Archive for May, 2009

I’m often hesitant to heap praise upon performances in these biopics because I don’t think that mimicry always equals a great performance. I would rather see an actor who can accurately convey the spirit of the person even if she cannot master every mannerism. However, Marion Cotillard’s performance in La Vie en Rose as beloved […]


The Jane Austen Book Club is about as bland of a “chick flick” as one can find. With perhaps one exception, writer-director Robin Swicord forsakes character development and relies on comfortable stock characters related by visual cues. Sylvia’s husband recently left her for another woman and she is still recovering from the divorce, which we […]


“Safe” continues the boring precedent that “Shindig” established, but I have sort of a soft spot for this episode because it’s about Simon and River. Theirs is probably my favorite relationship on the show because I feel like I so rarely see a platonic yet loving relationship between a man and woman. I also finally […]


The folk delight Lavender Diamond originated from Bird Songs of the Bauharoque, an operetta inspired by the work of American painter Paul Laffoley. Vocalist Becky Stark wrote and created the piece with a friend, and she starred as a character named Lavender Diamond, a charming part-bird/part-human who wants peace on earth. An album of Stark’s […]


After watching An American Crime the other day, I felt compelled to pull out Heavenly Creatures to remind myself how a true crime movie should be done. In depicting the Parker-Hulme murder that happened in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1954, director Peter Jackson seamlessly blends fantasy and suspense into what amounts to a coming-of-age story. […]


I’m not sure if I dislike “Shindig” more than “The Train Job,” but this episode certainly represents a nadir of the series’ short run. Where “The Train Job” is schmaltzy, “Shindig” is boring, and both are predictable. This episode attempts to illustrate that Mal doesn’t really belong in “his world” of thieves and Inara doesn’t […]


Despite having two talented actors like Catherine Keener and Ellen Page as his leads, co-writer and director Tommy O’Haver has created a film that would feel at home on the Lifetime Movie Network. From the title to (the usually solid) Keener’s underwhelming performance, An American Crime is as bland as these “portraits of a murderer” […]


I admit that I find it difficult to separate Seth Green from Oz, Willow’s sweet, laconic, guitar-playing, werewolf boyfriend on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But if I can still get excited about Seth’s presence in a project after growing up with Austin Powers, Idle Hands, and Without a Paddle, there must be something about Seth […]


Director Bruce McDonald seems to think that his approach to this material is avant garde or some shit, but The Tracey Fragments looks like a bad film school project. Maureen Medved’s script, based on her book of the same name, details the experiences of 15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz, “just a normal girl who hates herself,” and […]


Wendy and Lucy is a story about a girl and her dog. But it’s not one of those movies about a girl and her dog. It’s not a cutesy, feel-good affair about the bonds of friendship between human and animal. While Lucy may be Wendy’s only friend, she functions more as a symbol for the […]