detective

Bigger, Badder
January 25, 2006

You hear a lot of complaining, and rightly so, about Hollywood's tendency to churn out safe, unimaginative pabulum--the remakes, the sequels, the blow-everything-up movies. Less remarked upon is the opposite problem: The studios' inability (or unwillingness) to make B+ movies, competent, mid-sized genre films that are formulaic in the good sense. There was a time when Hollywood excelled at producing such solid but unexceptional fare--Westerns are the classic example--but no longer.

Undercover Brothers
January 18, 2005

The Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs begins with a Buddhist epigram, though not a particularly memorable one (something about "Continuous Hell" being the worst of the eight hells).

Postmodern Picaresque
March 27, 1989

How Paul Auster finally broke out of his own head.