Daldry, Eastwood, Moore, Sirk, Soderbergh

Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore, 2012). Much as I can understand how this film turned into a stealth hit–it has the musical liveliness of early Glee combined with the knowing spunk of Bring It On–it’s a fairly clumsy endeavor, with strained jokes and haphazard structure that would almost count as daring anti-narrative if it were done intentionally. It’s also one of those films that has absolutely no idea how college works, not just taking liberties for the sake of the storytelling but completely ignoring any attempt to depict its setting in a way that’s at all plausible. It does have Anna … Continue reading Daldry, Eastwood, Moore, Sirk, Soderbergh

Spectrum Check

I had a lot of stuff go up at Spectrum Culture this week, so let’s just tick them off: –It’s fairly rare that I write for the book section, but it occurred to me late last fall that I just might be able to get myself a review copy of the massive, intimidating and universally adored new outing from Chris Ware, Building Stories. Evidently, I made my request right before our editor-in-chief, inspiring at least a bit of envy. That’s the proper reaction on his part, by the way. This thing is spectacular. In my many reviews for Spectrum, this … Continue reading Spectrum Check

Top Ten Movies of 2012 — Number Eight

I hedged a bit when I first wrote about Magic Mike, noting that the final act had problems. I stand by that, but as time has passed, I find I care less and less about where the movie sags and more about its thrilling thrust. Inspired in part by star Channing Tatum’s own experience as a male stripper, the film makes this hedonistic world appear both unbearably sleazy and wickedly intoxicating, often in the same gasped breath. In that way, it races along the same track as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, but Anderson’s vivid sprawl is replaced by director … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2012 — Number Eight