Category: Movies

The odor from the stinkbomb that Colby Cosh lobbed at The Sopranos has wafted hither. T.S. Eliot notoriously remarked that the only method of the critic is to be very intelligent. This doesn’t help the writer much, but it saves the reader all kinds of time, allowing him to skip, say, the critical efforts of […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted July 24, 2007 @ 6:17 PM | Culture,Literature,Movies

Pickup on South Street Richard Widmark sneers. Thelma Ritter finks, sells ties. Audience nods off. Rancho Notorious Alas for Fritz Lang, direction translates poorly from the German. Thieves Like Us Is it possible? An Altman fanboy favorite that can be sat through? Cries and Whispers The TV is clear of dust where the red envelope […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted July 24, 2007 @ 6:07 PM | Movies,Poetry

The In-Laws Am I old, or is yelling “Serpentine!” not as funny as before? About Schmidt Midwestern schlemiels do not sit behind the bench at Laker games. Das Boot The TV is clear of dust where the red envelope has lain three weeks. Good Morning, Night What was I thinking? What the fuck was I […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted October 26, 2006 @ 5:01 PM | Movies,Poetry

In ordinary discourse a “dated” work of art is old-fashioned, no longer pertinent, a back number. But this is imprecise. The truly dated work can be traced to the moment it was made. The 40s: Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) The 40s are remembered, cinematically, as the era of gangsters and gun molls, of crooked cops and […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted June 21, 2005 @ 9:10 PM | Movies

Now is the time on God of the Machine when I play nice with the other blogchildren, who must be exasperated by my philoso-scientific treatises. I have been tagged for a game by Agenda Bender, who sustains, practically single-handledly, my diminishing belief that homosexuals are, in fact, witty. I will indulge him. 1. Number of […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted June 9, 2005 @ 5:52 PM | Culture,Literature,Movies

On most days I believe the world is essentially rational. Not that God’s in his Heaven or whatever is is right, but for the most part well-directed effort is rewarded, virtue triumphs and talent will out. Then there are other days, like when a new Quentin Tarantino movie opens. “In a world of impossible things […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted April 18, 2004 @ 12:17 PM | Movies

For once I’m with Teachout; Chaplin gets on my nerves too. For reasons I will defer to the 20th century’s best hater, the old Enemy, Wyndham Lewis: The childish, puny stature of Chaplin — enabling him always to be the little David to the Goliath of some man chosen for his statuesque proportions — served […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 20, 2004 @ 12:15 PM | Movies

Another bulletin from the Dept. of Almost Right: Larry Ribstein, blogging on the Forbes list of top ten business movies: Forbes story on the Ten Greatest Business Movies and related stories on, says a lot about films attitude toward business. The top ten were: Citizen Kane, The Godfather: Part II, It’s a Wonderful Life, […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 26, 2003 @ 8:19 PM | Movies

There was a discussion about Henry James and the movies a while back (here and here) at Terry Teachout’s blog, and I shall join the James Gang, fashionably late as usual. (Terry’s blog is called “About Last Night”; mine should be called “About The Week Before Last,” or “About Last Century.”) It seems paradoxical that […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted November 19, 2003 @ 5:48 PM | Literature,Movies

Warning: Spoilers ahead. A group of American fourth-graders, led by perky Scarlett Johansson, travels to Tokyo to participate in an international karaoke contest. Jack Black turns in a feral performance as their coach, exhorting them to “stick it to Japan.” Bill Murray plays a wealthy ex-karaoke star who has lost all interest in karaoke and […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted October 19, 2003 @ 2:28 PM | Movies