December 2009 Archives

Peace on Earth.jpgThis cartoon says it all.  Hope your holidays are warm & mellow in spite of the cold & tense mood of the country and world.  More movie postings soon.
December 26, 2009 1:32 PM | | Comments (0)
Reign Over Me.jpgIs the grief caused by terrorism more intense than the regular kind?  Yes, to judge by Reign Over Me (2007), starring Don Cheadle as Alan, a successful Manhattan dentist who helps his former college roommate, Charlie (Adam Sandler), recover from the trauma of losing his wife and three daughters in the inferno of 9/11.

The critics panned this film for lacking a clear direction, but that's because it turns a predictable formula into something unpredictable.

First of all, Reign Over Me contains no 
overwrought flashbacks to 9/11.  Indeed, the only direct reference to that day is Charlie's painful recollection when finally induced to talk about his loss.  Second, the film has a wide streak of the juvenile humor we've come to expect from Sandler and writer-director, Mike Binder (whose credits include the raunchy HBO series The Mind of the Married Man).

The humor comes from Charlie's way of expressing his grief -- which is to regress to acting like a young teenager.  Instead of dealing with his pain, he tools around the city on a motorized scooter, listens to rock music on his headphones, and plays kill-the-monster video games on a giant TV screen.  Not only that, but he has been like this for several years when Alan runs into him, and it is clear that one reason why Alan decides to help is because spending time with Charlie allows him to regress, too.

But the result is something more than another comedy about the prolonged adolescence of the American male, because the immaturity of these characters is thrown into relief by the dark backdrop -- and when they finally do grow up, it comes as a relief not a letdown.

December 5, 2009 7:54 PM | | Comments (0)


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

January 2010 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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