Ben Stiller

REVIEW: ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ Turns Quirky Into Fine Art

Here are three things I know about Ben Stiller: he’s clever, he’s funny, he’s an accomplished director. Reality Bites, his first time at the helm, is considered a ‘cultural touchstone’ for Generation X. Zoolander was a zany and not-inaccurate riff on the male modeling world, peppered with indelible moments and quotes, such an effective skewering of the fashion world that even David “Beep-Beep” Bowie joined the fun. Tropic Thunder, which satirized male actors, upped the ante considerably: it was louder, messier, more raucous, more quotable than Zoolander. But it was still more of the same thing.


The Welcome Demise of the Modern Misanthrope

“You walk in a room and hate everyone,” a Greek lover said to me a little while back. “You are misanthropos.” Seeing as we were lying in each other’s arms after a party I’d just thrown for a dozen or so friends, at first I didn’t know where he was getting that one from.  He couldn’t have read my earlier blog posts when I joked about being a modern misanthrope,

Ryan Gosling Gangster Squad

REVIEW: ‘Gangster Squad’ Invents a New Genre, Film Orange

It isn’t often that I long for Roman Polanski.  Personally, I find him more than a little creepy and twisted.  If I go back to my one unpleasant encounter with him, at the home of a shady financier of his in Paris in the early 90s, I’d say he reminds me of a character lurking in the background of a Harry Potter film.  He is often, however, a great filmmaker.  Chinatown is his co-masterpiece, the definitive L.A. noir film, alongside The Pianist, a definitive Holocaust film.

Chinatown is so good it almost makes you wonder why they keep trying to remake it in one way or the other every decade with way under-benchmark movies like Ruben Fleisher’s Gangster Squad.  But I suppose Sunset Boulevard didn’t stop The Artist from happening, which renders my wondering idiotic.

L. Ron Hubbard

Scientology: Such Evil Will Fall

What is going on with this cult of celebrity is akin to the moment in the Batman series when it stops being a Tim Burton live-action cartoon and Christopher Nolan takes over to show us how dark and fucked up the scenario really is.  The old buffoon Jack Nicholson is no longer the Joker.  It’s now Heath Ledger’s version, a more authentic, malformed, psychopathic threat to humanity and to himself,