July 2004 Archives

With Monster, writer/director Patty Jenkins has fashioned a story of insistent, persistent desperation that is so fully embodied by Charlize Theron that I had a hard time believing the movie’s politics and psychology were so facile.

The Arts & Faith Web site last month posted its list of the “Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films.”

Some of the more interesting choices: Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction and Bad Lieutenant; Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and Dogville; Kevin Smith’s Dogma; David Fincher’s Fight Club; Monty Python’s Life of Brian; and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.

Incidentally, from experience, these are thoughtful, insightful, smart Christians. One of them called me a “benighted heathen” and a “perfidious troglodyte.”

As a screed against George W. Bush to justify the feelings, suspicions, and thoughts of people who already dislike the president and plan on voting against him in November, Fahrenheit 9/11 is strikingly effective. But as propaganda — as a compelling case to convince undecided voters and GOP loyalists that Bush needs to be voted out of office — Michael Moore’s movie is an utter failure.

The End of Pretend

Here is a movie that so badly wants you to cry and to feel the heartbreak of emotionally stunted characters and to bask in their eventual breakthroughs that I did my damnedest to resist it. In America is one of the most shamelessly manipulative art-house movies you’ll ever find. It works surprisingly well.

Red Sox fans have officially gone apeshit over the team’s performance.

If this is the way Boston is going to play — and we have no indication to the contrary — I hope the team collapses in the next few weeks, allowing management to get some value for all those free agents the Red Sox can’t afford to sign.

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