Let's be honest, film fans: summer 2009 hasn't exactly been an exercise in awesome. Early entries like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Terminator Salvation were disappointing; hyped projects like Public Enemies and Brüno offered some entertainments, but overall felt kinda meh. Read more »
THE DRUG ISSUE After watching hours of Intervention A&E's reality show that profiles addicts, their families, and their painful first steps toward recovery I concluded that junkies don't watch Intervention. But if the average non-junkie watches too much Intervention, he or she will without a doubt become addicted to Intervention. So proceed cautiously.
With the exception of special "follow-up" entries, the structure of every episode (seven seasons' worth) is similar. Read more »
REVIEW The Pacific Film Archive's current series "Eccentric Cinema: Overlooked Oddities and Ecstasies, 1963-82" contains such notorious curios as Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise (1974) and Dennis Hopper's The Last Movie (1971). But maybe the oddest oddity (and most ecstatic ecstasy) of the bunch is writer-director John Boorman's Zardoz (1974). Boorman's Deliverance (1972) scored big; presumably, its success was the reason he was able to do whatever the fuck he wanted next. Read more »
PREVIEW Co-curated by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Joel Shepard and the Guardian's Johnny Ray Huston, "Beyond ESPN" also goes beyond cinematic convention, offering up a scorecard of (mostly) uncommon picks cleverly corralled under the banner of sports films. In other words, there's no Rudy (1993) here. The series kicks off Thursday, Aug. Read more »
If you haven't heard of local blog The Bay Bridged, you probably aren't a fan of Bay Area indie rock. No offense, but you're missing out -- not just on a thriving music scene, but also on a well-written, easy-to-navigate (and totally nonprofit) site that boasts podcasts, show and album reviews, music news, videos, and more. Read more »
PREVIEW Imagine what it would be like to be working on the new span of the Bay Bridge perilously dangling in the wind, high above freezing waters, would be just another day on the job. Inspired by the female ironworkers, laborers, crane operators, and other brave souls who've helped create and tend to local bridges since the 1970s, Jo Kreiter's Flyaway Productions presents The Ballad of Polly Ann (named for the badass wife name-checked in "The Legend of John Henry's Hammer"). Read more »
Metalheads: before you gang up on Until the Light Takes Us a new documentary by Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell, who dare to admit they weren't really into metal before starting their film consider the sinister fact that there's now an imdb entry for the 2010 release of Lords of Chaos. Read more »
PHENOM In our heads, in our heads: zombies, zombies, zombies.
Don't blame me for taking a bite out of your brain and inserting an annoying tune in its place once again, not long after the last onslaught of undead trends, our culture is totally zombie mad.
The phrase "zombie bank" is multiplying at a disturbing rate within economic circles. In music, the group Zombi hailing from the zombie capitol Pittsburgh is reviving the analogue electronics of George A. Read more »
PREVIEW I grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., and I have to tell you, there's not much allowance for rebellious rage on its well-manicured, dogwood-lined, basketball-crazed streets. James Taylor, not a noted sonic ruffler of feathers, also grew up there. Read more »