Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Over the years, director Steven Soderbergh has established himself as something of a chameleon: social dramas, biopics, epics, caper films, action movies, satire of the political and non-political varieties, he’s done them all, always with a stylistic flourish on the material that could come from no other filmmaker, and to my mind, he’s done them […]

“Fucking movies! Fucking overpaid, fucking unhappy childhood fuckers, fucking movie fucking fuckers.” -Lee Bright (Catherine Keener) If you share with me a healthy love for a certain kind of artistic indiscipline – a willingness to give a hearty “piss off!” to the money-men and the more lackadaisical bourgeois members of the receiving public, in favor […]

It’s not new for the monumentally prolific Steven Soderbergh to release two movies in a single calendar year, nor is it new that those two films should represent strikingly different styles and narrative interests, but I am comfortable in claiming that 2009 is something of a banner year for showcasing the man’s chameleonic skills, particularly […]

We all know by now that the career of filmmaker Steven Soderbergh breaks into two separate parts: greatly accomplished studio fare that is extremely entertaining, awards-friendly, or both; and the… other ones. Say whatever you like about the other ones, but it is an undeniable fact that they are not thoughtless things – it may […]

Che

Steven Soderbergh’s 4.5-hour cinematic study of two years in the life of Che Guevara is absolutely confounding – not least because it’s hard even to figure out how to classify it. An eight-years-in-the-making dream project (financed in no small part by the director’s populist Ocean’s trilogy), the film premiered at the 2008 Cannes festival as […]

Ocean’s Thirteen is absolutely not a masterpiece. It’s something far more useful: the first major summer film of 2007 that isn’t a waste of time. Which is ironic, given that it’s essentially just a genial time-waster. As I’ve mentioned several dozen times here and elsewhere, I fully liked 2004’s Ocean’s Twelve. I would come much […]

Author’s note: this review was originally submitted to and rejected by a certain alt-weekly of my community. If it seems like it lacks the editorial joie de vivre of my customary work, that is doubtlessly why. The most apparent reason for Steven Soderbergh’s moderately confusing The Good German to exist is that of style, a […]