The Runaways (review)

There hasn’t been a movie like The Runaways, one about women rockers that’s just as raw and earthy and tough and pitiless as the ones about the men are.

Walk the Line (review)

I cannot stop listening to the *Walk the Line* soundtrack. No, seriously. I’ll play ‘Ring of Fire,’ like, half a dozen times over and over before I start to worry about my sanity and then let the CD continue… and then a few tracks later it’ll be ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ half a dozen times. I’m not well. I left the screening room on Monday afternoon with Johnny Cash’s voice– no, with Joaquin Phoenix’s where’d-he-get-*that*-from baritone echoing in my head, and I ran to Tower Records to snatch up the CD only to be thwarted: it would not be released until the next day. Torture, I tell you, to wait 24 hours for the thing, and it’s gonna be worn out before Christmas.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (review)

So what the Coens did with O Brother, Where Art Thou? is this: They transported Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey to this filmic otherworld of theirs, turning what is perhaps the original on-the-road story into a Depression-era fantasia that wants more for you to recognize the clever fun they’re having with filmmaking conventions of the 1930s than whether you know the least thing about ancient literature.

Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman (review)

Put Christopher Guest right on top of the list of They Who Can Do No Wrong. As if the recent DVD release and reappearance in theaters of This Is Spinal Tap weren’t enough for fans of his diverse talent and deadpan humor, he now bestows upon us Best in Show, another of the hilarious and poignant mockumentaries that, in the vein of his 1996 film Waiting for Guffman, poke gentle fun not only at their fictional subjects but at their real-life counterparts and movie audiences as well.

White Christmas (review)

White Christmas is billed as a remake of Holiday Inn, but the only thing these two films have in common is Bing Crosby singing the most beautiful secular Christmas carol, Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ (which was originally written for Holiday Inn). White Christmas isn’t as delightful as its supposed predecessor, but if for no other reason, it’s worth seeing for a gorgeously simple arrangement of the title tune, which Crosby croons accompanied only by a windup music box.

Holiday Inn (review)

God, I love those snarky 40s comedies in which there’s just a bit of meanness under the humor. Holiday Inn is, of course, filled with the kind of pretty Christmas songs and picture-postcard scenes of snow and horse-drawn sleighs that make for beloved holiday movies. But there’s also some darkness lurking here.

Amadeus (review)

Is Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham, in a virtuoso performance he has yet to match) insane? Amadeus opens with an old, bitter Salieri living out his last days in an asylum, where he’s been relegated following a suicide attempt. The film’s story, and the story of his life, unfolds as he confesses to a priest how, and why, he killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.