The Departed (review)

This is the smartest kind of spectacular that an international remake can be: it picks up the clever threads of story from its source material and weaves them into another world in such a way that it’s hard to see how they didn’t spring from that world in the first place.

Lord of War movie review: sympathy for the devil?

Funny? Sure, *Lord of War* is funny. Funny like how you’re not sure whether that headline is from Reuters or The Onion. Funny like how Jon Stewart has to insist that what he’s about to tell you really happened and is not the invention of his team of political wagsters. Satirical? Sure, *Lord of War* is satirical. Satirical like the front page of *The New York Times* is satirical. Satirical like how, at the end of Andrew Niccol’s black comedy about a relatively small-time freelance arms dealer, he tells us that the biggest arms dealers in the world are the nations that are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The Crew and The Whole Nine Yards (review)

Mob stories rarely work as comedy. For every Get Shorty or Analyze This we seem to get a dozen Mickey Blue Eyeses and Jane Austen’s Mafia!s. For the comedies to gell, it seems, the mafia milieu needs to bump up against another idiosyncratic subculture: Mob Meets Hollywood, Mob Meets Therapy. The Crew tries it on with Mob Meets Old Fart… if there could be said to be an ‘Old Fart’ subculture.