A warning

Timothy Blee is correct: If you’re not worried about the actual jack-booted thugs staging actual midnight raids in America today, you can’t expect to be taken seriously seriously when you warn that some policy you oppose could lead to jack-booted thugs staging midnight raids at some point in the future. And the party that has pushed… More A warning

The Runaways

No biopic of the New York Dolls exists, but if a writer-director needed casting suggestions, let me point him or her in the direction of Michael Shannon. As producer/svengali Kim Fowley in The Runaways, he hisses orders through clenched teeth and allows himself the faintest of chuckles, as if delighted by what he’s getting away… More The Runaways

Happy Sunday

A beautiful performance: hammy, bombastic, and sincere as hell. One hopes Coldplay agree. “That’s when I ruled the world,” Tennant sings, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the Pet Shop Boys still did, judging from the crowd response starting at the 1:45 mark and his huge smile. Now read Tom Ewing’s column.

No $leep

Only one scene in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, which is not named after a Rick Ross album, generates suspense: the moment when Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) dons a pinstriped shirt with perfect cuffs and slicks his hair back like the Gekko of yore. It’s like the helmet attaching itself like a lamprey to… More No $leep

Singles 9/24

The strangled sincerity of “Back For Good” sounded interesting in 1995, but otherwise I don’t care for the travails of Take That, and I’ve had less time for the well-meaning career of Robbie Williams. A great taste in chums and collaborators (e.g. Neil Tennant) has not resulted in ticker tape parades down the Avenue of… More Singles 9/24

OK, fine….

At Thomas’ suggestion, fifteen desert island films off the top of my head: Trouble in Paradise (1932) dir. Ernst Lubitsch Holiday (1938) dir. George Cukor The Rules of the Game (1939) dir. Jean Renoir The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) dir. Orson Welles Orpheus (1950) dir. Jean Cocteau Anatomy of a Murder (1958) dir. Otto Preminger The… More OK, fine….

Of witches and women

Naturally the political class has gotten lots of yuks out of Delaware Republican Senate Nominee Christine O’Donnell’s admission that she dressed like Witch Hazel as a girl. These people apparently never paid attention while their  daughters checked Wicca handbooks out of the library. Nor did they ever buy Stevie Nicks albums. Given the chance to… More Of witches and women

Happy Sunday

Even Hall & Oates needed imitators. Dan Hartman’s 1984 top ten is the best, and surpasses some of their hits too. The author of “Instant Replay” and (really) the Edgar Winter Group’s “Free Ride” combines H&O’s sonic signifiers into a surefire package: the “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” synthesized drum pattern at… More Happy Sunday

Jonathan Rosenbaum, one of my favorite movie critics, reviews the new collection of posthumous James Baldwin essays and makes me wish Christmas could come faster.

Singles 9/17

The only people surprised by “Fuck You” reside in the blogosphere. I’ve heard it exactly three times, two of which for the purposes of my review. I don’t want to hear it again — gimmicks fade fast. No pox on Cee Lo Green’s ebullient vocal though. A shame I can’t say the same about Robyn.… More Singles 9/17