Shaun Brady is a freelance writer who covers film, jazz, and countless other distractions for City Paper. He also writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro and DownBeat and JazzTimes magazines.
[Grade: C] If anyone has spent the last seven years wondering what was going on in the background of the original 300 while Gerard Butler and his band of impossibly buff Spartans were engaged in slo-mo slaughter, the answer has belatedly arrived.
[Grade: C-] As a tortured action hero, air marshal Bill Marks has it all: a shattered family life, an alcohol problem, a checkered past that got him kicked off the NYPD — and, perhaps most telling in this tobacco-shunning cinematic age, a habit of smoking in airplane bathrooms.
Documentary filmmaker Don Argott seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the worst time. While working on The Atomic States of America (co-directed by longtime partner Sheena M. Joyce),...
[Grade: C-] Once the Taliban goes on the attack, the four SEALs’ suffering is depicted with the flesh-rending fetishism of The Passion of the Christ combined with the snowballing misfortunes of a Coyote/Roadrunner cartoon.
Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper finds his follow-up film Out of the Furnace in the neighborhood of Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter: literally, in the case of its central Pennsylvania steel-town setting, but also thematically.