the wink of a young girl’s eye

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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

Where the body is buried

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SPOILER ALERT: In this review of Faithful Place, I’m going to talk about how the book ends. I usually shy away from that when I talk about books. It’s my hope that people will actually want to read the books I write about, and often knowing the ending can keep people from picking up the … Continue reading

Silence is golden. . . maybe

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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

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“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

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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