Person Career

Crap, Actually
April 27, 2004

Anyone seeking evidence of the death of romantic comedy will find it in abundance in Love Actually, which arrives in video stores this week. Written and directed by Richard Curtis (best known for penning Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral), Love Actually announces its ambitions early: Too bold to offer us a thin, unconvincing romance, it instead offers us half a dozen.

Love and War
April 20, 2004

It's an odd claim to make for a film that won the Oscar for cinematography, but at its best Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (released on video this week) is less a visual experience than an aural one. Director Peter Weir opens with aerial shots of a tall ship accompanied by on-screen text--"H.M.S. Surprise ... N. coast Brazil. Admiralty orders: ... 'Intercept French privateer Acheron en route to Pacific.'"--before swiftly shifting to a nighttime  change of watch aboard the vessel.

Chop Socky
April 13, 2004

  In an interview following the release of Reservoir Dogs in 1992, Tim Roth ventured that "I honestly think you could take the same script but reshoot it with women and it would work. It would be the most controversial film ever. ... You could call it Reservoir Bitches." It took more than a decade, but with Kill Bill Volume 1 (out on video this week), Quentin Tarantino finally made his Reservoir Bitches. And while it's not the most controversial film ever (nor even of the past twelve months), that was clearly the director's aspiration.

Reversal of Fortune
March 10, 2004

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge by the Boy Scouts of America to Connecticut's removal of the organization from a state-employee workplace charity drive. The Court's decision attracted little public notice, earning just a single paragraph in The New York Times and five in The Washington Post. But the Court's refusal to hear the case was more significant than the lack of media attention might suggest. Back in 2000, the Boy Scouts won a major victory when the High Court, in Boy Scouts of America v.

Indefensible
March 08, 2004

On February 11, just days after a supposedly penitent Abdul Qadeer Khan confessed on Pakistani television, President Bush appeared at the National Defense University to describe how the father of Pakistan's atom bomb had for years run a global network that sold nuclear weapons technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Bush praised Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for "assur[ing] us that his country will never again be a source of proliferation," even though it was not clear Musharraf could promise any such thing, and lauded the U.S. intelligence community for its "hard work and ...

Judge Advocates
February 24, 2004

In announcing yesterday morning that he would back a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, President Bush resorted--as he has often done in the past--to a favorite tactic of social conservatives: attacking the straw man of judicial activism rather than focusing on the merits of the issue at hand. Opponents of gay marriage have sought to frame the debate over their proposed constitutional amendment as a matter of shielding voters and their elected representatives--that is, state politicians and local officials--from the whims of allegedly activist judges.

Rational Exuberance
February 02, 2004

It's hard not to scoff at the president's call for a return to the moon, Mars, and "beyond" if for nothing other than its political transparency. The president's sudden dose of the vision thing immediately endeared him to the thousands of aerospace workers in Florida, while costing him almost nothing before he leaves office.

EARTH DIARIST: Rational Exuberance
January 28, 2004

It's hard not to scoff at the president's call for a return to the moon, Mars, and "beyond" if for nothing other than its political transparency. The president's sudden dose of the vision thing immediately endeared him to the thousands of aerospace workers in Florida, while costing him almost nothing before he leaves office.

Credible Threat
January 19, 2004

Well before he officially launched his candidacy in mid-September, Wesley Clark was hailed as the Democrats' savior. Party strategists, convinced that the front-running Howard Dean would flame out against George W. Bush, saw in Clark not only a sensible political alternative but, just as important, an electable one.

Federal Appeal
December 22, 2003

The Massachusetts gay marriage decision is federalism at its best.

Pages