Studs Terkel

Let’s presume that before he went, Studs Terkel had the satisfaction of knowing that a Chicagoan was very likely to be the next president. “The man on the street” interview is a kind of journalism that can get abused, and sometimes leads to the celebrity of a Joe the Plumber. Still, Terkel’s many books [...]

Yes on 44

(rinnnnnnnnnnnnng) Fraught robovoice: Proposition 44′s opponents claim that Proposition 44 isn’t even on the ballot. They claim Proposition 44 doesn’t even exist. They say Proposition 44 is nothing more than the ravings of a gibbering transient on a bus bench. But here’s the facts: Proposition 44 reduces earmarks on federally funded pork barrels, saving millions [...]

Bazooka Joe: The Movie

Proving that its eye is on the little, insignificant things, such as the waxy pieces of litter wrapping a piece of bubble gum, The Onion is never one to ignore the continuing saga of Bazooka Joe.  True, the comic has gone downhill, but the stunning surprise episode revealed in this week’s Onion is signalled by this [...]

The Zombie Doctrine

I just caught up with Zombie Strippers, the last great anti-Bush statement of our national nightmare years.

The basic gimmick (“They’re zombies. They’re strippers. No, they’re zombie strippers!”) is more than enough to carry a exploitation horror movie, but director Jay Lee added some tart political satire to the tale. Seems that the zombie virus is [...]

Stooges on DVD

The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 4: 1943–1945; two discs; Sony Pictures; $24.96

(Richard Burton voice): “So you want to know about the war, do you? 1943–45: The pie of doom, hurled by the  mailed fist of the Allies, sailed inexorably, soon to cover the face of the Third Reich in [...]

Bush to Judgment


‘W.’: from hollaback boy to the White House in three decades

AS THEY used to say about Nixon: at least he kept our boys out of Northern Ireland. Going from Alexander the Great to George W. Bush is a diminuendo for any tale teller. W. is an oddly cautious movie [...]

Buzz a While—Secret Life of Bees Wastes Good Cast

The Secret Life of Bees
(PG-13; 110 min.) In 1964 a young white girl (Dakota Fanning) escapes her violent, hateful, redneck father (Paul Bettany) and hides out with three African-American sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo), who make honey for a living. Based on Sue Monk Kidd’s 2002 novel, the film has the benefit [...]

Can a Conservative Comedy Be Funny?


An American Carol

(PG-13; 83 min.) If its technique matched its aim, this erstwhile comedy would have been one of the most repulsive films ever made. But director David Zucker is a yucksmith first and a new-minted conservative [...]

Square Pegg in a Round Movie

Pegg enjoys dinner with Megan Fox—who wouldn’t? Photo by Kerry Brown 

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

(R; 110 min.) Simon Pegg stars as Sidney Young, a scrappy, abrasive British entertainment journalist who is invited to join the staff of a big time New York magazine, run by [...]

Unnatural Born Killers

I’m tempted to blame this overly arch killers-on-the-run pastiche on the baleful influence of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, but since they all came out in 1994, I suppose that the zeitgeist is the real culprit—with 1993’s Kalifornia as accomplice. Gil [...]