The Most Beautiful Fraud: No No, A Dockumentary

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>No No, A Dockumentary</i>

24

Jul

2015

One of the advantages of making a sports documentary, at least in theory, is that you avoid the pitfall of so many other types of non-fiction film: the lack of footage. If you’re making a movie about a band or a performer, there may be relatively little filmed evidence of them working at their craft; if you’re making a ...
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Something Terrible or Divine

Something Terrible or Divine

16

Jul

2015

Great novels -- and Philip K. Dick's unsettling 1962 alternate history The Man in the High Castle is certainly a great novel -- tend to have in common the fact that much of their greatness is in their ability to communicate the internal.  From their omnipotent viewpoint, they can use language to its utmost capacity, delive ...
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Burrito Economics

Burrito Economics

15

Jul

2015

The minimum wage went up in San Francisco and, blaming the cost of doing business, the overrated burrito hucksters at Chipotle hiked up their prices. Predictably, conservatives popped their collective gaskets, and everyone on the right started screaming "ENJOY THE BITTER FRUITS OF YOUR COMMUNIST WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION, LIBTA ...
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Four Colors to Infinity: Taco Drone Edition

Four Colors to Infinity:  Taco Drone Edition

14

Jul

2015

In a recent review of Ernest Cline's new novel, Armada -- the poorly received follow-up to his hugely successful '80s geek-culture wallow Ready Player One -- io9's Germain Lussier makes the curious claim that it is "an ultra-nerdy book, but at times, it feels like it doesn't trust the reader."  Replace that but with be ...
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The Most Beautiful Fraud: Stranger Than Paradise

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Stranger Than Paradise</i>

9

Jul

2015

One never expects an atomic bomb to go off in such a quiet way.It's also never supposed to be in the form of a long, lovely, exquisitely detailed shaggy dog joke.  But Jim Jarmusch's groundbreaking, entirely wonderful Stranger Than Paradise -- which, astonishingly, is 31 years old this month -- is exactly that:  its form ...
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Avengers 3: Age of Scantron

Avengers 3:  Age of Scantron

9

Jul

2015

TONY STARK, "IRON MAN":  Look, I like all these people.  I think relationships are important and there's nothing wrong with being chummy with the people you work with.  But as long as I'm providing the lion's share of the funding, this is a business, and it's going to be run like a business.  I didn't g ...
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This Land Belongs to You and Me

This Land Belongs to You and Me

4

Jul

2015

Today is the Fourth of July, the day the United States celebrates its independence and the day we all celebrate a nation founded as an ideal, a project, an attempt at changing the rules by which nations were governed.  On the Fourth of July, I have always followed the advice of the late, great Paul Fussell, who said it was ...
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Are You Receiving Me?

Are You Receiving Me?

3

Jul

2015

So, while I was researching yesterday's post about NewsRadio and its tragic lack of availability on streaming media, I happened to discover that the entire series is available on YouTube, although the legality of the uploads is somewhat murky.  But better than that, I discovered that if an uploader does not supply close-c ...
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President Dum-Dum

President Dum-Dum

1

Jul

2015

To commemorate his unceremonious dumping by a wide range of belatedly embarrassed corporate entities, I have been thinking a lot about the man who will not be our next president, Donald "Mayonnaise" Trump.  Young people today may only know him as the talentless, egomaniacal clown behind The Apprentice who has helped make t ...
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Radio, Radio

Radio, Radio

30

Jun

2015

Yesterday, we discussed the way streaming media -- which has long held out the digital era's promise of easy access to all filmed entertainment, anytime, anywhere -- has in fact led to a balkanization of programming and resulted in a situation where many movies and TV shows are less available now than they were in the wanin ...
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Swimming Against the Stream

Swimming Against the Stream

29

Jun

2015

 It was recently announced by the minds that run 21st Century FOX that, going forward from season 15, The Simpsons would no longer be released in digital video disc format.  Taken as a specific instance, this is no great loss; the critical consensus is that The Simpsons lost its bite a long time ago and anything fro ...
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Potatoes for Peace

Potatoes for Peace

24

Jun

2015

It doesn't take a genius to know that this country is in trouble.  Which is fortunate, because I am not a genius.Mass murders, police brutality, economic turmoil, terrorism at home and abroad, a constantly shifting social landscape, even the degradation of the very air, land, and water we need to survive:  it's obvious th ...
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Where is My Mind?

Where is My Mind?

22

Jun

2015

Last week, Matt Singer wrote a wonderful article at ScreenCrush with the title "Stop Telling Me To Turn My Brain Off During Movies".  It was a refreshingly welcome, and long-overdue, answer to the too-frequent claim that, by paying any attention whatsover to a movie's idiotic qualities, we are somehow betraying its nature ...
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The Cost of Doing Nothing

The Cost of Doing Nothing

19

Jun

2015

There is a clip from yesterday's Daily Show circulating around in which Jon Stewart, devoid of his usual joking manner, laments the Charleston church massacre while dreading that once again, faced with a mass murder, America isn't going to do anything.And that's probably right. But the problem isn't so much that we refuse ...
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Jail

Jail

17

Jun

2015

And so it was jail again: he could tell, before he had sight, from the smell. Shit and piss and standing water and stale-peach body funk. He clenched his eyelids against torch-light and let his mind wander along his body: his jaw was fat and sore, his lower back had been peppered by clubs (and worse, he desperately needed t ...
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