Losers Through the Gift Shop

Banksy, or not, in Exit Through the Gift Shop

Reviews I wrote for the Herald this week:

The Back-Up Plan. “Lopez gets stuck in another subpar movie.”

The Losers. “A helicopter, a handful of bombs, and one really, really strong magnet.”

Exit Through the Gift Shop. “I don’t know what it is.”

Oceans. “Do NOT mess with a mantis shrimp.”

Ajami. “Battleground in their own back yard.”

Terribly Happy. “Surrounded by the kind of all-consuming marshland Anthony Perkins found so handy for hiding things in Psycho.”

The Square. “A downward spiral where men and women do the wrong things for the wrong reasons.” Plus an interview with director Nash Edgerton.

Also, I talked about the culture of the Confederate Pride movement with Steve Scher on KUOW’s “Weekday,” archived here. The conversation begins 14 minutes into the program.

Movie Diary 4/21/2010

Night Editor (Henry Levin, 1946). Yeeeooow, a revelation: this is a tough, lurid B-noir with a good eye and a pulpy plot that carries a distinctly Cornell Woolrich feel (although the overall vibe is clearly influenced by Double Indemnity). William Gargan slumps miserably throughout – and he’s the hero – while Janis Carter (Framed) provides juicy stuff as an untrustworthy dame.

One Girl’s Confession (Hugo Haas, 1953). Cleo Moore is the strangely placid quasi-vixen who does jail time for a righteous theft and gets into trouble again when freed; clumsy and cornball, but it hits a lot of nice conventions.

The Back-Up Plan (Alan Poul, 2010). Jennifer Lopez in one of those vehicles that could’ve been shuffled around the usual crowd of chick-flixens; she deserves better, but apparently there’s not going to be another Out of Sight. (full review 4/23)

Soundtrack for a Revolution (Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman, 2009). No matter how many times you’ve seen the footage of the Civil Rights marches and sit-ins, it never loses its power. The only real problem this movie has is trying to weave its new wrinkle into the mix: the importance of music to the movement. That’s a great idea that makes it easy to forgive the awkward stitching. (full review 4/30)