Reviews

Reviews of books, music, film and other bits of culture

Review: "Brothers"

At no family dinner on the planet would a tearful tyke yell at her father: “You’re just mad because Mom would rather sleep with Uncle Tommy than you!” It’s a moment that shouldn’t have made it to the final cut of “Brothers,” Jim Sheridan’s remake of a 2004 Danish film about the impact of battle-triggered […]

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DVD Review: "Turandot"

Chinese film director Chen Kaige, best known for his 1993 “Farewell My Concubine,” helmed his first opera production with this lavish interpretation of the Puccini warhorse, which opened the 2008 Festival del Mediterrani in Valencia, Spain. Tiziano Mancini’s video record of the production brilliantly captures the best of Kaige’s vision for “Turandot” – a wonderfully […]

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Review: "Up in the Air"

The economy is in the toilet and people are being laid off. Who ya gonna call?Ryan Bingham, dashing corporate downsizer.The month-long trifecta of films featuring the ever pleasing George Clooney began with The Men Who Stare at Goats, (which wanted us to consider the silly, amusing, and inspiringly stupid things our military does in pursuit […]

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Review: "Me & Orson Welles"

By: Jessica Baxter “Sometimes you remember a week for the rest of your life,” says blue-eyed puppy dog Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) to his jaded, older love interest. That’s certainly true if your week involves scoring a bit part alongside Orson Welles. The trouble lies in how to keep Orson from outshining everything and everyone […]

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Review: "Invictus"

“Invictus,” the new bad movie from Clint Eastwood, perpetuates the soggy myth that decades of virulent racial distrust can be overcome if everyone roots for the same sports team. In this case, the team is the 1995 South African rugby team that represented the post-apartheid nation during the early years of Nelson Mandela presidency.The film […]

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Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler, Reviewed by Tim Horvath

Right off the bat, Scorch Atlas asserts itself as, if not the coolest-looking book you’ve ever fanned between your fingers, on the short-list, interior and exterior alike. Trot it out to the right café or park bench, and people will crane to try to discern what you’re reading. Visually, its obvious allusion (though a Google […]

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DVD Review: "Ginevra’s Story"

Christopher Swann’s 1999 documentary, which is now being re-released on DVD, is a compelling celebration of one of the most enigmatic masterpieces of 15th century Italian art: Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of the 16-year-old Ginevra de’ Benci.The portrait is significant at many levels: it was da Vinci’s first commissioned portrait (he was 22 when he […]

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DVD Review: “Herbert Von Karajan: Maestro for the Screen”

Georg Wübbolt’s documentary, originally produced for German television, focuses on the conductor Herbert Von Karajan’s near-obsession with capturing his work with the Berlin Philharmonic on video.Karajan initially opposed the small screen medium, claiming the visual and audio quality of the 1950s-era television productions could not properly recreate the impact of a concert hall setting. But […]

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DVD Review: "PetroApocalypse Now?"

British filmmaker Andrew Evans asks many questions in “PetroApocalypse Now?” regarding the state of the world’s oil supplies. The answers he receives, however, are contradictory.On one side, there are those who argue the world is facing a peak oil situation where demand will soon outstrip supply – and it is possible it could be happening […]

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The Humbling by Philip Roth

It would be an understatement to say that Roth has never excelled at writing women characters.

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DVD Review: The Who, The Mods and the Quadrophenia Connection (MVD)

Finally, an unauthorized peek at a crucial period of a classic band that doesn’t suck! You’ve surely seen the recent Dylan and Beatles videos that feature still photos, lame background music in keys that suggest the artists’ music but can’t use it because of copyright. The Who, The Mods and the Quadrophenia Connection is actually […]

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Chronic City: Review of Jonathan Lethem’s Eighth Novel

First, I am not the strong reader I might like to be. Second, I found Chronic City tedious, boring, and uninspiring. Third, the second might find cause in the first.

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Please Step Back by Ben Greenman

Glittery and disco-flashy, but never indulgent, Greenman’s novel is so fluid that one probably won’t pick up on the key changes…

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A Gate At The Stairs by Lorrie Moore, Reviewed

Lorrie Moore A Gate at the Stairs cover

No one who is a fan of Lorrie Moore, or of coming-of-age novels rich in wit and specificity, should resist reading A Gate At The Stairs.

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Ray of the Star by Laird Hunt

Pain is one of the particles forming the novel’s packed core. The story focuses (largely) on graying-haired Harry, a man who once suffered a loss that left his life in shambles.

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