Tag Archives: Movies

No Strings Attached [2011]

Lots of dressing/undressing in this film.

My first reaction upon seeing the movie poster for the first time on the subway platform was an audible “What the fuck?!” The cover looks like a parody of a bad romance comedy, with a bare legged Natalie Portman smiling plasticly as she stands next to a bed on which sits a chipper-looking Ashton Kutcher, nearly as tall as his standing co-star while sitting, both of them cheerfully getting dressed. Well, you can’t judge a film by its cover (the darkly stellar Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead springs to mind), and in the case of No Strings Attached, this lighthearted rom-com, with its strong cast and interesting characters, is good for a few laughs, while avoiding the common pitfalls of this genre–well, some, at least. Continue reading


Limitless [2011]

Jump already.

Imagine if a drug could increase your brain speed and awareness, opening up your frontal lobe and the rest of your gray matter, allowing you to utilize all of your brain. Imagine if you could not only absorb information at incredible rates of speed, but could utilize said info to effortlessly out-think those around you, trumping competitors in terms of creativity, analysis and outpout? No, I’m not talking about crank or blow. I’m talking about a fictional experimental compound, NZT-28, the source of Limitless’ protagonist’s seemingly boundless powers. Continue reading

Staten Island, New York [2009]

View of Manhattan from Staten Island

First time director James DeMonaco’s quirky yet satisfying crime film is a sleeper hit. I hadn’t heard a thing about this one, and luckily I waited ’till after watching it to look at Rotten Tomatoes, where it enjoys an abysmal average of 22% from only nine reviews. It goes to show you can’t trust the critics (except me, of course). You gotta watch what you like, and I really liked Staten Island, New York. My friend and co-author Jesse and I have discovered a complicated but brilliant method of picking apart the copious films we view. It goes something like this: Please, I want to enjoy your movie, so don’t fuck it up. Continue reading

Review: Taboo (Gohatto) [1999]

Gohatto stars Beat Takeshi, Asano Tadanobu and a fifteen-year-old Matsuda Ryuhei as the beautiful son of a well-to-do merchant who joins the Shinsen Gumi militia in Kyoto for the “right to kill,” and ends up doing so both by his sword and his good looks. Gohatto explores themes of jealousy, madness and destruction within the context of bushido homoeroticism; not only does this violent love story play out within the bounds of same-sex relationships, but within a single militia. Continue reading

The Grizzly Man Diaries [2008]

Title screen

The Grizzly Man Diaries is a documentary series that originally aired in 2008 on Animal Planet in 2008. Eight episodes document Timothy Treadwell’s excursions to “Bear Country” in Alaska’s Katmai National Park through live footage and still photographs by Timothy and narrative excerpts from his journals. Timothy lived among the bears, foxes, moose and other wild creatures of the park, often camping for weeks or months on end in a grizzly-packed area known as “The Maze.” Timothy developed what he felt were deep emotional relationships with the bears and foxes especially, and he enjoyed greater proximity for extended periods of time with these animals than possibly any other naturalist to date. He and girlfriend Amie Huguenard were eventually killed by a grizzly during Timothy’s thirteenth consecutive year at Katmai, on the last day of that excursion. The Grizzly Man Diaries should not be confused with Warner Herzog’s Grizzly Man [2005]. Unlike that feature film documentary, Diaries‘ directing credit goes to Timothy himself, and he’s the only human you see on screen during the four or five hours it takes to watch this strange, poignant nature doc.  Continue reading

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