Film

Classical Gore

There’s nothing spartan about the eye-popping, eye-gouging visual style of 300.
Kristian Lin
I’m always puzzled when my fellow film critics decry the notion of “style over substance” in movies.


Cold Case

An amateur detective follows the signs of a killer in the admirable Zodiac.
Kristian Lin
Sheesh, you make one splattery serial-killer flick that turns into a blockbuster hit, and everybody thinks they have you pegged.



Men With Choppers

Wild Hogs is bad enough to make you trade in your motorcycle for an SUV.
KRISTIAN LIN
Some years ago, political satirist Mark Russell observed that guys caught in mid-life crises tended to handle them in one of three ways: They bought motorcycles, cheated on their wives, or became spies for the Soviets. He wound...


Since My Baby Left Me

Black Snake Moan turns a great premise into Southern-fried cornpone.
Kristian Lin
If Black Snake Moan is disappointing, that’s largely because it starts out with one of the greatest premises of any movie in recent years.



What’s the Big Idea?

Three movies this week are dominated by men and their obsessions.
KRISTIAN LIN
George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.


Pop Corn Movie

Hugh and Drew find their voices in the better-than-expected Music and Lyrics.
Kristian Lin
My job is difficult this week. I’m here to make a case for Music and Lyrics, a movie that well exceeded my nonexistent expectations.



The Way to Wonderland

It’s tough to bring a beloved fantasy novel to the screen, as this movie shows.
Kristian Lin
An unusual number of people have come up to me in the last month or so to tell me how marvelous they found Pan’s Labyrinth.


Sin for Your Supper

Only gluttons for cinematic theology will want a piece of The Last Sin Eater.
Kristian Lin
The title of The Last Sin Eater refers to a ritual that hails from the British Isles, in which a designated “sin eater” (a beggar or homeless man, usually) provides absolution to recently deceased people by eating bread and...



Violation

Breaking and Entering makes hash out of big issues, and that’s a petty crime.
Kristian Lin
Anthony Minghella made his name as the director of lush, cosmopolitan, epic literary adaptations with period settings, beginning with The English Patient in 1996 and continuing through The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain.


Army of Shadows

A CATS alumnus turned documentarian discovers a great untold story in Belgium.
Kristian Lin
When Mat Hames was growing up in Grand Prairie, he managed to convince his mom one day that he’d been kidnapped. Not amused, she nonetheless figured she’d better find an outlet for that kind of imagination and signed him up...