Here’s the deal. There are three key pieces of information that roll up in Broken City’s first three scenes: Billy Taggart (Wahlberg), a New York cop, shoots and kills a suspect he’s chasing; a judge decides the district attorney’s office doesn’t have sufficient evidence to bring charges against Taggart; Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Crowe) and the police commissioner congratulate Taggart on beating the rap, and he’s forced to resign.
The torture debate detracts from a different critical narrative; imagine how we’d howl if the movie whitewashed that part of America’s recent past. But forget the politics. This is a movie. As a piece of drama, Zero Dark Thirty is a marvel.
In the awards show canon, the Golden Globes have secured themselves a lofty place just below Oscar. How is it that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which once called Pia Zadora “New Female Star of the Year” for her role in the soft-porny Butterfly, is now arbiter of taste and soothsayer of the Academy Awards? […]
I mention all this to give Les Misérables context in the annals of film history. Unlike Playing for Keeps, Les Misérables features a solid cast. Hugh Jackman, a man known for his acting and singing chops, is Jean Valjean, the hero we love.
Every marketing firm and tourism board in the country is searching for social media’s magic bullet, and the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau might have found it. With a small budget and a young social media coordinator’s instinctive touch, the CACVB’s Facebook page has [...]
On Tuesday afternoon The Virginia Film Festival announced the bulk of its programming for the November 1-5 event with special attention to the commemoration of its 25th anniversary. While a few of the choice feature films and special guests are still waiting for final confirmation, festival [...]
In 2072, living bodies can be tracked. When they’re no longer living, the authorities are alerted. Pity the mafia, which faces the prospect of not killing anyone it wants killed. Luckily for future bad guys, there’s time travel. The mafia sends the poor souls it wants dispatched to the past. [...]
With all the hype and brouhaha surrounding the release of The Master, it’s easy to overlook one important consideration: Whether the movie is good. So let’s get that out of the way. The Master is good. Grand photography, lush production design, and big, appropriately showy performances make it [...]
Friday 10pm, TLC The televised dating show arguably peaked with “Joe Millionaire.” In case you forgot, that glorious 2003 Fox show featured an “everyday dude” (he was an aspiring model/actor) who acted as though he was wealthy in order to woo a bevy of would-be spouses. And at the end he told [...]
The 3D re-release of Pixar’s 2003 undersea saga may or may not be a bid from director Andrew Stanton to make back some of the cash his John Carter lost at the box office. Or it may just be de rigueur for controlling partner and distributor Disney to slap a 3D stamp on its most […]
Life in a big city is taxing in ways you don’t even notice, and sometimes the only sensible thing to do is disappear mysteriously into the woods. New York City’s avant-noise duo Blues Control traded the outer borough sprawl of Queens for Pennsylvania mining country. The result is a healthy [...]
Half a decade of global cold war left us with no lack of dramatic subjects for documentaries. To wit, on September 11, 1973, a U.S.-backed counter-revolution and coup in Chile resulted in the assassination of the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. Chilean director Patricio [...]
“Robot Chicken DC Comics Special” Sunday midnight, Adult Swim Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice, a bunch of nerds and geek-loving Hollywood stars teamed up to bring us the dorkiest TV show this side of “Who Wants to be a Super Hero?” The permanent teenagers behind stop-motion pop-culture comedy [...]
When you’re young and in love, “forever” is a word you dare to carve in tree trunks or wedding cakes. Getting older, if you’re not careful, that same word could mean a purgatory of codependence. Such is the wry wisdom of Celeste and Jesse Forever, a romantic comedy whose main characters spend [...]
Race to the bottom “Abby & Brittany” Tuesday 10pm, TLC There is a growing sentiment that TLC—which originally stood for The Learning Channel—has now become the modern-day equivalent to the circus freak show. An endless parade of extreme human behaviors are put on the airwaves—families [...]
“Face Off” Tuesday 9pm, SyFy SyFy’s cinematic make-up competition returns for Season 3, just a scant five months after it wrapped its solid second outing. Ratings grew dramatically from its premiere season, and continued to increase throughout the second run—you have to strike while the [...]
The agenda of director Jay Roach’s new movie is obviously not to mine the finer nuances of American electoral procedures. This might come as a shock or a relief, depending on whether you go into The Campaign remembering Roach as the politically-minded maker of HBO’s Recount and Game Change or [...]
We launched a new website today. People are launching new websites every day, but it’s a big deal for us as a print-focused media company that’s been on the same online platform since 2006. I arrived at the paper last year from a digital startup in a small market that used WordPress and [...]
For years, local music fans only knew Adam Brock as a drummer, the powerful force behind bands like The Nice Jenkins and Invisible Hand. But it’s always been clear that Brock was capable of more. His clear and exuberant singing voice added a perfect pop edge to his bands’ tunes, and his [...]
Sneak Reviews has been a treasure trove for local film fans for almost 20 years. (Photo by John Robinson) Merriam-Webster defines power as “possession of control, authority, or influence over others.” Some kinds, like political or economic, are easy to measure, even if that power is elusive and [...]