Kathryn Bigelow's Big Adventure

Look at it! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, man! Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave before you take me in. I mean, come on man, where I am I gonna go? Cliffs on both sides! I'm not gonna paddle my way to New Zealand! [...]

Dr. Horrible Arrives

 Yes I should have known about this earlier, but I know about it now, so that counts for something. Go to www.drhorrible.com and prepare to have your soul shriveled starting today when the first episode of this Internet-only mad scientist musical by Josh Whedon unveils! Fear!  

I shall destroy all the civilized planets.

Somehow—uh, must have been something to do with the low-budget promo department at Fantagraphics, “where the underrated are underpromotedTM”*—I missed the news that there was a Fletcher Hanks collection printed last November. I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets, edited by Paul Karasik, brings forth the work of a genuine and strange folk artist.

I’ll never [...]

Kim Novak, Beyond Vertigo

All hail, Vertigo, which premiered 50 years ago this May and remains one of the greatest movies ever made. Although the film was supposedly a disappointment at the box office, it clearly influenced a few films of the time. There’s Portrait in Black, for instance, from 1960, with Lana Turner driving around San Francisco in [...]

“Give us a kiss”: Favorite Roy Scheider moments

The Feb. 10 death of the underappreciated and dependable Roy Scheider has made me want to retrieve my DVD copy of Jaws (which I stupidly left behind at my parents’ house after I moved out), just to rewatch my favorite sequence. It doesn’t even involve the shark at all. It’s one of the quieter parts [...]

Y: The last issue

It’s a sad week for comics. The brilliant and addictive Vertigo series Y: The Last Man is wrapping up its five-year run this week with its 60th and final issue. Written by Brian K. Vaughan (whom I met at WonderCon last year—he’s a nice guy and he gave me some good advice about comics scriptwriting) [...]

Freaks and Geeks

On Jan. 20, the SF Sketchfest hosted a panel discussion called ”Freaks and Geeks Speak,”which they claim is the most populous reunion to date of the short-lived but intensely loved TV series, Freaks and Geeks.

The afternoon show was moderated by comedian Patton Oswalt, who did a fine job keeping the ball rolling and tried as [...]

“It might be malig-nant”: When good actors pretend to be crappy ones

The breakout performance in last spring’s little-seen, wildly funny indie movie The TV Set belongs not to its star, recent Golden Globe winner David Duchovny (although in The TV Set, he’s pitch-perfect as a frustrated Hollywood scriptwriter), but to an unknown actor named Fran Kranz.

Loosely based on writer/director Jake Kasdan’s own experiences in the TV [...]

Does Walter Murch ever watch The Wire?

One particular element of The Wire—my favorite show—that I love as much as the writing, the acting and music supervisor Blake Leyh’s choices of diagetic music is the textured sound design. It’s an often unheralded element that’s as integral to the show as the novelistic writing (authors like Richard Price and George Pelecanos are part [...]