Monthly Archives: August 2009


The Cove – 4.5

2009-08-29T09:27:25+00:00August 29th, 2009|Reviews|

As far as the movie goes, it was a lot of buildup, not much payoff. The comparison that came to mind is Man on Wire – assembling the team, figuring out equipment, evading detection, etc. – but there the climax was moments of pure exhilaration and triumph, here it was a scene not too different [...]

District 9 – 8

2009-08-18T15:30:43+00:00August 18th, 2009|Reviews|

Who are the bad guys here? Is it the “prawns” from outer space? The Nigerian hoodlums?  The profit-driven corporate chieftains at MNU? Or the trigger-happy South African Defense Force? We know the good guy is the pencil-pusher Wikus van der Merve, and what a good guy! Meak, somewhat wimpy, none too bright, and yet he [...]

The Perfect Getaway – 4.5

2009-08-18T15:29:50+00:00August 18th, 2009|Reviews|

This is a one-trick movie, and once you see that it is a dirty trick being played on the viewer, the modest respect I had for the Hawaiian scenery and Steve Zahn’s character flew out the window. There are “red snappers” – I mean, herrings – galore, but the switcheroo is not of that ilk. [...]

(500) Days of Summer -7.5

2009-08-15T14:54:38+00:00August 15th, 2009|Reviews|

Glad I saw this with my wife because, whereas I saw Summer as gorgeous perfection, too good for any guy in this movie, my wife saw Summer as vapid, emotionally withholding, not worthy of Tom, whom I saw as a feckless twerp.  Of course, we were both right, which is a testament to the fine [...]

Food, Inc. -7

2009-08-15T14:53:27+00:00August 15th, 2009|Reviews|

This was an indelicate subject made with surprising delicacy, thanks especially to a compellingly rational lead talking-head, Eric Schlosser. The glaring weakness was the lack of a two-sided argument: none of the big food companies that were vilified – Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, etc. – were willing to be interviewed, which left me to wonder if [...]

In the Loop – 7.9

2009-08-02T10:54:07+00:00August 2nd, 2009|Reviews|

Hysterically funny, at least the half I was able to catch. It was paced like a sitcom, and the performances were uniformly over-the-top, but the whole fit seamlessly together, like fingers in a glove. An especially deft and novel leitmotif was the role of 20-somethings, pulling and being hit by levers in the power corridors [...]

Public Enemies – 4

2009-08-01T10:33:38+00:00August 1st, 2009|Reviews|

What an expensively handsome emotional zero! A film eulogizing a murdering bank robber was probably misconceived to begin with, but then to direct both John Dillinger and G-man Melvin Purvis as one-dimensional ensured that our sympathies would not be engaged. The love interest, played by Marion Cotillard, set off no sparks, either. The only character [...]