Archives: Movies

This is the archive page for the category [Movies]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries found here on the subject. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Check out CCLaP's newest book, Karl Wolff's "On Being Human!" | October 8, 2013
Surprise! CCLaP is releasing a new book today! It's staff critic Karl Wolff's "On Being Human," reviews of classic books and movies all dealing with the subject of humanity, most of which ran at our blog in 2012 but with three exclusive new essays found just in this book version. Click through for all the details, and to download a free electronic copy right this moment! | Read entire entry

On Being Human: The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976, Nicholas Roeg) | January 11, 2013
Today at CCLaP: In his last essay for On Being Human, Karl Wolff looks at 'The Man Who Fell to Earth,' Nicholas Roeg's 1976 sci-fi art-house masterpiece. | Read entire entry

Book vs. Film: "Bone" by Jeff Smith, "The Cartoonist" | November 7, 2012
Today at CCLaP, a dual review of both a book and a movie: The epic comic "Bone" by Jeff Smith, which believe it or not successfully combines "Pogo" and "Lord of the Rings;" and the 2009 documentary "The Cartoonist," not just about Smith but looking at the entire indie-comics explosion of the 1990s. Both are highly recommended! | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Lucasfilm, the artistic endgame, and the death of the Gen-X man-child. | November 1, 2012
Today at CCLaP, a personal essay: A few thoughts on the recent sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, why all young artists should admire George Lucas for pulling it off, and why this is the perfect time for my fellow Generation X man-children to finally stop worshipping crap. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! | September 18, 2012
Today's DVD review at CCLaP: Adult Swim's "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!," possibly the most bizarre television show in the entire history of the medium. Plus creepy. Did I mention how intensely creepy this supposed sketch-comedy show is? | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Thin Man | September 13, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: The 1934 crime classic "The Thin Man," based closely on the 1934 classic novel of the same name which was also reviewed here just the other day. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Cannery Row | September 5, 2012
Today's movie review: 1982's "Cannery Row," based on the John Steinbeck novel of the same name, a holdover from the beautifully theatrical artificiality of '70s cinema and featuring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger in their sexy primes. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: King of New York | August 29, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: 1990's gritty yet over-the-top "King of New York," by notorious nutjob filmmaker Abel Ferrara, just as crazy as his other movies and featuring a revelatory performance by Christopher Walken. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Touch of Evil | August 27, 2012
Today's movie review: Orson Welles' 1958 "Touch of Evil," considered the last good movie of Welles' career and the last true film noir of the "classic" period, infamously mis-edited for decades until a 1998 restoration using the filmmaker's private notes. Plus Charlton Heston as a Mexican! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: God Bless America | August 22, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: Bobcat Goldthwait's latest ultra-black subversive comedy, "God Bless America," about a terminal cancer patient who decides to take out as many empty reality TV stars as he can before he dies, and the sociopathic teenage girl who becomes his partner in crime. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Blank City | August 20, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: 2010's hugely entertaining and profoundly informative documentary "Blank City," all about the ultra-underground film movement of late-'70s and early-'80s lower Manhattan, which went hand-in-hand with the punk music and performance art going on in the same neighborhoods in the same years. My favorite documentary of the last year! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: John Carter | August 9, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: The fabled $250 million disaster "John Carter," which turns out to not be so terrible and not even quite the financial disaster you've heard, although still troubling that someone managed to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a cartoon. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Wet Hot American Summer | August 2, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: The '70s summer-camp-movie homage "Wet Hot American Summer," written and directed and starring several members of the old MTV show "The State," controversial among comedy fans for being kind of brilliant and kind of idiotic. Plus Amy Poehler as a slutty cheerleader! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Chronicle | July 30, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: The incredible, nearly perfect low-budget sci-fi thriller "Chronicle," a deconstructionist take on superhero origin stories which combines an almost flawless script with ultra-clever digital effects. What an age we live in, when smart twentysomething artists with a little bit of money can churn out slick stunners like these! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Shame | July 10, 2012
Today's movie: 2011's award-winning "Shame," supposedly a gritty and realistic look at sexual addiction but in reality just another silly Hollywood excuse to film supermodels having spirited intercourse in front of the glass walls of a million-dollar skyscraper condo. "Free coke, danceclub blowjobs from good-looking strangers, and no repercussions -- oh, how terrible it is to be a sexual addict!" | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Legend | June 19, 2012
Today's movie: The excellent if not overly lionizing indie documentary "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Legend," in which a bevy of current Hollywood stars give tribute to this notorious countercultural-era schlockmeister producer, who almost accidentally started the careers of a huge swath of '70s and '80s maverick auteurs. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Martha Marcy May Marlene | June 13, 2012
Today's movie: The pitch-black psychological thriller and no-budget indie jewel "Martha Marcy May Marlene," about a young headstrong survivor of a Manson-Family-type cult and the PTSD after-effects she suffers while recuperating at her estranged sister's upper-class lakeside home in upstate New York. One of the best films I've seen in the last year! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Breaking Bad, Season 1 | May 15, 2012
Today's DVD: Season 1 of the fascinating-like-a-trainwreck "Breaking Bad," commonly thought of as a blackly comic thriller but in actuality one of the most complex and brilliant neo-noirs ever made. Believe the hype! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) | May 2, 2012
Today's movie: The 2011 Oscarbait adaptation of the spy thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," my very first introduction to the work of John le Carre in any form. Spoiler -- it's pretty great! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: A Dangerous Method | April 19, 2012
Today's movie: David Cronenberg's latest, "A Dangerous Method," in which like other recent work this inventor of "body-horror" both expands and refines his overall artistic vision, this time by examining the early history of psychiatry through the tumultuous relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Young Adult | April 17, 2012
Today's movie: Diablo Cody's brilliant look at a semi-failed artist having a very public mental breakdown as she approaches middle-age, the unexpectedly powerful and emotionally moving "Young Adult." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Trailer Park Boys | April 13, 2012
Today's DVD: The filthy, subversive, and utterly hilarious Canadian television show "Trailer Park Boys," which for seven seasons offered up an unending series of lovable losers and wacky criminal adventures, becoming a massive international hit along the way which unfortunately most Americans aren't even aware of. Fans of Adult Swim, pick this up as soon as you possibly can! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Real Steel | April 10, 2012
Today's movie: 2011's "Real Steel," a surprisingly good teen-boy action film using leftover "Transformers" CGI, sneakily subversive in the way it quietly shows a day-after-tomorrow America that is well on its way to total collapse, staving off the inevitable by a media-driven national obsession with boxing robots. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Knuckle | April 3, 2012
Today's movie: The 2011 documentary "Knuckle," ostensibly about the illegal bare-knuckle "clan honor" fistfights that happen among the "traveller" families of rural Ireland, but in reality a probing look at the dark side of the human condition, the combination of ignorance and blind ideology that fuels everything from Islamic terrorists to abortion-clinic-bombing Tea Partiers. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Today's Special | March 29, 2012
Today's movie: The surprisingly mainstream-friendly "Today's Special," a food-oriented immigrant family comedy from the usually subversive "Daily Show" writer Aasif Mandvi (based on his Obie-winning play from a few years ago), funny and touching but absolutely the kind of movie your suburban parents will enjoy, just to give you fair warning. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Hugo | March 19, 2012
Today's movie: "Hugo," Martin Scorsese's cloyingly treacly, nearly unwatchable ode to Joy and Whimsy and Ridiculously Over The Top Acting and did I mention Joy and Whimsy? Now bask in the wonderfully magic magical wonder of it all! BASK IN IT, MOUTHBREATHER! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: You and I | March 5, 2012
Today's movie: 2008's "You and I" (being released in America just this month), promoted as a Russian version of an Olson Twins tween adventure and featuring bubblegum pop group t.A.T.u., but in reality a surprisingly dark and sophisticated look at the dysfunctional relationship post-Soviet youth have with disposable American trash culture. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Anonymous | February 29, 2012
Today's movie: The surprisingly great "Shakespeare was a fraud!" genre thriller "Anonymous," deliberately silly and over the top at every single moment it can get away with it, which bombed not because of its quality but because of an inept marketing campaign that tried to present the film and its conspiracy theories as serious. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Drive | February 27, 2012
Today's movie: "Drive," which at first seems like just another cheesy retro-'80s genre flick by obscure Danish indie darling Nicolas Winding Refn, but which like the best of Michael Mann gets under your skin with its moody stylistic touches and inspired casting choices. For maximum enjoyment, keep your expectations low! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Bombay Beach | February 21, 2012
Today's movie: The affecting, surreal indie documentary "Bombay Beach," a stylish "Diane Arbus meets mumblecore" look at an abandoned seaside resort town in the middle of nowhere in far southern California, and the several hundred very scary Juggalo-loving trash who still live in this largely lawless, literally apocalyptic community. | Read entire entry

On Being Human: An Introduction | February 17, 2012
Today, the launching of a new essay series at CCLaP called "On Being Human," by new staff writer Karl Wolff, which over 2012 will examine a series of classic novels and movies to look at the question of what it really means to be human. Click through for a longer introduction by Karl on what he aims for the series to do. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Tree of Life | February 14, 2012
Today's movie: Terrence Malick's challenging yet mesmerizing latest, Oscar frontrunner "The Tree of Life," telling no less than the story of the interconnectedness of the entire universe, from the Big Bang to the Earth's destruction hundreds of millions of years from now, as told through the causally connected reminiscences of an aging 2000s architect about his troubled childhood in 1950s Texas. Highly recommended! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Win Win | February 7, 2012
Today's movie: Last year's sleeper indie hit "Win Win," from Thomas McCarthy of the revered "The Station Agent," essentially a 21st-century "Say Anything" in which a cast of surprisingly likable characters all become better humans merely by being around each other, and external forces threaten to disrupt this happiness. Warning: a three-hanky tearjerker! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: 25th Hour | January 27, 2012
Today's movie: Spike Lee's supposed post-9/11 comeback movie which turned out to be a flop, 2002's philosophical drama masquerading as a crime tale "25th Hour," starring such stalwarts as Edward Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a script that is unfortunately schizophrenic in its pacing and effects. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Whitechapel, Season 1 | January 25, 2012
Today's DVD: Season 1 of the quickie British crime drama "Whitechapel," which in this season uses a modern Jack The Ripper copycat killer to examine through extensive location shooting this once notorious Victorian slum area of London, now the city's latest trendy creative-class neighborhood. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Warrior (2011) | January 23, 2012
Today's movie: The Oscar-bait "ultimate fighting" family drama "Warrior," almost identical in tone and style to the Oscar winners "The Fighter" and "The Wrestler," but that unfortunately shows its emotional manipulation MUCH more plainly. Plus featuring the most shameless two-hour ad for a corporate sponsor since Fred Savage's "The Wizard!" | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Here's what no one seems to get about 'Fringe.' | January 13, 2012
Over the last four months, I have quickly gone through the entire first four seasons of the post-'Lost' genre show 'Fringe' on DVD, where I've discovered that despite its horrible first year, it has quickly expanded to become one of the most fascinating and satisfying sci-fi projects in TV history. Today, an extra-long essay on why this is, in expectation of new episodes starting tonight. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Fright Night (2011) | January 12, 2012
Today's movie: The 2011 remake of the '80s horror comedy "Fright Night," which under the direction of indie darling Craig Gillespie ("Lars and the Real Girl") becomes not just another quickie Hollywood remake but an inventive, smartly done unique project on its own, featuring such inspired casting as Colin Farrell, David Tennant and Toni Collette. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Bellflower | January 10, 2012
Today's movie: The unforgettable "mumblecore meets Mad Max" 2011 indie "Bellflower," a much more complex and moving film than any simple recap of its plot can convey. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Batman: Year One | December 9, 2011
Today's movie: The ultra-faithful new adaptation of "Batman: Year One," the 1987 Frank Miller graphic novel that helped kickstart the entire "Dark Age" of comics history, in this case brought to you by the same team who does the highly stylized contemporary television series. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Super 8 | December 8, 2011
Today's movie: JJ Abrams' disappointing latest, "Super 8," meant as an homage to early-'80s Spielberg films but more like an overly sentimental shot-for-shot ripoff, and feeling less like a polished film and more like something that Abrams has been waiting thirty years to get off his chest. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Robot Chicken, Season 5 | December 2, 2011
Today's DVD: Season five of the brilliant "micro-sketch" comedy show "Robot Chicken," which by this point might very well be starting to take its place alongside Monty Python and others as one of the great cultural landmarks of televised comedy history. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Stunt Man | November 29, 2011
Today's movie: The brilliant meta-meta commentary on the filmmaking process and out-of-control '70s auteurs, the 1980 Peter O'Toole vehicle "The Stunt Man," finally out in an enhanced DVD edition just this year. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Winnie the Pooh (2011) | November 16, 2011
Today's movie: The insanely charming new-but-retro adaptation of "Winnie the Pooh," the first fully realized project of the newly re-artsyfied, Jon-Lasseter-led Walt Disney Animation Studios. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Red State | October 28, 2011
Today's movie: Kevin Smith's latest, the conservative-church-meets-horror flick "Red State." What, a Kevin Smith film that's commendable and often fascinating, but ultimately is frustratingly talky and disappointing? THAT CAN'T BE! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Submarine | October 24, 2011
Today's movie: The disappointingly by-the-numbers "Submarine," from the usually brilliantly surreal Richard Ayoade ("The IT Crowd"). To paraphrase The Simpsons: "Who knew that an indie British coming-of-age comedy would be so treacly quirky?" | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Thor | October 12, 2011
Today's movie: Kenneth Branagh's superhero actioner "Thor," not merely awful but literally a hope-raping manifestation of America's entire downfall in the 21st century. OCCUPY HOLLYWOOD! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Kaboom | October 5, 2011
Today's movie: Gregg Araki's utterly mesmerizing, utterly unclassifiable latest, "Kaboom," a fascinating cross-genre experiment -- part '80s teen comedy, part "Shortbus" ode to pansexuality, part Bret Easton Ellis tale about jaded undergraduates, part "Donnie Darko" genre flick about the end of the world. One of my favorite movies of the year! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Cell 211 | September 29, 2011
Today's movie: The multiple Goya-winning gritty Spanish prison drama "Cell 211," which despite devolving into sappy sentimentality by the end is mostly a gripping, fascinating thriller. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Perfect Host | September 27, 2011
Today's movie: The darkly comic "The Perfect Host," sporting a great premise (bank robber on the lam accidentally hides out in the home of a serial killer) but that fails in many of its details, including a muddled ending and an overly hammy performance from David Hyde Pierce. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Party Monster | September 21, 2011
Today's movie: The mesmerizing 2003 "Party Monster," now finally out again on DVD, in which Macaulay Culkin plays the real-life '90s club promoter turned murderer Michael Alig, and Seth Green his former best friend James St. James, a surreal fairytale that I loved but that is bound to rub a lot of people the wrong way. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Drive Angry | September 9, 2011
Today's movie: The gloriously absurd Nicolas Cage B-flick "Drive Angry," a deliberate midnight movie that blessedly can be enjoyed non-ironically, in which Cage literally breaks out of Hell using a late-'60s muscle car and a bevy of rockabilly demons are sent out to bring him back. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Stake Land | September 6, 2011
Today's movie: 2010's "Stake Land," one of those no-budget little genre flicks (zombie apocalypse in this case) that benefits greatly in this age of cheap but high-quality digital equipment, essentially made by a bunch of buddies but that can hold its own against much more expensive Hollywood B-pics. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Green Hornet | August 31, 2011
Today's movie: Michel Gondry's disastrous "art-school superhero flick" adaptation of "The Green Hornet," a pretentious trainwreck which clashes badly with the junior-high-level script by full-time man-child Seth Rogen (who is also the film's star and executive producer). | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Source Code | August 24, 2011
Today's movie: "Source Code," the latest by Duncan Jones of sci-fi cult hit "Moon" fame, a what-if crowdpleaser that plays like "'Inception' Lite," and with all the pluses and minuses that term implies. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Season of the Witch | August 1, 2011
Today's movie: "Season of the Witch," one of a whole string of wonderfully bizarre quickie B-flicks that Nicolas Cage has been doing since declaring bankruptcy a few years ago, so gloriously bad that it's bound to eventually become a midnight-movie staple. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Adjustment Bureau | July 29, 2011
Today's movie: The sorta silly Matt Damon sci-fi thriller "The Adjustment Bureau," about the most pure example you can get of a classic problem-filled but fanboy-loved quickie genre B-flick, and all the good and bad things that implies. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Barney's Version | July 26, 2011
Today's movie: The surprisingly dark "Barney's Version," a sleeper favorite in last year's awards season based on the well-loved 1997 novel by Mordecai Richler, which can essentially be described as "Forrest Gump" but with a slovenly Canadian Jewish unprincipled television producer in the lead. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Somewhere | July 21, 2011
Today's movie: Sofia Coppola's quietly brilliant and emotionally moving latest, "Somewhere," which is really about middle-aged divorced dads and what it means to have preteen children in their lives, even though this one in particular is a famous but aimless Hollywood star living at the Chateau Marmont while between homes. Highly recommended! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: 13 Assassins | July 13, 2011
Today's movie: "13 Assassins," the visually interesting but intellectually empty latest by gonzo horror pioneer Takashi Miike, which takes the usual tropes of torture porn and wraps them in the expensive respectability of Oscar-friendly historical costume drama. WHAT HATH QUENTIN TARANTINO WROUGHT ON OUR WORLD?! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Childrens Hospital | June 8, 2011
Today's DVD: "Childrens Hospital," the naughty and hilarious send-up of medical dramas that airs in ten-minute segments on Adult Swim, which is like television on crack when you watch them all in a row on DVD like I did. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Miller's Crossing | June 3, 2011
Today's movie: The 1990 gangster noir "Miller's Crossing," one of the few early Coen Brothers movies I missed when they were originally in the theaters, which is why I recently decided to finally rent it. Yep, good as always! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Tron: Legacy | May 25, 2011
Today's movie: Disney's "Tron: Legacy," which absolutely features one of the most cartoonishly bad scripts in the history of big-budget genre flicks, but SERIOUSLY OH MY FREAKING GOD DID YOU SEE THAT THING WITH THE LIGHT CYCLES AND THE ZOOOOM YAAAHHH! THAT WAS THE FREAKING BEST MAN | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Taqwacores | May 24, 2011
Today's movie: The clever, emotionally moving "Muslim punk-rock" film "The Taqwacores," based on the indie cult-hit novel of the same name, not just a funny and true-feeling coming-of-age tale but a sneakily metaphorical look at the varied global community of Islam, from pot-smoking hippie Indonesians to angry straightedge Persians and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Black Swan | May 19, 2011
Today's movie: Last year's Oscar-winning psychological thriller "Black Swan," which finally sees the always fascinating Darren Aronofsky pull all his obsessions together into a tight, mesmerizing mesh, delivering a film with shades of "Pi," "Requiem," "The Fountain" and "The Wrestler" but better than any of them. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Genova | May 3, 2011
Today's movie: Michael Winterbottom's 2008 character drama "Genova," which takes all his usual tricks (exotic locations, improvised dialogue, intimate cinematography) and applies it to a family-friendly yet still edgy story about a middle-aged man and his two tween/teen daughters coping with the unexpected death of their mother and wife. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Code 46 | April 26, 2011
Today's movie: Michael Winterbottom's social-realist movie disguised as a science-fiction thriller, 2003's "Code 46," just as excellent as everything else this inventive British director has done. Thanks to author Mark R. Brand for convincing me to move this to the top of my queue at Netflix! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: In Bruges | April 21, 2011
Today's movie: The Tarantinoesque gangster caper "In Bruges," the talky film debut of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh that picked up a BAFTA and Golden Globe the year it came out, plus got nominated for an Oscar, despite being a goofy and violent genre pic. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Fighter | April 20, 2011
Today's movie: "The Fighter," the gritty 2010 sports-bio mashup of edgy intense creatives David O. Russell (director), Darren Aronofsky (producer) and Christian Bale (moody star). Highly recommended even if, like me, you usually detest sports films. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Macumba Sexual | April 15, 2011
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series on sexually explicit mainstream movies: It's 1981's bizarre "Macumba Sexual," just one of the hundreds of forgettable exploitation films from the career of grindhouse master Jesus Franco. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The State | April 13, 2011
Today's DVD: "The State," MTV's hugely influential Gen-X sketch-comedy show from the early 1990s, whose dozen members have gone on to such projects as "Reno 911!," "Childrens Hospital," "Stella" and "Wet Hot American Summer." I WANNA DIP MY BALLS IN IT!!! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Talhotblond | April 6, 2011
Today's movie: The online-trainwreck documentary "Talhotblond," which is being promoted as a quirky little indie-doc ala "Catfish," but is instead the cinematic equivalent of one of those cheesy, exploitative network-television "To Catch A Predator" faux-journalism reports. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Pineapple Express | April 5, 2011
Today's movie: David Gordon Green's "Pineapple Express," a goofy stoner comedy from a guy who before then had been known exclusively for gritty social-realist dramas that no one saw. Warning: Silliness ahoy! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Warriors | March 29, 2011
Today's movie: Walter Hill's 1979 "The Warriors," a comic-book-style adaptation of an ancient Greek myth told through cartoonish street gangs amid crumbling '70s New York, a premise that sounds ridiculous but that still holds up surprisingly well as a mature, smart film even thirty years later. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Social Network | March 24, 2011
Today's movie: 2010's Facebook biopic and Oscar darling "The Social Network" by the usually excellent David Fincher, but this time with a script by the ever-more-tiresome Aaron Sorkin so laughably bad, I ended up turning off the DVD after just twenty minutes. Ugh! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Wire, Season 1 | March 23, 2011
Today's DVD: Season 1 of HBO's gritty 2000s crime drama "The Wire," a 'novel for television' as grand, sweeping and complicated as anything Tolstoy ever wrote, and that many have proclaimed as literally the greatest TV show in the medium's history. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Spaced | March 21, 2011
Today's DVD: The long-awaited American release of the classic '90s British television series and slacker comedy "Spaced," whose creative team (including Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright) would go on to helm such film hits as "Shaun of the Dead" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: The Wayward Cloud | March 15, 2011
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series on sexually explicit mainstream movies: It's 2005's dirty and surrealistic "The Wayward Cloud," one of the biggest hits in the history of the Taiwan film industry and that country's entry that year into the international Oscars. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Belle de Jour | March 14, 2011
Today's movie: The 1967 French New Wave classic "Belle de Jour," the film that first established Catherine Deneuve's longstanding reputation as a sexy European ingenue, all the more interesting when you realize it comes from '20s Spanish Surrealism master Luis Brunel. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Guild | March 10, 2011
Today's DVD: "The Guild," nerd queen Felicia Day's hilariously exact web series about the kinds of lovable losers who haunt the edges of massive online games like "World of Warcraft," running for four years now and seen by over 45 million people, and which was the inspiration for Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The African Queen | February 28, 2011
Today's movie: The classic 1951 Bogart/Hepburn actioner "The African Queen," newly restored and digitally released just last year, which unfortunately didn't turn out to be nearly as good as I thought it was going to be. Seriously, Bogart, no more hippo impersonations! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Tamara Drewe | February 23, 2011
Today's movie: "Tamara Drewe," the wonderful Stephen Frears adaptation of the Posy Simmonds graphic novel I've also reviewed and loved in the past, itself a modern adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd," a ribald dramedy about the infighting amongst a group of London bohemian bourgeoise now all living in converted sheep farms in the rural suburbs. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Summer Wars | February 21, 2011
Today's movie: "Summer Wars," the latest by anime wunderkind Mamoru Hosoda, a huge hit of the film-festival circuit in the last year because of its inventive hybrid nature, which engagingly mixes together manga tropes, a family dramedy, Second Life, and the cutting-edge visuals of hipster fine-artists like Banksy and Takashi Murakami. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Catfish | February 17, 2011
Today's movie: The truly remarkable 2010 documentary "Catfish," about a young photographer in New York who becomes online friends with a child prodigy in Michigan, just to eventually discover that he's the victim of a ridiculously elaborate "JT Leroy" style scam; but it's when he and his filmmaking brother decide to surprise the culprit at her home that things get truly fascinating and heartbreaking. Highly recommended! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Treasure Island (1950) | February 9, 2011
Today's movie: The 1950 Disney version of the classic "Treasure Island," the studio's first-ever live-action film which kicked off an entire decade of highly popular historical thrillers, part of my plan to watch every major adaptation of the story ever made. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Twelve | February 3, 2011
Today's movie: Joel Schumacher's latest, "Twelve," which like always with him is actually pretty great, as long as you're willing to acknowledge it as the deliberately over-the-top, Grand-Guignol-style morality play it is, in this case an Altmanesque look at a group of spoiled, rich, Manhattan teenage drug addicts, based on a notorious novel written by a real-life teenager actually in that community. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Town | February 1, 2011
Today's movie: Ben Affleck's second stint as a director, the 2010 Boston crime drama "The Town," which elevates itself above its usual B-flick genre tropes through a multilayered script, impeccable acting, and surprisingly great action scenes. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Cyrus | January 27, 2011
Today's movie: The Duplass Brothers' big-budget mumblecore film "Cyrus," billed as a black comedy but in actuality an emotionally violent, Michael-Haneke-style psychological torture drama, in which for two hours we watch already deeply disturbed people treat each other as horribly as they possibly can. Eeewww. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Howl | January 25, 2011
Today's movie: The inventive 2010 experimental documentary "Howl," which uses Hollywood actors spouting all real dialogue to tell the story of Allen Ginsberg's infamous 1955 Beat poetry classic, and the subsequent obscenity trial it inspired. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Repo Men | January 12, 2011
Today's movie: The unremarkable B-grade sci-fi thriller "Repo Men," with a premise literally ripped off from a Monty Python sketch, that transplant recipients in the future can have their organs repossessed by bloody killers if missing a surgery mortgage payment. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Anvil! The Story of Anvil | January 6, 2011
Today's movie: 2008's "Anvil! The Story of Anvil," billed as a "true-life 'Spinal Tap'" but not nearly as mean-spirited as that, ultimately a loving ode to a group of earnest but kind of dim-witted '80s metal rockers, as they attempt an ill-fated comeback in the '00s that includes lots of embarrassing low points but is ultimately a triumph. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World | January 5, 2011
Today's movie: Edgar Wright's latest, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," an endlessly inventive slacker-relationship comedy based on an "Western anime" style comic book with a fiercely passionate audience, and which would instantly become my favorite film of all time if I were eighteen again while watching it. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Mystery Team | January 4, 2011
Today's movie: The disappointing "Mystery Team," the feature-film debut of comedy group Derrick Comedy, which wants to be a raunchy grown-up comedy about former boy detectives who are now squeaky-clean adults, but which unfortunately follows the formula of the "crappy kids' movie" so faithfully that it ultimately becomes one itself. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Metalocalypse, Season 3 | December 22, 2010
Today's DVD: Season 3 of Adult Swim's sneakily brilliant "Metalocalypse," a death-metal parody and tribute rolled up into a laugh-out-loud hybrid, a true guilty pleasure that I literally feel bad about loving so much. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) | December 20, 2010
Today's movie: The surprisingly sumptuous 2002 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," which actually films some of the play's notorious subtext in a delightfully naughty, visually arresting way. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Metropia | December 16, 2010
Today's movie: The pan-European cutting-edge animated feature "Metropia," using Photoshopped images of real people to create a bizarrely nightmarish look and feel, to tell the story of a post-oil EU and the massive transit company that may or may not be conducting mind-control experiments on its riders. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: I'm Still Here | December 14, 2010
Today's movie: "I'm Still Here," the supposed documentary of Joaquin Phoenix's infamous media hoax last year, but which instead is a surprisingly powerful indictment of the entire "entertainment industry" and its sociopathic attitude towards self-destructing celebrities, officially now my favorite film so far of 2010. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Raajneeti | December 7, 2010
Today's movie: The popular southeast Asian political thriller "Raajneeti," which is either a fascinating slice-of-life look at daily Indian culture or a badly melodramatic mix of "The Godfather" and a Victorian potboiler, depending on how much you know about India before watching it. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Splice | December 2, 2010
Today's movie: The surprisingly intelligent 2009 creature feature "Splice," produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by the creator of '90s cult classic "Cube," mostly the same kind of blood-and-boobs fest you see at the mall any Friday night, but here with always smart dialogue, humor, Freudian references and more. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) | November 18, 2010
Today's movie: The 2009 Swedish version of "The Girl Who Played with Fire," the disappointing sequel to Stieg Larsson's huge hit "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," still as visually gorgeous as the first film but this time with a much stupider story. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Persepolis | November 17, 2010
Today's movie: The Oscar-nominated coming-of-age tale of a feisty feminist punk-rocker during the Iranian Islamic Revolution, "Persepolis," revelatory if you're not familiar with the story already, but bound to be a little disappointing to existing fans of the more expansive graphic novel. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Moon | November 12, 2010
Today's movie: The fantastically smart homage to '70s sci-fi films, Duncan Jones' 2009 "Moon," whose complete rejection by Hollywood even as a low-risk B-pic marks a profound sign of just how out of touch film executives are anymore with the concept of realistically moderate hits. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: The Brown Bunny | November 11, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series on mainstream movies featuring unsimulated sex: It's the flawed but also misunderstood 2003 "The Brown Bunny," Vincent Gallo's homage to the slow-paced character dramas of the '70s, otherwise known as "that film where Chloe Sevigny gives an on-screen blowj_b." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Until the Light Takes Us | November 3, 2010
Today's movie: The excellent 2009 documentary "Until the Light Takes Us," charting the ins and outs of the 1980s Norwegian "black metal" music scene, which eventually caused the infamous burning of hundreds of historic wooden churches and even half a dozen murders. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Night Listener | October 28, 2010
Today's movie: The surprisingly great "The Night Listener," which when I caught on television didn't realize was an adaptation of a brilliantly creepy novel by the revered Amistead Maupin, about a "JT LeRoy"-style literary hoax that he fell for in real life in the early 1990s. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Dog Eat Dog (2008) | October 26, 2010
Today's movie: The fairly simplistic but stylistically shot Latino noir "Dog Eat Dog," one of the biggest successes in the history of the Colombia film industry despite it being not much more than a typical Hollywood B-flick. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Knightriders | October 22, 2010
Today's movie: The surprisingly fantastic 1981 George Romero film "Knightriders," in which a bunch of good-ol'-boy Vietnam vets become motorcycle-riding "knights" in a touring Renaissance fair, adopting a conservative code of moral absolutes that foretells the Reagan years just around the corner. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Killer Inside Me (2010) | October 19, 2010
Today's movie: Michael Winterbottom's brilliant latest, the remorselessly violent noir and Oscar-buzzy "The Killer Inside Me," based on the 1952 novel by Jim Thompson and featuring a career-defining performance from Casey Affleck. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Leaves of Grass | October 18, 2010
Today's movie: The phenomenally good "Leaves of Grass," inventively being released this month simultaneously in theatres and on DVD, a comedy and deep character study in which Edward Norton plays prodigiously intelligent twin brothers from rural Oklahoma, one of whom becomes an Ivy League philosophy professor and the other a pot kingpin. One of my favorite films of the year! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done | October 14, 2010
Today's movie: The latest by German New Wave pioneer Werner Herzog, the deeply weird and dark "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done" (produced by the even weirder David Lynch), a look at the psychotic breakdown of a schizophrenic which completely makes up for last year's ridiculously silly "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans." | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Quiet Days in Clichy | October 7, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series concerning sexually explicit mainstream movies: It's 1970's obscenity-law-challenging "Quiet Days in Clichy," less a faithful adaptation of the minor Henry Miller novel and more an excuse to film two hours of prancing naked French hippie girls. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Greenberg | October 6, 2010
Today's movie: Noah Baumbach's latest uncomfortable dramedy about insufferable hipster Gen-X douchebags confronting their weaknesses, the Ben Stiller showcase "Greenberg," which I personally loved but others might hate for the exact same reasons. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Hulk (2003) | October 4, 2010
Today's movie: The justifiably hated Ang Lee 2003 indie-art-house adaptation of the comic-book character the Hulk, a laughably bad film that Marvel completely remade just five years later. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: A Boy and His Dog | October 1, 2010
Today's movie: The supposed lost 1974 countercultural sci-fi cult classic "A Boy and His Dog" (written by Harlan Ellison from his own story), which instead turns out to be so badly underground as to be virtually unwatchable. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Let the Right One In | September 30, 2010
Today's movie: The crowd-pleasing but disappointingly simplistic 2008 Swedish little-girl-vampire movie "Let the Right One In," just about to be released in the US as a high-budget Hollywood remake. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) | September 29, 2010
Today's movie: The 2009 Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which if you can stand subtitles is a nearly perfect adaptation of the insanely popular moody crime thriller. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Marie Antoinette (2006) | September 23, 2010
Today's movie: Sofia Coppola's fascinating yet ultimately failed 2006 experiment "Marie Antoinette," which attempts to tie together the lives of the infamous French queen with contemporary media star Paris Hilton. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Youth in Revolt | September 16, 2010
Today's movie: The hilarious, intelligent, surprisingly transgressive coming-of-age tale "Youth in Revolt," starring Michael Cera as both the put-upon nerdy teen hero and the suave, crime-committing French alter-ego he invents in his head. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Alice in Wonderland (2010) | September 10, 2010
Today's movie: Tim Burton's disappointing remake of "Alice in Wonderland," which much like his "Willy Wonka" manages almost by magic to be both overly manic and lifeless at the same exact time, essentially history's most expensive puppet show and with all the lack of emotional resonance that implies. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: North By Northwest | September 7, 2010
Today's movie: The 1959 Alfred Hitchcock classic and surprisingly funny Cold War satire "North By Northwest," in which charming ad man Cary Grant is mistaken for a secret agent and chased all the way across the country by both foreign agents and the CIA. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: A Prophet | September 2, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's phenomenal French film "A Prophet," not just a prison drama but a caper film and a deep character study, which either won or got nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA, Cesar, and the Grand Prix of last year's Cannes Film Festival. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Book of Eli | August 25, 2010
Today's movie: The surprisingly great post-apocalyptic gonzo thriller "The Book of Eli," done under a low profile by celebrated filmmakers The Hughes Brothers, using a smart script that explores a weighty philosophical issue to center what would otherwise be a zany Sam-Raimi-like 'Mad Max' actioner. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Kick-Ass | August 20, 2010
Today's movie: The much-loved 2010 "superheroes in the real world" comic-book adaptation "Kick-Ass," which I instead found to be a depressing, immature, offensive mess, that grown-ups should be ashamed of themselves for liking. Start your angry comments, Facebookers! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Badlands | August 18, 2010
Today's movie: 1973's supposed countercultural classic and violent crime drama "Badlands," an early hit not just for Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek but director Terrence Malick, which I myself disappointingly found only okay. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Performance | August 12, 2010
Today's movie: The "lost" 1970 countercultural classic "Performance" (which doubles as Mick Jagger's acting debut), not so much the trippy sex romp of its reputation but more a remarkably solid psychological drama, regarding the complex relationship between a dark-hearted rock star and a straight-laced Cockney gangster. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Chloe | August 11, 2010
Today's movie: The late-night-cable T&A thriller "Chloe," described as a smart guilty pleasure from the otherwise art-house darling Atom Egoyan, but as far as I could tell possessed not one smart thing about it at all. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Precious | August 10, 2010
Today's movie: The Oscar-winning urban drama "Precious," based on the phenomenal 1996 novel by slam poet "Sapphire," an adaptation which of course can't exactly mirror the almost science-fictiony inner-voice literary complexities of the book, but does a fine job trying. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Riverworld (2010) | August 9, 2010
Today's movie: The Former Sci-Fi Channel's dismal 2010 adaptation of the intensely loved Philip Jose Farmer novel "Riverworld," which is even worse than the dismal 2003 Sci-Fi Channel adaptation that this version is supposed to make us forget. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: A Hole in My Heart | August 3, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series concerning mainstream films with graphic content: It's Lukas Moodysson's 2004 look at the gonzo online hate-porn industry, "A Hole in My Heart," an ugly and pointless exercise in human cruelty that pretty much ruined this promising indie filmmaker's career. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Is "Inception" actually a film about filmmaking? | July 30, 2010
A recent viewing of the film, plus a pair of essays at CHUD.com and The Awl, has had me thinking today about an intriguing question: Is Christopher Nolan's mindbending new sci-fi movie "Inception" actually an "8 1/2" style autobiographical story about the art of filmmaking itself? Click through for lots of thoughts on the matter. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: An Education | July 14, 2010
Today's movie: The thoroughly charming surprise hit of last year's Oscar season, "An Education," based on a true story by British journalist Lynn Barber (with adapted screenplay by Nick Hornby) about her blossom into womanhood in early-'60s London under the tutelage of an attractive but mysterious older man. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Patton | July 13, 2010
Today's movie: 1970's Oscar-winning World War Two epic "Patton," a superb biopic about the strategically brilliant but hotheaded military commander, and how it was his own inability to get along with others that self-sabotaged his career, based on an early hit screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Romance | July 12, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" series concerning mainstream films with unsimulated sex: It's 1999's notorious "Romance," the second film of this series by brilliant pro-kinky radical feminist Catherine Breillat, a fascinating portrait of a middle-aged trainwreck which features some of the most intense sex scenes to ever appear in mainstream cinema. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Mary and Max | July 8, 2010
Today's movie: 2009 claymation festival favorite "Mary and Max," with visuals that are impressive enough, I suppose, but sadly done in support of an overly cutesy-wootsy, silly-willy, extremely slow-moving script, a common problem among animators who care more about images than story. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Shutter Island | July 7, 2010
Today's movie: Martin Scorsese's latest, 2010's supernatural/psychological thriller "Shutter Island," nothing spectacular but a good solid genre exercise, a rare example of a film being literally elevated from a so-so "Memento"-style story by excessive visual flair. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Crazy Heart | July 2, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's dismal Oscar-bait fest "Crazy Heart," proving once again that Hollywood executives literally can't get enough of hideous white-trash losers and the hot thirty-something single moms who inexplicably fall in love with them. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Surrogates | June 29, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's "Surrogates," based on the 2006 graphic novel I've also reviewed in the past, which is the second sci-fi actioner I've seen this month to feature a surprisingly smart script and extra-subtle and hence extra-powerful special effects. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Avatar | June 28, 2010
Today's movie: James Cameron's "Avatar," which now upon my second viewing (I also saw it in the theatre) makes its plodding, insultingly simple storyline just that much more nakedly obvious, not to mention its Rudyard-Kipling-style accidental backwards "noble savage" racism. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Emmanuelle | June 24, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" series on explicit mainstream films: It's the surprisingly complex 1974 countercultural classic "Emmanuelle," which not only spawned dozens of sequels but virtually kickstarted the entire "softcore" adult industry as we now know it. You're welcome, late-night cable! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Daybreakers | June 21, 2010
Today's movie: The 2010 speculative sleeper hit "Daybreakers," much smarter and more inventive than a low-budget vampire action flick has any right to be. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus | June 17, 2010
Today's movie: Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Panassus" (also notoriously known as Heath Ledger's last film), which like many Gilliam projects features visuals so stunning as to be nearly unbelievable, but which like many Gilliam projects still ends up feeling flat and boring by the end. Sigh. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Lovely Bones | June 15, 2010
Today's movie: Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson's much-ballyhooed and much-hated adaptation of Alice Sebold's intensely loved novel "The Lovely Bones," which unfortunately skips almost all of the book's intense characterization to instead deliver an endless series of pretty but empty visual images. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Defendor | June 11, 2010
Today's movie: Last year's Toronto Film Festival hit "Defendor," a surprisingly tragic character drama about a mentally-challenged man off his meds who believes he's a superhero, not nearly the goofy comedy about actual superheroes that the trailer and poster make it seem. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Andromeda Strain (1971) | June 8, 2010
Today's movie: 1971's silly but enjoyable "The Andromeda Strain," one of the first big hits of genre author Michael Crichton, with gorgeous-looking sets but chock-full of cheesy '70s film gimmicks, and much more slowly-paced than you'd expect from a summer genre actioner. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Young Victoria | June 1, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's "The Young Victoria," a silly reductionist piece of chick-lit bonnet-porn about the start of the Victorian Age, much more eye-rolling than entertaining to fans of legitimate Victoriana. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Dark Crystal | May 26, 2010
Today's movie: 1982's infamous all-puppet fantasy-film cult hit "The Dark Crystal," the first-ever attempt by Muppets creator Jim Henson to appeal to a slightly older crowd. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Sherlock Holmes (2009) | May 24, 2010
Today's movie: Guy Ritchie's 2009 extreeeeme!!! version of the Victorian classic "Sherlock Holmes," the most steampunky steampunk actioner in the history of steampunky steampunk actioners. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Sex and Lucia | May 19, 2010
Today in the "Naughty Netflix" essay series: 2001's award-winning "Sex and Lucia," partly a complex "Memento" style metafictional look at the blurry line between reality and art, partly a VERY dirty European erotic thriller. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Phantom of the Opera (1925) | May 12, 2010
Today's review: The classic silent 1925 version of "The Phantom of the Opera," featuring Lon Chaney and his horrific homemade makeup. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Men Who Stare at Goats | May 6, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's surprisingly fantastic "The Men Who Stare at Goats," partly a goofy comedy about Reagan's attempts to build an army of psychic "super soldiers," partly a chilling drama about how this group morphed into the psychological torturers of the Bush years. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Box | April 30, 2010
Today's movie: Richard Kelly's under-appreciated and badly advertised 2009 science-fiction thriller "The Box," just as obtuse and thought-provoking as his previous "Donnie Darko" and "Southland Tales," but not nearly as head-scratching. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans | April 28, 2010
Today's movie: Legendary director Werner Herzog's latest headscratcher, the Nicolas Cage comeback vehicle "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," which once again proves that Germans' idea of wacky comedy is profoundly different than ours. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Informant! | April 27, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's "The Informant!," billed as a goofy comedy about corporate whistleblowing but also a heartbreaking drama about mental illness, and what I now consider one of the top five films of Steven Soderbergh's entire career. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: I'm Not There | April 19, 2010
Today's movie: The truly unwatchable experimental Bob Dylan biopic / meditation on persona "I'm Not There," by the usually fantastic Todd Haynes. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Limey | April 12, 2010
Today's movie: Steven Soderbergh's entertaining but artsy 1999 noir film "The Limey," one of many genre exercises from his '90s "lost years" when no one was paying attention to him. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Bad Lieutenant | April 2, 2010
Today's movie review: Abel Ferrara's brilliantly dark 1992 "Bad Lieutenant," a character study of a dirty cop and the depths of his depravity, unforgettable in that you will literally never be able to forget some of the dozens of outrageously controversial scenes found within. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The King of Kong | April 1, 2010
Today's movie: The fascinating 2007 documentary "The King of Kong," which follows a group of middle-aged "Balloon Boy" fame-addict losers as they fight over the world's record of thirty-year-old videogame Donkey Kong. Riveting like a trainwreck. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Best In Show | March 23, 2010
Today's movie: The 2000 comedy classic "Best In Show," a fake documentary about dog shows from the same team largely responsible for "This Is Spinal Tap." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Gamers: Dorkness Rising | March 22, 2010
Today's movie: 2008's loving and funny ode to Dungeons & Dragons and the antisocial nerds who play it, "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising," one of the smartest and most touching fan-produced films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Cannibal Holocaust | March 18, 2010
Today's movie: The 1980 seminal horror film "Cannibal Holocaust," recently restored and lavishly released on a two-disc DVD set, so brutally realistic that the director actually got arrested on murder charges, until he could prove that his cast was still happily alive. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Julia (2008) | March 10, 2010
Today's movie: The brilliant contemporary noir "Julia" starring Tilda Swinton, essentially a two-hour character study of pure evil, hiding behind a falsely sentimental tale of an out-of-control alcoholic and the desperate kidnapping scheme she gets involved with. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Watcher in the Woods | March 4, 2010
Today's movie: The dark forgotten gem "The Watcher in the Woods," one of a trio of '80s films (with "The Black Hole" and "Tron") that marked Disney's first foray into the world of PG films. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Deception (2008) | March 2, 2010
Today's movie: The ridiculously bad erotic thriller "Deception," starring a thoroughly slumming Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, Charlotte Rampling and Michelle Williams. Avoid like the plague. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Public Enemies | March 1, 2010
Today's movie: The 2009 Dillinger biopic "Public Enemies," directed by Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp, with a surprisingly vicious and modern anti-cop message that is surely what made it originally bomb at the box office. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Rendez-vous | February 24, 2010
Today in "Naughty Netflix," CCLaP's look at 30 mainstream films containing graphic sexuality: The 1985 French character drama "Rendez-vous," one of the first starring roles of Juliette Binoche. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Parasite Dolls | February 19, 2010
Today's movie: The so-so 2002 anime project "Parasite Dolls," itself a spinoff of the legendary '80s futuristic series "Bubblegum Crisis," one of the first anime shows ever available to American audiences. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Jane Eyre (1934) | February 18, 2010
Today's movie: Monogram Pictures' 1934 adaptation of the Victorian classic "Jane Eyre" (the first talkie version ever made), the start of my look at seven different adaptations that have been made of this novel over the decades. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: A Simple Plan | February 17, 2010
Today's movie: The wonderfully convoluted yet always logical 1998 Oscar-nominated noirish caper film "A Simple Plan," so far the only non-FX film in the entire career of Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider-Man). | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Murder on the Orient Express (1974) | February 15, 2010
Today's movie: 1974's Oscar-winning "Murder on the Orient Express," the first of a series of all-star Agatha Christie adaptations made in those years. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: I Love You Too | February 9, 2010
Today in "Naughty Netflix," CCLaP's look at thirty mainstream films featuring unsimulated sex: the 2001 European erotic thriller "I Love You Too," which unfortunately is more like Cinemax at two in the morning than its producers and fans want to admit. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince | February 3, 2010
Today's movie: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment of The Most Lucrative Franchise In Human History. Eat it up, sheep! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Brood | February 1, 2010
Today's movie: The 1979 fantastically disgusting horror film and sneakily misogynist divorce comment "The Brood," the first non-underground hit of David Cronenberg's career. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Che | January 26, 2010
Today's movie: "Che," Stephen Soderbergh's lush biopic of the Latin American revolutionary, ignored by US audiences and utterly snubbed by the Oscars for daring to portray a traditional enemy of America as a godlike hero. Warning: Not for teabaggers! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Big Fan | January 19, 2010
Today's movie: 2009's "Big Fan," an ultra-dark comedy about obsessed sports fans from the former editor-in-chief of "The Onion" (and screenwriter of "The Wrestler"), starring Patton Oswalt in a revelatory, pathos-infused performance. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Xanadu | January 15, 2010
Today's movie: The 1976 rollerdisco musical "Xanadu." Shut up. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: A Real Young Girl | January 14, 2010
Today in "Naughty Netflix," a look at 30 mainstream films containing graphic sexuality: 1976's bizarre and transgressive coming-of-age tale "A Real Young Girl," the debut of the now famous but still controversial writer/director Catherine Breillat. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: (500) Days of Summer | January 13, 2010
Today's movie: "(500) Days of Summer," perhaps the greatest (and definitely the quirkiest) romantic comedy in history. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Cthulhu (2007) | January 12, 2010
Today's movie: The 2007 indie DV feature "Cthulhu," which inventively combines the mythology of HP Lovecraft with a metaphorical story about homophobia in small-town America. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Up | January 11, 2010
Today's movie: Pixar's latest, "Up," the most emotionally satisfying film in that company's history but also one of its darkest. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Battlestar Galactica: The Plan | January 5, 2010
Today's DVD: The fluffy, pointless after-series TV movie "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan," which feels from start to finish like an excuse for everyone involved to get one more paycheck before the sets were torn down. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Son of Rambow | January 4, 2010
Today's movie review: 2007's "Son of Rambow," which begs the question, "Doesn't the world have enough feel-good dramadies concerning delightfully quirky events within otherwise depressing British small industrial towns in the 1980s?" | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Tyson (2009) | December 29, 2009
Today's movie: "Tyson," James Toback's riveting 2009 documentary about the surprisingly complex and haunted controversial boxer. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Exterminating Angels | December 28, 2009
Today in "Naughty Netflix," my look at 30 mainstream films containing unsimulated sex: The surprisingly great 2006 metafilm "Exterminating Angels," as much a wry comment on the making of European erotic thrillers as it is an actual European erotic thriller. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Madness of King George | December 10, 2009
Today's movie: The 1994 lush historical costume drama "The Madness of King George," pretty good for what it is but only if you're an existing fan already of lush historical costume dramas. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Kundun | December 7, 2009
Today's movie: Martin Scorsese's 1997 biopic of the Dalai Lama, "Kundun," a lush but by-the-numbers production that's not too terrible but not too memorable either. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Prisoner (2009) | December 3, 2009
Today's movie: AMC's brand-new six-part modern "rethinking" of the classic '60s British trippy sci-fi TV show, which got dumped on by a lot of critics but I thought was a wonderfully trippy mess worth any fangirl's time. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Star Trek (2009) | November 30, 2009
Today's movie: JJ Abrams' explosive 2009 "Star Trek" reboot, hitting nearly every note right and getting nearly every detail perfect to create one of the most exciting sci-fi thrillers in decades. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Last Tango in Paris | November 24, 2009
Today's movie: The infamous supposed countercultural erotic classic "Last Tango in Paris," which turns out on modern viewing to actually be a badly dated relic of the sexist machismo intellectual Norman Mailer Roman Polanski days, and ironically not erotic at all. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Fiona | November 17, 2009
Today in "Naughty Netflix," CCLaP's essay series about mainstream films which feature unsimulated sex: 1998's experimental "Fiona," a fictional tale about crack-addicted prostitutes actually shot in real NYC crackhouses with actual addict prostitutes. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Monty Python: Almost the Truth | November 13, 2009
Today's DVD: The new six-part "Monty Python: Almost the Truth," the most comprehensive documentary ever made about the greatest comedy troupe in history. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Perestroika | November 11, 2009
Today's movie: Cult director Slava Tsukerman's fantastic "Perestroika," a complex character drama weaving together a Russian-American intellectual's mid-life crisis with his long-awaited homecoming with his beloved Moscow, during the kinder, gentler days of Gorbachev's post-Soviet 1990s. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Queen | November 6, 2009
Today's movie: Stephen Frears' "The Queen," a talky yet fascinating "All the President's Men" style look at what happened behind the scenes among the British royal family after the unexpected 1997 death of Princess Diana. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Girlfriend Experience | November 3, 2009
Today's movie: "The Girlfriend Experience," Steven Soderbergh's experimental look at the 2008 financial meltdown and the coke-snorting frat boys who caused it, which will probably be brilliant in another decade but watched this week simply got me f-cking p-ssed off at these people all over again. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Porn Theatre | October 27, 2009
Today in "Naughty Netflix," CCLaP's look at 30 mainstream films featuring unsimulated sex: 2002 Cannes notable "Porn Theatre," a plotless yet highly realistic look at a sketchy Paris adult theatre and the gay "cruising" that takes place within it. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Hearts of Darkness | October 26, 2009
Today's movie: The 1991 documentary "Hearts of Darkness," using behind-the-scenes footage by Francis Ford Coppola's wife to show exactly what kind of freaking nightmare the production of his movie "Apocalypse Now" actually was. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Personal Best | October 23, 2009
Today's movie: 1982's track-and-field homage "Personal Best," known anymore for its leering lesbianism and gratuitous nudity, but in actuality a complex character drama well worth your time. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Twin Peaks | October 20, 2009
Today's DVD: David Lynch's gloriously weird "Twin Peaks," the "surrealist soap opera" from 1989 that still remains the second greatest television show of all time. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: Spetters | October 16, 2009
Today in "Naughty Netflix," CCLaP's look at 30 films featuring unsimulated sex: The surprisingly great '80s coming-of-age tale "Spetters," one of the first big hits by controversial Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Brothers Bloom | October 12, 2009
Today's movie: Rian Johnson's disappointing comedic heist film "The Brothers Bloom," smart and funny to be sure but with an artsy weirdness that feels much too forced most of the time. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Gods and Monsters | October 8, 2009
Today's movie: 1998 Oscar winner and sleeper hit "Gods and Monsters," using the basics of the real life of '30s horror director James Whale ("Frankenstein") to take a sophisticated look at openly gay life in pre-Stonewall America. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: 9 Songs | October 5, 2009
Today's movie: "9 Songs," Michael Winterbottom's brilliant, nearly wordless look at the rise and fall of a sexually adventurous indie-rock couple. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: In praise of Ken Burns' "National Parks." | October 2, 2009
Today, a special personal essay, in praise of documentarian Ken Burns' latest mini-series on the national park system, just finishing up its six-part run on PBS tonight. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The IT Crowd, Season 3 | September 30, 2009
Today's DVD: The truly spectacular third season of the truly hilarious absurdist British sitcom "The IT Crowd," just now out on American DVD. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Brothers Grimm | September 23, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: Terry Gilliam's 2005 "The Brothers Grimm," delightfully similar in tone to such earlier films as "Time Bandits," and better than its reputation makes it seem. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes | September 21, 2009
Today's review: The fantastic '70s British television anthology "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes," dramatizing the adventures of thirteen other Victorian detectives being published at the same time as Arthur Conan Doyle's creation. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: I Am Curious | September 16, 2009
Today in "Naughty Netflix," my look at 30 mainstream films containing explicit sex scenes: 1967's "I Am Curious," one of the movies to help change US obscenity laws and bring about our modern ratings system, more important anymore as a historical record of Sweden's countercultural movement. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: An introduction | September 16, 2009
Today I announce a new essay series here at CCLaP: "Naughty Netflix," a look at thirty mainstream movies that nonetheless contain scenes of graphic, explicit sexuality. Click through for the details, as well as the main list of all movies being reviewed. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Art School Confidential | September 11, 2009
Today's movie: The schizophrenic comedy/thriller/love-story disaster "Art School Confidential," based on a comic by Daniel Clowes and a true waste of his talents. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Finding Neverland | September 8, 2009
Today's movie: The treacly yet awfully good 2004 Oscar-bait picture "Finding Neverland," telling the VERY loosely-based story of how JM Barrie came up with the ideas for his play "Peter Pan." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Watchmen | August 27, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: "Watchmen," the high-profile 2009 adaptation of the 1986 Alan Moore comic-book classic, which proves once and for all that one can hit almost all the right notes, yet somehow get the entire f-cking song wrong anyway. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters | August 25, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: 1985's "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters," an experimental tone-poem by famed American director Paul Schrader, looking at random moments from the life of the controversial post-war Japanese author, finally out on a mainstream DVD thanks to cult-film distributor Criterion. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Father Ted, Season 1 | August 21, 2009
Today's DVD mini-review: "Father Ted," the absurdist '90s black comedy about Irish priests in the rural countryside, from the same team that would give us "The IT Crowd" a decade later. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Renaissance | July 29, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The silly yet visually flabbergasting 2006 European animation experiment "Renaissance." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Mongol | July 27, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: 2007's "Mongol," which proves that even southeast Asian film-production startups can now churn out slick, gory, Hollywood-style quasi-historical silliness, in this case a heroic look at the usually villainous Genghis Khan. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Exorcist II: The Heretic | July 21, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The delightful 1977 trainwreck "Exorcist II: The Heretic," by master of the delightful trainwreck John Boorman ('Deliverance,' 'Excalibur,' 'Zardoz,' and a lot more), considered by many (but not me) to be the worst sequel in film history. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: RKO 281 | July 20, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: "RKO 281," an HBO original movie of pretty good quality, which takes a fascinating look at all the complications involved with Orson Welles making his classic film "Citizen Kane." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Choke | July 15, 2009
Today's movie: The excruciatingly awful 2008 zany scatological adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's dark classic "Choke," kind of like trying to make an edgy point about rape by having the woman fart in the middle of it. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Wrestler | July 13, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The okay but awfully manipulative "The Wrestler," the latest by experimental filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, which like his "Requiem for a Dream" tricks you into crying through the sheer spectacle of despair on display. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Fitzcarraldo | July 9, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: 1982's "Fitzcarraldo," one of the last collaborations between German New Wave film director Werner Herzog and completely insane actor Klaus Kinski, stunning in its sheer audacity and of course plagued with problems. Fantastic! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Revolutionary Road | July 2, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The surprisingly mindblowing 2008 Sam Mendes adaptation of Richard Yates' 1961 postmodernism harbinger "Revolutionary Road," the first since "Titanic" to co-star the power actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Duchess of Duke Street | June 25, 2009
Today's mini-review: The 1976 BBC television series "The Duchess of Duke Street," an Edwardian period drama based on the true story of the Cockney maid who eventually became the owner of one of the most posh hotels in London. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Dune (1984) | June 25, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The notorious 1984 science-fiction trainwreck "Dune," by celebrated Surrealist filmmaker David Lynch, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Hellboy II | May 21, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The instant stoner midnight classic "Hellboy II," by genre master Guillermo del Toro and based on his much-loved original. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Hitler's Lost Plan | May 13, 2009
Today's mini-review: "Hitler's Lost Plan," a 2004 documentary from the History Channel concerning an unpublished sequel to his "Mein Kampf," discovered in the '90s in East Germany's now-open historical archives. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Television Under the Swastika | May 13, 2009
Today's mini-review: The 1999 documentary "Television Under the Swastika," covering the history of the early TV format under the Nazi regime. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Android | May 12, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The no-budget 1982 Klaus-Kinski-slumming science-fiction thriller "Android." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Ninth Configuration | May 11, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: William Peter Blatty's 1980 "forgotten cult classic" (read: unwatchable trainwreck) "The Ninth Configuration." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Demonlover | May 8, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The sex-and-violence-laced look at the global hipster-douchebag entertainment-startup industry, 2002's "Demonlover," part of the so-called "French New Extremity" wave of '00s cinema. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Perfect Blue | May 8, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The 1997 darkly odd anime classic "Perfect Blue," by festival favorite Satoshi Kon ("Paprika"). | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Caprica | May 5, 2009
Today's mini-review: "Caprica," the new family-saga prequel to Ronald Moore's massively popular remake of "Battlestar Galactica," which in an ingenious move has been released on DVD months before it's to air on television. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Kolchak: The Night Stalker | May 4, 2009
Today's mini-review: The once-daring 1970s innovative horror series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," yet another old TV show now available at Netflix for digitized "instant viewing." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) | May 1, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The 1938 surrealistically Technicolor classic, Errol Flynn's "The Adventures of Robin Hood," plus a mini-essay on the changing nature of arts consumption in the wake of Netflix's growing amount of digitized "instant movies." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Somewhere in Time | April 30, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The 1980 sleeper hit that's become eventually known by many as the greatest romantic movie ever made, the Christopher Reeve vehicle "Somewhere in Time." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Coupling, season 1 | April 30, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: Season 1 of the racy British 2000s sex sitcom, "Coupling," a.k.a. "The BBC's answer to 'Friends.'" | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Doctor Who: The Ribos Operation | April 27, 2009
Today's movie: "The Ribos Operation," a collection of the first four episodes of the old British science-fiction show "Doctor Who"s 16th season, back during the "Tom Baker years" of the 1970s. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Heavenly Creatures | April 21, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The astoundingly creepy 1994 historical drama "Heavenly Creatures," from "Lord of the Rings" impresario Peter Jackson, about two fantasy-embracing teen girls in 1950s New Zealand who kill one of their parents with a brick. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Out of Africa | April 21, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The 1985 sweeping historical drama "Out of Africa," winner of that year's Best Picture Oscar. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Aguirre, the Wrath of God | April 20, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The 1972 German New Wave classic "Aguirre, the Wrath of God," one of the notorious collaborations back then between feuding artists Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Shadow (1994) | April 20, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The forgotten genre classic "The Shadow," from 1994. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter | April 15, 2009
Today's movie mini-reivew: The experimental supplemental 2009 DVD "Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter," which offered background info about the main movie to audience members even while the original was still in theatres. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Slumdog Millionaire | April 14, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The controversial "Indian Dickensian" story "Slumdog Millionaire," winner of this year's Best Picture Oscar. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Batman Begins | April 10, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: Christopher Nolan's 2005 "Batman Begins," aka "The Greatest Superhero Movie Ever Made, Amen." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Ballykissangel, season 1 | April 10, 2009
Today's mini-review: Season 1 of the gentle 1990s BBC television series about small-town life in Northern Ireland, "Ballykissangel." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Rachel Getting Married | April 9, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: Jonathan Demme's Oscar-nominated "Rachel Getting Married," featuring notorious good-girl Anne Hathaway as a chain-smoking, substance-abusing emotional trainwreck. All right! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Big Trouble in Little China | April 7, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The 1986 bizarro actioner and cult favorite "Big Trouble in Little China." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Paprika | April 6, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The surreal 2006 contemporary anime classic "Paprika," by long-time respected underground filmmaker Satoshi Kon ("Perfect Blue," "Millennium Actress"). | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Lost Treasures of Tibet | April 3, 2009
Today's movie mini-review: The fascinating 2003 NOVA episode "Lost Treasures of Tibet," about the clash between working monasteries in the Himalayans and the Western conservators who wish to preserve the crumbling murals there. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Berlin Alexanderplatz, disc 1 | April 3, 2009
Today's short movie review: Disc one of the astounding 14-part meditation on the German Weimar years (and rising Nazi power), Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1980 television mini-series "Berlin Alexanderplatz." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: An introduction | April 1, 2009
Today, an introduction to CCLaP's newest series of mini-reviews, "Justify My Netflix." | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Ghost In The Shell | April 1, 2009
Today's mini-review: The 1995 anime classic "Ghost In The Shell." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Coyote County Loser | February 6, 2009
Today's movie: The no-budget indie romantic comedy "Coyote County Loser," a surprisingly great-looking film featuring a surprisingly terrible script. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Orange Alert Holiday Guide 2008 | December 12, 2008
Today's obsession: The fantastic little downloadable holiday guide from cultural website "What To Wear During an Orange Alert," even cooler because of it being made in a way that almost anyone could, but that only OA thought of and actually executed. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Hulu | October 24, 2008
Today's obsession: The surprisingly perfect online video site Hulu.com, the high-profile joint venture from such corporate giants as NBC, PBS, Fox, Comedy Central, the Sci Fi Channel and more. Yeah, you'd think it'd suck, just like all other online experiments from corporate groups, right? Surprise! | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: "Sex Machine" | September 11, 2008
Today's movie: The darkly humorous, no-budget extreme-horror film and cult hit "Sex Machine," from deep Midwesterner Christopher Sharpe. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 27 August 2008 | August 27, 2008
Today, extra-small reviews of four DVDs I recently watched: "The Animatrix," Sci-Fi Channel's "Riverworld," "Eragon," and "What The Bleep Do We Know?" | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 28 July 2008 | July 28, 2008
Small little micro-reviews of some recent projects, including the books "1421" and "1434" by Gavin Menzies, "The Great Neighborhood Book" by Jay Walljasper, "Liverpool 800" edited by John Belchem, and the 1954 movie "The Caine Mutiny." | Read entire entry

Yeehaw! CCLaP is finally reviewing DVDs again! | July 25, 2008
Good news; I finally have a DVD player in my apartment again, which means that CCLaP can start publishing movie reviews again! Today, more details, as well as my newest "queue list," showing off the next 25 films I'll be reviewing. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 12 July 2008 | July 12, 2008
Tiny little reviews of four books and movies, being posted on a weekend, including Patricia Wood's "Lottery," Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman's "Shooting War," Marvel Comics' "The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born," and the truly awful 1997 TV-movie version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Youth Without Youth (movie) | June 27, 2008
Today's review: 2007's trippy and dense "Youth Without Youth," the supposed "street-cred comeback vehicle" for Francis Ford Coppola, after two decades now of disappointments from him. Too bad it's not very good. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 23 June 2008 | June 23, 2008
Today, little tiny reviews of three recent movies and books, none of which I liked enough to bother writing a full review. Includes Lettie Teague's "Educating Peter," as well as the movies "Spun," "Notes on a Scandal," and "Diary of the Dead." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Meth (2006 film) | June 20, 2008
Today's review: The low-budget, hi-def 2006 documentary "Meth," concerning crystal meth and its effect on America's various gay male "cruising" scenes, not just a great film but also a good example of how technology is changing the self-produced arts. | Read entire entry

Book Versus Movie: The 39 Steps | June 4, 2008
Today's review: the proto-spy thriller "The 39 Steps," both the original 1915 novella by John Buchan and the 1935 movie adaptation by the young Alfred Hitchcock. How do they compare? Click through for my thoughts! | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: No Country For Old Men | May 22, 2008
Today's movie: The Coen Brothers' "No Country For Old Men," 2007 Oscar winner for Best Picture, and easily the best film of their careers. Click through for my reasons why. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 18 May 2008 | May 18, 2008
A weekend roundup of small reviews I've recently collected up, including this week the movies "Superbad," "Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms," and "The Saddest Music in the World." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Michael Clayton | May 15, 2008
Today's movie: The surprisingly complex and ambiguous 2007 ethics drama "Michael Clayton," which received seven Oscar nominations (including one for Best Picture), as well as winning one. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead | May 14, 2008
Today's movie: The surprisingly great 2007 noir "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," by the 83-year-old Hollywood legend Sidney Lumet. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Lars and the Real Girl | May 13, 2008
Today's review: The quirky indie 2007 dramedy "Lars and the Real Girl," from "Six Feet Under" writer/producer Nancy Oliver. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: "Iron Sky" | May 13, 2008
Today's obsession: The new and extremely impressive trailer for "Iron Sky," the homegrown retro action thriller feature film by Timo Vuorensola and Samuli Torssonen, the Finnish team behind the cultishly popular "Star Wrecks." | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 3 May 2008 | May 3, 2008
A round-up of little tiny reviews for the last week or two, including four books and four movies. Click through for a lot more. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Margot at the Wedding | April 24, 2008
Today's movie: Noah Baumbach's 2007 "Margo at the Wedding," the latest in a series of brilliant dark character dramas from this writer/director (including "Mr. Jealousy" and "The Squid and the Whale"). | Read entire entry

Book Versus Movie: "From Hell" | April 22, 2008
Today, the first in an irregular series of essays here at CCLaP -- a review of both the book and movie versions of the "Jack The Ripper" conspiracy tale "From Hell," the 1999 book by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, the 2001 movie by The Hughes Brothers. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Downfall / Der Untergang | April 14, 2008
Today's movie: The haunting, brilliant, absolutely riveting "Downfall," the 2004 German film regarding the last week of World War II from the viewpoint of the Nazis, as seen from Hitler's bunker in Berlin. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 13 April 2008 | April 13, 2008
One-paragraph reviews of five movies and two novels, none of them interesting enough to warrant full critical reviews of their own. Includes "The Name of the Rose," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Closer," "Zeroville," "Beautiful Children," "The Illusionist" and "Funny Games." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" | April 10, 2008
Today's review: The awkwardly-titled, fascinating but frustrating 2007 Oscar nominee "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," by obscure Australian filmmaker Andrew Dominik. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Abigail's X-Rated Teen Diary | April 9, 2008
Today's obsession: The deceptively smart and cynical video podcast "Abigail's X-Rated Teen Diary," from "Goodnight Burbank" creator Hayden Black. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Regarding the glorious trainwreck which is "Southland Tales." | April 7, 2008
Today, a sorta half-review and half-essay of sorts, examining in detail why Richard Kelly's latest film "Southland Tales" is such a creative trainwreck, and why I loved it anyway. Ahoy, pretention ahead! | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: For Tax Reasons | April 2, 2008
Today's obsession: The comedy duo and animation team "For Tax Reasons," including an embedded video of some of their work. | Read entire entry

Your movie micro-review roundup: 29 March 2008 | March 29, 2008
Today, the start of a new occasional weekend series, posting a collection of mere one-paragraph reviews of movies not worth saying that much more about. In today's collection: "Braveheart," "Chocolat," "Kill Bill," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "The Darjeeling Limited," and "Superman Returns." | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: "The Reprover/Le Réprobateur" | March 27, 2008
Today's obsession: The witty, experimental hyperfiction project "The Reprover/Le Réprobateur," by French artist and CCLaP reader François Coulon. | Read entire entry

The latest "Creative Screenwriting" podcast is their best yet | March 12, 2008
Just wanted to mention that one of my favorite podcasts, the one produced by "Creative Screenwriting" magazine, just put out their best episode yet -- a 90-minute talk with Drew Goddard, writer not only of "Cloverfield" but also "Lost," "Alias," "Buffy" and "Angel." (Whew!) Click through for more. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Regarding the "magic middle" of the independent arts. | March 5, 2008
For those who don't know, creative guru Kevin Kelly published a fascinating article this week, positing that it's easier than ever for independent artists to make a working living. Today, my thoughts on the essay, and what it has to do with Dave Sifry's theory of the blogosphere's "magic middle." | Read entire entry

Holy crap, the new Chicago Public Library website looks great! | March 5, 2008
Wow, the Chicago Public Library system overhauled its website this week -- and it's freaking great! Click through for all the details, as well as copious links. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Great Expectations (1999) | February 28, 2008
Today's review: The 1999 television adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1861 "Great Expectations," made in this case for the BBC in the UK and "Masterpiece Theatre" in the US. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Sunshine | February 26, 2008
Today's movie: The visually thrilling 2007 science-fiction actioner "Sunshine," by visually thrilling veteran director Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and a whole lot more). | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Zodiac | February 19, 2008
Today's review: David Fincher's latest, the surprisingly good 2007 historical drama/true-crime thriller "Zodiac." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Apocalypto | February 18, 2008
Today's review: The surprisingly great 2006 Mel Gibson Mayan Empire epic "Apocalypto." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty | February 12, 2008
Today's review: The 2003 television film "Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty," based on the highly popular series of Napoleonic naval adventure novels by CS Forester. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: THX 1138 | February 11, 2008
Today's movie: The surprisingly crappy 1971 dystopian sci-fi thriller "THX 1138," the first film of George Lucas' career, which makes clear why he delved afterwards so fast into the world of "Star Wars" style space opera. | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...Charming A--holes | February 6, 2008
Today, a rare new edition of the "Ten Movies About..." series; in this case, ten great movies all featuring charming a--holes. Click through for the choices as well as the reasons I picked them. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: The Simpsons Movie | February 4, 2008
Today's review: 2007's "The Simpsons Movie," which is exactly and precisely what you expect it to be. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Tooble | February 4, 2008
Today's obsession: The simple freeware program "Tooble," which downloads YouTube videos, converts them into MP4s, and adds them to your iTunes movie library. Pretty simple and pretty cool. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Eastern Promises | February 1, 2008
Today's movie: David Cronenberg's latest, 2007's Russian expat crime thriller "Eastern Promises," proving again just how on top of his game this talented director is these days. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Man Who Fell to Earth | January 31, 2008
Today's movie: The so-so trippy 1976 science-fiction film "The Man Who Fell to Earth," which in its rush to employ as many '70s cinematic effects as possible forgets along the way to tell a decent story. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Take Away Shows | January 31, 2008
Today's obsession: The unique video-based music podcast "The Take Away Shows," in which indie-rock bands are dragged through the streets of Paris and filmed as they perform songs live. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Helvetica | January 30, 2008
Today's movie: The sharp, smart, fascinating 2007 documentary "Helvetica," a two-hour movie about a typeface that has become the biggest money-maker in the history of Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center. Click through to find out why. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Hot Fuzz | January 30, 2008
Today's review: The 2007 buddy-cop-action-thriller parody "Hot Fuzz," by the British comedy team that made "Shaun of the Dead," much better than its insipid American marketing campaign would have you believe. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Clockers | January 24, 2008
Today: The surprisingly disappointing 1995 Spike Lee crime thriller "Clockers," based on the vastly superior novel by Richard Price. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Ratatouille | January 23, 2008
Today: The absolutely perfect family film "Ratatouille," the latest by Brad Bird and the newly Disneyfied Pixar Animation. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Maltese Falcon | January 22, 2008
Today's movie: The seminal detective movie and film noir, 1941's "The Maltese Falcon," which not only established the career of John Huston but also made Humphrey Bogart a star for the first time. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Casablanca | January 22, 2008
Today's review: The surprisingly disappointing 1942 so-called classic "Casablanca," which somehow manages to mix jaded film noir with rah-rah wartime patriotism, not to great effect. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Day Watch | January 21, 2008
Today's review: The 2006 Russian big-budget science-fiction actioner "Day Watch," a sequel to the 2004 Russian big-budget science-fiction actioner "Night Watch." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Zardoz | January 18, 2008
Today's movie: 1974's science-fiction "masterpiece" (read: cult favorite) "Zardoz," a perfect example of everything both great and awful about '70s cinema. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow | January 10, 2008
Today's review: The 2004 "retro future" cutting-edge computer-animation experiment "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," which deserves a better reputation than it currently has. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Match Point | January 9, 2008
Today's review: The surprisingly thrilling 2005 Woody Allen British crime noir, "Match Point." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Brokeback Mountain | January 8, 2008
Today's review: The 2005 f--king gay cowboy movie, "Brokeback Mountain." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: "2001: A Space Odyssey" | January 7, 2008
Today's movie: The 1968 masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey," considered by many to be the greatest science-fiction film ever made. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: King Kong (2005) | January 7, 2008
Today's review: The mostly disappointing 2005 Peter Jackson remake of "King Kong." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Little Children" | January 3, 2008
Today's review: The 2006 Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of Tom Perrotta's "Little Children," which believe it or not may actually be better than the book version (which I loved too). | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Afterworld | December 21, 2007
Today's obsession: The new online "vertical science-fiction project" Afterworld, which not only uses multiple media to tell its story but also to distribute its content. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Cube 2: Hypercube" | December 20, 2007
Today's review: The maddeningly disappointing 2003 movie "Hypercube," a sequel to the far superior low-budget science-fiction classic "Cube." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Time Bandits | December 19, 2007
Today's movie: The wickedly funny "Time Bandits" from 1981, the first solo film by former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, as well as an examination of Gilliam's career as a filmmaker since. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Reservation Road," by John Burnham Schwartz | December 19, 2007
Today's review: The 1999 revenge tale "Reservation Road" by John Burnham Schwartz, which was recently made into a high-profile Hollywood movie. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: Lonesome Dove | December 18, 2007
Today's review: The eight-hour revisionist Western freaking saga "Lonesome Dove," based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by Larry McMurtry. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Steve Ibsen, AKA "G-Shack" | December 18, 2007
Today's obsession: College student Steve Ibsen (aka "G-Shack"), creator of one of the silliest online guilty pleasures of recent memory, the instantly addictive "Kitty Cat Dance." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "X2: X-Men United" | December 17, 2007
Today's review: The truly awful superhero film "X2: X-Men United." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "LOL" | December 11, 2007
Today's review: The masterful 2006 look at technology and relationships, "LOL," a so-called "mumblecore" film by Chicagoan Joe Swanberg. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy" | November 30, 2007
Today's films: The infinitely smart 2002 action thriller "The Bourne Identity," and the infinitely disappointing 2004 action thriller sequel "The Bourne Supremacy." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Donnie Darko | November 29, 2007
Today's movie: The head-scratchingly brilliant (or is that brilliantly head-scratching) 2001 cult classic "Donnie Darko," by "Southland Tales" writer and director Richard Kelly. | Read entire entry

Announcing the CCLaP winter project: Gilbert & Sullivan | November 21, 2007
Now that it's winter and I'm doing a lot less bicycling and exercising here in Chicago, I've decided that it's time to take on an extended research project in the arts. This winter's research subject is Gilbert & Sullivan; click through for a lot more. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Hollywoodland" | November 21, 2007
Today's review: The Los Angeles film noir "Hollywoodland," which takes a look at the real-life bizarre death of actor George Reeves. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Alphaville" | November 20, 2007
Today's review: The artfully messy, messily artful 1965 science-fiction experiment "Alphaville," by French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Ocean's Twelve" | November 19, 2007
Today's review: The only so-so "Ocean's Twelve," directed by Steven Soderbergh and based on his much better "Ocean's Eleven." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Oldboy" | November 16, 2007
Today's review: The highly experimental, ultra-violent South Korean 2003 action film "Oldboy." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Clerks" and "Clerks II" | November 15, 2007
Today's review: The classic slacker two-film series "Clerks" and "Clerks II," both written and directed by Kevin Smith a decade apart. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "V for Vendetta" | November 9, 2007
Today's mini-review: The truly awful 2005 movie "V for Vendetta," by the "Matrix" trilogy's Wachowski Brothers and based on the '80s comic from Alan Moore. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 15: Split Pillow's Jason Stephens | November 1, 2007
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: A 20-minute talk with Jason Stephens, founder of the Chicago film organization Split Pillow, a group that helps underground filmmakers finish and distribute their experimental projects. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Brick | October 18, 2007
Today's film: The brilliant teenage noir experiment that could've been an absolute disaster, Rian Johnson's 2005 masterpiece "Brick." | Read entire entry

Field report: "Petersburg" screening at Chicago Filmmakers | October 9, 2007
Today, photos and thoughts from my recent screening of the low-budget political thriller "Petersburg," produced by a great filmmaking non-profit in Chicago named Split Pillow. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 12b: Filmmaker Joe Swanberg, part 2 | October 2, 2007
Today, part 2 of my recent extra-long interview with Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg, one of the more well-known of the so-called "mumblecore" filmmakers getting so much attention these days. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 12a: Filmmaker Joe Swanberg, part 1 | October 1, 2007
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: Part 1 of my recent interview with Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg, one of the more well-known of the so-called "mumblecore" filmmakers getting so much attention these days. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Eric Wenger | October 1, 2007
Today's obsession: Eric Wenger, not only the brains behind the U&I Software company and their series of tools for artistic professionals, but also the creator of lots of short films highlighting the ways the software can be used. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Kissing On the Mouth | September 28, 2007
Today, part 2 of CCLaP's mini-feature on Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg; specifically, a review of his 2005 sexually-explicit human-interest drama, "Kissing On the Mouth." | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Yamagato Fellowship | September 28, 2007
Today's obsession: The Yamagato Fellowship, a cool fake "viral" website created to support the NBC cult hit "Heroes." | Read entire entry

Mumblecore: A friendly beginner's guide | September 27, 2007
Today, finally, part 1 of CCLaP's mini-feature on Chicago filmmaker and "mumblecore" pioneer Joe Swanberg. Here, a gentle introduction to Swanberg's work, and a detailed look at what the hell mumblecore is anyway, including lots and lots and lots of online samples. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: ThunderAnt | September 24, 2007
Today's obsession: Online video comedy troupe "ThunderAnt," which just happens to be comprised of former Saturday Night Live comedian Fred Armisen and former Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein. Yeah, I know! | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Where to start when you know no one and nothing. | September 17, 2007
A reader email this weekend gets me thinking on my past; specifically, what advice I have to artists just starting out, and who have just moved to big cities where they know no one and nothing about how that "scene" works. Today, I share that advice. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Nerve Video | September 14, 2007
Today's obsession: The very naughty Nerve Video, featuring dozens upon dozens of smart, dirty online videos from very good-looking nerds. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: HBO Voyeur | September 12, 2007
Today's obsession: The surprisingly cutting-edge (but still troubled) online/cable-TV hybrid project "HBO Voyeur." | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Julie & Jackie | September 11, 2007
Today's obsession: The Los Angeles comedy duo Julie & Jackie (Julie Klausner and Jackie Clarke), who have lots and lots of free and very funny online video available for your downloading pleasure. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: DAVE School | September 10, 2007
Today's obsession: the Digital Animation & Visual Effects (or DAVE) School in Orlando, Florida, which offers its students a real-world project to work on at the end of every school year (and a page of free downloads for the public of all projects completed). Click through for more! | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Short Films of David Lynch | September 7, 2007
Today's movie: The compilation DVD "The Short Films of David Lynch," collecting up six of the celebrated Surrealist filmmaker's experiments over a 30-year period. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Midwest Teen Sex Show | September 4, 2007
Today's obsession: The funny and frank new "Midwest Teen Sex Show" podcast. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 09: The Brew N View | August 27, 2007
Today's episode: A three-minute video tour of the infamous Brew N View (held at Lakeview's Vic Theatre at Belmont and Sheffield), wherein recent movies are shown on a giant screen and liquor sold as well, and audience members encouraged to drunkenly shout at the films. | Read entire entry

The new Star Trek fan movie is here! The new Star Trek fan movie is here! | August 24, 2007
Fun news for Star Trek fans: The newest episode of the fan series "New Voyages" is now finished and online, starring none other than George Takei ("Sulu") from the actual original series. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Rope | August 23, 2007
Today: The classic yet experimental 1948 Alfred Hitchcock gay-subtext murder mystery "Rope." | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...Creepy-Ass Robots | August 21, 2007
Today: Ten great movies that all feature a creepy-ass robot. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Equilibrium | August 20, 2007
Today's movie: The truly awful 2002 science-fiction action thriller "Equilibrium." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Night Watch | August 15, 2007
Today's movie: The 2004 big-budget Russian science-fiction epic "Night Watch." | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Bird Cinema | August 10, 2007
Today's obsession: The deceptively simple BirdCinema.com, which simply features user-submitted videos of birds around the world with a well-working and fast onscreen interface. Surprisingly addictive! | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Pan's Labyrinth | August 3, 2007
Today's movie: The breathtakingly expectation-defying adult fairytale and multiple Oscar winner "Pan's Labyrinth," by horror master Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Blade II). | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Primer | August 1, 2007
Today's movie: The astonishing 2004 no-budget trippy science-fiction epic "Primer." | Read entire entry

The Guardian has amazing coverage of Ingmar Bergman's death | July 31, 2007
For those who don't know, famed Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman died over the weekend. Today, a look at the amazing portal of information British newspaper "The Guardian" has assembled to mark the occasion. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Squid and the Whale | July 27, 2007
Today's movie: The amazingly good and astoundingly uncomfortable 2005 divorce dramedy "The Squid and the Whale," by master screenwriter Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, Mr. Jealousy, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Passion of Ayn Rand | July 25, 2007
Today's movie: the cable-television biopic "The Passion of Ayn Rand," detailing the sexual affair between the founder of Objectivism and one of her students, back in the 1950s at the height of her career. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" | July 25, 2007
Today's obsession: The 2005 Japanese postmodern porn film "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai," one of a growing amount of smart modern "pink films" to come out of that country these days. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 05: Greater Wealth Productions | July 23, 2007
Today: A five and a half minute interview with GW Welsh of the multimedia production company Greater Wealth, shot at a recent fundraiser at Lakeview's Spot6 nightclub. Also includes footage of Chicago writer Kate Cullen, Indiana cartoonist Andrew Dimitt, and Georgia band The North And South, plus the visual artwork of "Corey." | Read entire entry

When Chicago was Hollywood, before Hollywood existed | July 23, 2007
Just wanted to point out a great article the Chicago Tribune has online right now, detailing the history behind Essanay Studios and other film production companies in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century. Click through for the link. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Sideways | July 20, 2007
Today's movie: The 2004 overhyped character study "Sideways," which is actually much better than original hype and backlash would have you believe. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Storytelling | July 13, 2007
Today's movie: The classically uncomfortable 2001 black comedy "Storytelling," by master of the uncomfortable Todd Solondz. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Mimic | July 11, 2007
Today's movie: The 1997 low-budget horror film "Mimic," which happens to also be the American debut of Guillermo del Toro ("Hellboy," "Pan's Labyrinth"). | Read entire entry

Rocchi: "No, seriously, movies ARE getting worse in general" | July 10, 2007
James Rocchi, former lead movie critic of Netflix, has posted an interesting article at Cinematical today, arguing that it's not just your imagination -- that Hollywood movies, especially summer ones, really ARE getting worse and worse with each passing year. Click through for more. | Read entire entry

Announcing the CCLaP Movie Club | July 9, 2007
It's official; I've set up a Google Group as a complement to CCLaP's "Movies for Grown-Ups" series of film essays! Click through for more on how it works, how to sign up, and what you can expect as a member. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Altered States | July 4, 2007
Today, a special essay: not just a traditional review of trippy 1980 sci-fi thriller "Altered States," but also a look at how my understanding of the film has changed over the decades, as my own education about the world has expanded as well. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: KarmaCritic | July 2, 2007
Today's obsession: "KarmaCritic," a new online video-sharing site and ongoing contest, started by a whole bunch of angry former contestants and fans of the Fox reality show "On The Lot." | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...How Great Drugs Are | June 29, 2007
Today: Ten great films featuring scenes that glorify drug use. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Dead Ringers | June 28, 2007
Today's movie: The 1988 David Cronenberg dense psychological thriller "Dead Ringers." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: To Live and Die in LA | June 20, 2007
Today's movie: The overlooked William Friedkin 1985 neo-noir "To Live and Die in LA," also one of the first starring roles for both William Petersen (CSI) and Willem Dafoe. | Read entire entry

And this is why I no longer play Second Life | June 20, 2007
Okay, not really, but you should check out this hilarious real-world parody of Second Life anyway, embedded in the main entry courtesy YouTube. Click through to watch. | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...Sexy Nerds | June 19, 2007
Today, part 1 of a new series, presenting hopefully funny hyper-specialized lists of themed films, and why I in particular think they're so great. This entry: Ten great movies featuring sexy nerds. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP Movie Club? | June 19, 2007
And speaking of movies....I got an email from a CCLaP reader yesterday that made me laugh, where she admitted that each time I announce what's next on my Netflix* queue list, she runs out and rents the movie herself, so... | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: 24 Hour Party People | June 15, 2007
Today's movie: "24 Hour Party People," the partly true, partly fictionalized tale of Factory Records, the Manchester label behind not only the '80s post-punk scene there (Joy Division, New Order, etc) but also the '90s rave one (Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, etc). | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Helvetica (the movie) | June 14, 2007
Today's obsession: The new documentary "Helvetica," examining both the history of "the world's most perfect font," and the various ways it's been used over the decades. Opening tomorrow in Chicago, with the filmmaker on hand too! | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: The Independent Film Channel blog | June 12, 2007
Today's obsession: The staff blog for the Independent Film Channel, a cable network devoted to small and artsy movies. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Steampunk Star Trek | June 8, 2007
Today's obsession of the moment -- a fan-made, turn-of-the-century, silent-movie version of Star Trek. Rock! | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: A Scanner Darkly | June 8, 2007
In today's installment of Movies for Grown-Ups: "A Scanner Darkly," the black 2006 sci-fi thriller by Richard Linklater, based on the even blacker novel by Philip K. Dick. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: PSST! Pass It On... | June 7, 2007
Today's obsession of the moment: "PSST! Pass It On..." an ongoing experimental animation series, curated by designer Bran Doughterty-Johnson. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Sunset Gun | June 4, 2007
Today, a profile of film critic Kim Morgan, LA Weekly contributor and author of the movie blog "Sunset Gun." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Metropolis (1927) | June 1, 2007
Today, the latest in CCLaP's series of film reviews, this time covering the 1927 dystopian science-fiction epic "Metropolis." Written by CCLaP executive director Jason Pettus. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Requiem for a Dream | May 24, 2007
Today's movie review -- the 2000 dark anti-drug tale "Requiem for a Dream," by Darren Aronofsky (Pi, The Fountain). | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Prestige | May 16, 2007
Today's movie: The atmospheric Victorian-Age thriller "The Prestige," by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins). | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Third Man | May 12, 2007
Today's movie: The post-WWII black comedy about the black market, "The Third Man," which recently received a brand-new DVD restoration treatment. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: The Departed | May 2, 2007
Today's movie: The surprisingly disappointing Martin Scorsese crime noir "The Departed." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Equus | April 28, 2007
Today's movie: The trippy 1970s psychological drama "Equus," starring Sir Richard Burton. | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Cube | April 19, 2007
Today's movie: The cultish Canadian science-fiction horror sleeper hit "Cube." | Read entire entry

Movies for Grown-Ups: Triumph of the Will | April 16, 2007
Today's movie: the 1935 Leni Riefenstahl Nazi propaganda documentary "Triumph of the Will." | Read entire entry

Ten Movies About...Master List | April 15, 2007
Master list for all of CCLaP's "Ten Movies About..." hyperspecialized themed film essays. | Read entire entry

Mini-reviews: Master list | April 15, 2007
The master list of all mini-reviews (books and movies) found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. | Read entire entry