"Dennis Farina brought his Chicago street sense to many roles." Chicago cop turned actor Dennis Farina died yesterday at 69. Filmmaking collaborators—and the CPD—pay tribute at the Sun-Times (registration required). Related: RogerEbert.com editor Matt Zoller Seitz's Farina appreciation at Vulture. See also: RogerEbert.com contributor Odie Henderson on Midnight Run at The House Next Door.
"Memo to Nate Silver: The Oscars Ain't Politics." Nate Silver is moving from The New York Times to ESPN, where he'll cover a broader array of subjects — including the Academy Awards. Even though Silver maintains, as he has consistently, that "there's not a great statistical way to predict the Oscars," The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg lays into him anyway.
"Letter from a Bankrupt City: Eulogizing Detroit's Dream of Social Justice." Sam Butler provides some historical perspective on Detroit's declaration of bankruptcy — and what it means for a city that once strove to be a "utopia of class equality and beacon of black power."
"Conservatives point to a lazy auto industry that was further ham-tied by demanding unions. These critics paint Detroit as a city with a bloated government bureaucracy, perpetuating a sense of entitlement and breeding a culture of dependency. At the same time, liberal pundits call Detroit the prototypical example of big business pillaging a working-class community. They describe Detroit running a race-to-the-bottom, offering tax incentives for the Big Three — a strategy that led to the leveling of entire neighborhoods to build assembly plants — only to have the Big Three leave anyway. Federal culprits such as NAFTA and subsidized highways to the suburbs are also cited in the coroner’s report. All of these narratives are true, yet they all miss a pertinent reason why Detroit should be reflected on, and ultimately mourned, by the rest of the country: Detroit's bankruptcy is the death knell of a social justice dream."
"The Fantastic Failure of The Lone Ranger." Eileen Jones speaks out in defense of Gore Verbinski's latest attempt to revive the Western.
"Some warts-and-all documentaries take viewers deeper into the world of Troma than most would ever want to go." Nathan Rabin, writing at The Dissolve, is up for the challenge anyway, pairing two documentaries on Lloyd Kaufman's Grade-Z juggernaut.
A proposed development on Detroit's east riverfront. According to the Detroit Free Press, a St. Louis developer believes there's a resurgent housing market for young professionals in the troubled city.
The Crime Story chapter of of "Zen Pulp: The Art of Michael Mann," RogerEbert.com editor Matt Zoller Seitz's 2009 video essay series about the director's work.