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Three faces of Margaret

Let me indulge my passion for operatic drama for a moment and say that I've seen Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" four times now (the theatrical version and the new "extended cut" on DVD, twice each) and, while I'm watching it, I…

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Louie: Funny is gravy

It's not enough to say that Louis C.K.'s "Louie" is the finest, funniest, most adventurous half-hour comedy on television. It's not even necessarily accurate, since the series is more like a short story anthology than any kind of sitcom you've…

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Preparing for The Dark Knight to Rise

So, we're having this wonderful discussion at Scanners about the moral dimensions of superhero movies -- mostly about "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Marvel's The Avengers" and "The Dark Knight." I was bringing up some things from 2008 and 2009 about how…

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What is a "rape joke," anyway?

What's worse than finding a hair in your soup? Being raped.* -- @AntiJokeApple, June 2, 2012 "I was raped by a doctor... which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl..." -- Sarah Silverman, "Jesus Is Magic" (2005) Seriously, what is…

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Margaret: The masterpiece that (almost) got away

Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" was written in 2003, filmed in 2005 and stuck in post-production for six more years. The 150-minute version briefly released theatrically last year was an inchoate masterpiece, perhaps, but a masterpiece nevertheless. The DVD/Blu-ray release, July 10,…

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Sorkin's Newsroom: Who, What, When, Where, Why

To best appreciate Aaron Sorkin's writing, you should probably know as little as possible about whatever it is he's writing about. Imagine that pithy, rather snarky statement delivered at a rapid clip from the mouth of one of Sorkin's characters.…

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It's not nice to call a superhero a "unitard"

Or: Do comic-book movie blog posts display traffic superpowers? New York Times film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis held a discussion of comic-book movies and that subset known as "superhero movies" in advance of the Marvel re-boot, "The Amazing…