Jonathan Kiefer



It’s sabotage!

It’s sabotage!

Assuming our intelligence can be trusted, the way Traitor came to pass is this: Steve Martin, while in the throes of Bringing Down the House, had an idea for an espionage thriller. (In retrospect, it’s easy to imagine how, during that particular production, his mind might have wandered.) It involved an undercover U.S. military operative […]

Drumming in the Rainn

Drumming in the Rainn

Doesn’t it seem like Rainn Wilson’s whole career is derivative? Be honest: It’s really only thanks to his turn as Dwight on “The Office,” a British show borrowed and overplayed by American TV, that you even know who he is. And what is that worth? Wilson finally having earned enough name recognition to score the […]

Casualties of war

Casualties of war

Tropic Thunder introduces its main characters through fake trailers for the entertainment properties that made them famous: Tugg Speedman (director, co-producer and co-writer Ben Stiller) has been muscling his way through a lobotomized franchise of apocalyptic action flicks; Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.) is an Australian Oscar-magnet method actor much adored for disappearing into his […]

There will be bud

There will be bud

The Pineapple Express, Wikipedia informs us, is “a meteorological phenomenon which is characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated heavy rainfall from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands.” It is also, the movie Pineapple Express informs us, a rare and special and presumably fictitious strain of marijuana—said to smell, […]

Jokers are wild in batty new flick

Jokers are wild in batty new flick

Just because Batman began again doesn’t mean his life’s been easy. Stealthy though he may be, fighting crime after hours while elaborately attired as an insectivorous winged mammal has a way of attracting attention. People want to know who this guy really is. Suspects include Abe Lincoln and Bigfoot, but actually he’s the orphaned billionaire […]