Christopher Orr

The Return Of Hot Tub Tom
August 17, 2009

Who says there are no second acts in politics? --Christopher Orr

The Movie Reviews: 'Thirst' and 'District 9'
August 13, 2009

Emile Zola never wrote a vampire flick, but if he had, we can assume it would have resembled Park Chan-wook’s Thirst. This is in part because the Korean writer-director’s film is based (very loosely) on an early Zola novel, Therese Raquin, and is, to the best of my knowledge, the only vampire movie to bear this distinction. But there are other echoes as well.

G.i. Joe After Hours
August 13, 2009

As musical parody goes, this exploration of how the characters of G.I. Joe amuse themselves when they're not on the clock isn't particularly memorable. What's fascinating, though, is that the satirists managed to assemble a vastly more talented and interesting cast than that of the actual, $175 million film. Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup, Zach Galifianakis, Alan Tudyk, Vinnie Jones, Olivia Wilde, Tony Hale, Henry Rollins, Alexis Bledel, Sgt. Slaughter--put that crew in your G.I. Joe movie and you might actually have something worth watching.   --Christopher Orr

Mel Gibson's New Project
August 12, 2009

Yes, his dalliance with (and impregnation of) girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva may have wrecked his marriage and sucked the wind out of his Christian traditionalist self-presentation. But at least it hasn't gotten in the way of the Oscar-winning, billion-grossing director's career. I understand he's even directing music videos for some hot, new... oh, never mind.   --Christopher Orr

Musical Kryptonite
August 12, 2009

I'm sorry, but any list of "Top Ten Least Impressive 'Supergroups'" that doesn't include The Firm (Bad Company's Paul Rodgers, Zeppelin's Jimmy Page et al.; biggest hit: "Radioactive") and, especially, Asia (King Crimson's John Wetton, Yes's Steve Howe, ELP's Carl Palmer, etc; biggest hit: "Heat of the Moment") really isn't trying very hard. Walk with me down memory lane, if you dare:     --Christopher Orr

The Movie Non-Review: 'GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra'
August 11, 2009

Sometimes, a film defies conventional narrative and artistic standards so utterly that it seems unfair to judge it by them. G.I. Joe is such a case, a movie that has, through its own inverse accomplishment, earned the right to speak for itself. Consider this a tone poem in 40 scraps of dialogue: You don’t ask to be a part of G.I. Joe. You get asked. If you’re going to shoot something, kill it.

The Movie (non)review: 'g.i. Joe'
August 11, 2009

Sometimes, a film defies conventional narrative and artistic standards so utterly that it seems unfair to judge it by them. G.I. Joe is such a case, a movie that has, through its own inverse accomplishment, earned the right to speak for itself. I've let it do just that here. --Christopher Orr

The Right's Blindness
August 10, 2009

 National Journal's Jonathan Rauch writes movingly of a cousin, Bill, his partner, Mike, and a life-threatening illness: Having just been told, at 3 a.m., that his partner of three decades might die within hours, Mike Brittenback was told something else: Before rushing to Bill's side, he needed to collect and bring with him documents proving his medical power of attorney. This indignity, unheard-of in the world of heterosexual marriage, is a commonplace of American gay life. Frantic, Mike tore through the house but could not find the papers.

No, No. We *oppose* Nazis
August 10, 2009

My favorite bit in the exceptionally disingenuous Peggy Noonan column Ed Kilgore cited earlier is this: Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, accused the people at the meetings of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.” (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a “no” slash over a swastika.) But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans. Some of them looked like they’d actually spent some time fighting Nazis. They still are, Peggy!

The Homer Simpson Party
August 07, 2009

First it was Arlen Specter announcing that he was switching parties explicitly because he didn't think he could be reelected as a Republican. Next, of course, it was Sarah Palin eschewing politics as usual by vacating the Alaska governor's mansion eighteen months before the conclusion of her term. Now, it's Florida Senator Mel Martinez, who'd already announced he wasn't running for reelection in 2010, following Homer Simpson's immortal dictum "If at first you don't succeed, give up" by quitting office early. His reason?

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