Scary but true: I really liked Edge of Darkness

If I were feeling particularly honest, I’d have to confess that I didn’t think Edge of Darkness would be any good. Director Martin Campbell did direct two of the best Bond movies in recent memory (and maybe the best one ever with Casino Royale), but the presence of Mel Gibson was a major turn-off — … Continue reading

The Birth of Burning Man

FILM: Dust and Illusions: As far as pure counterculture is concerned, few events balance popularity with cultural cachet like the Burning Man festival. Every year, thousands of artists, hedonists and general weirdos gather in the Black Rock desert for a week of almost-anything-goes celebration and creativity. Examining that sort of event objectively is no easy … Continue reading

Legion: It probably could have been better.

Here’s where self-restraint kicks in. Because it’d be easy to tear Legion apart for its near-complete lack of logic, its long stretches of non-action, its dull and poorly acted monologues and its half-assed religiousity. And to be completely honest, it’d be fun, too — trashing a movie gives a weird, almost perverse joy. But this … Continue reading

Relative quickies: Extreme Measures, Book of Eli, Pajama Men (theatre)

FILM: Extraordinary Measures (review originally from Extraordinary Measures is a saccharine, heartstring-tugging Hallmark card of a movie, an inspirational tale jury-rigged to provide as much cockle-warming as can be uncomfortably wedged into 105 minutes. If watching wheelchair-bound children delivering life lessons to cantankerous scientists while the soundtrack plays Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” is … Continue reading

A mildly inebriated White Cabin review (High Performance Rodeo)

Thank goodness I’m not reviewing this officially. I’ve been considering starting theatre reviews, given that Fast Forward only has one theatre reviewer, which is hardly enough, but starting with a tricky piece of Russian surrealism would be daunting, to say the least. In the most basic terms, White Cabin is a highly surreal piece of … Continue reading

Serious face is serious

I was idly staring at a wall of movie posters at Eau Claire the other day when it struck me that the film industry right now has a pronounced case of serious face going on. This is really nothing new — with a few badass exceptions like the Terminator: Salvation poster, studios tend to play … Continue reading

Dawn Landes – Sweetheart Rodeo (Cooking Vinyl)

Dawn Landes has perfected the art of the small song. Sweetheart Rodeo, her second release on Cooking Vinyl, is one of those albums that steadfastly refuses to push boundaries, but it’s so solidly constructed that it still feels progressive. Like an American answer to Julie Doiron, Landes anchors her songs with her crisp voice, which … Continue reading

More in brief

I don’t think I have it in me at the moment to do the long-delayed Godfather II post, so for now, just brief reviews of some mediocre movies. FILM: The Spy Next Door: There have been more than enough movies about spies, cops, hitmen, bounty hunters and ace criminals pulling one last job before they … Continue reading

Catch-up: Avatar, Sherlock

FILM: Avatar: Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about this one that hasn’t been said better by countless other sources. It’s visually amazing, the story is trite, the sense of white guilt is suffocating, blah blah blah. James Cameron tends to aim high on spectacle and low on story, and his attempt to create … Continue reading