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2008 Stories by Jim Ridley

Archives: 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
  • Mongol: Wrath of (Genghis) Khan

    published June 3, 2008

    You want a history lesson? Take a class. You want clanging swords, sneering villains, storybook romance, and bloody vengeance? Here's a brawny... More >>

  • Savage Grace: Trainwreck Gawkery

    published May 27, 2008

    A lip-smacking episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Depraved, designed more for train-wreck gawkery than psychological illumination,... More >>

  • Puzzling Struggle in A Jihad for Love

    published May 20, 2008

    Muslims, Jews, and Christians may have their, oh, occasional differences, but as an Islamic scholar observes early in Parvez Sharma's... More >>

  • Devil-Horns for Heavy Metal in Baghdad

    published May 20, 2008

    Viewing an unwieldy topic through a narrow prism almost always yields greater insights than a sprawling overview, and prisms don't get much... More >>

  • Xavier Gens's Frontière(s)

    published May 6, 2008

    Ah, the triumph of globalization: Give the French a taste of neo-fascism, race riots, and paramilitary crackdowns, and they seek solace in the... More >>

  • Mister Lonely: Harmony Korine's Moody Neverland

    published April 29, 2008

    A man in a Michael Jackson outfit—red shirt, black jeans, white face mask—rides hunched over the tiny frame of a clown bike.... More >>

  • Son of Rambow: New Blood

    published April 29, 2008

    No adult has ever been able to codify what separates a good movie from a classic. In kid terms, though—those favored by Son of... More >>

  • Constantine's Sword Crusades Against Crusades

    published April 15, 2008

    X marks the spot, literally, where Christianity and the Catholic Church fostered the centuries of religious hatred and anti-Semitism that... More >>

  • Serial-Killer Gimickery in Anamorph

    published April 15, 2008

    Those nutty cinematic serial killers—always taunting their pursuers with omniscient brilliance, always devising those elaborate... More >>

  • Sex is Fun in Never Forever

    published April 8, 2008

    Had Emily Watson's stranger-shtupping martyr in Breaking the Waves woken up mid-boink one day and realized, Hey, hot sex with an... More >>

  • Backseat

    published March 25, 2008

    Ben (Rob Bogue) has no job and a sexpot girlfriend (Aubrey Dollar) who wants to see other people; Colton (Josh Alexander, who scripted) just... More >>

  • Run Fatboy Run

    published March 25, 2008

    Actor-screenwriter Simon Pegg's follow-up to the surprise hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz isn't as quirky or distinctive as... More >>

  • Shotgun Stories

    published March 25, 2008

    Anyone who watched Michael Shannon pump Bug full of basket-case conviction, or steal Before the Devil Knows You're Dead with... More >>

  • The Grand: Worth the Gamble

    published March 18, 2008

    For pure cinema, nothing rivals a high-stakes, full-tilt poker game—unless it's somebody landing on Ventnor Avenue with two houses, or... More >>

  • Doomsday's Junk Food Glut

    published March 18, 2008

    Remember that scene in The Warriors where the Turnbull ACs chase the heroes in a pimped-out bus? Whoa! And remember that part in... More >>

  • Irina Palm: Marianne Faithfull at a Glory Hole

    published March 18, 2008

    Nobody can reduce tawdry material to doddering quaintness like the British, but this staggeringly inane joint effort of U.K., Belgian, French,... More >>

  • Sputnik Mania: Launching the Cold War

    published March 11, 2008

    For Gen-X babies, the Cold War scenario of Sputnik Mania must seem like Bizarro World. The supposedly backward Russkies control the... More >>

  • Never Back Down: Better Than It Needs to Be

    published March 11, 2008

    With a generic title like Never Back Down—what, was Action-Related Content already taken?—there's no way this... More >>

  • Man vs. Nature in Texas Eco-Doc The Unforeseen

    published February 26, 2008

    For those growing up in weatherbeaten West Texas, someone says early in Laura Dunn's The Unforeseen, "nature becomes God." A God that... More >>

  • Jar City

    published February 26, 2008

    A blockbuster in its native Iceland, adapted from Arnaldur Indridason's 2000 bestseller, this somber, sinewy police procedural by the talented... More >>

  • The Signal Is Bzzzting at a Theater Near You

    published February 19, 2008

    'Do you have the crazy?" a wild-eyed zombie fighter demands of his duct-taped captive. The Signal has the crazy all right, bless its... More >>

  • From Talking Heads to Dancing Bear

    published February 5, 2008

    In a Saigon meeting room, equal parts bordello foyer and job-placement service, a balding 38-year-old Singaporean takes his pick of potential... More >>

  • Bless Their Little Hearts

    published February 5, 2008

    Last year, Charles Burnett's 1977 debut, Killer of Sheep, finally got the theatrical release and large audience denied it for 30 years.... More >>

  • The Eye

    published January 29, 2008

    Ever had a premonition of imminent catastrophe, only to watch helplessly as the worst unfolds? You have if you saw the previews for this snoozer... More >>

  • Bab'Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul

    published January 29, 2008

    Even though one of the earliest appeals of cinema was the window it opened onto other cultures and continents, films that engage that interest now... More >>

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