The Dixie Chicks have decided that they aren't a country music group any more. What are they thinking?12:00 AM, Sep 24, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
"I think [the Dixie Chicks] will go down as one of the biggest acts in the format, and by doing so--by staying true to their country roots and to country music--they will be a turning point for the industry.
"The Matrix: Reloaded" piles on the detail, dabbles with higher math, and makes a star out of Cornel West.12:00 AM, May 15, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
YOU MAY NOT remember this, but "The Matrix" earned a respectable, yet modest $27 million during its opening weekend way back in 1999. It went on to gross $171 million domestically, an impressive total. (As a rule of thumb, movies typically end up grossing about three times their opening weekend. In many ways this "multiple" is a better indicator of a movie's impact than its opening weekend performance.
A Grammy special, Cusack revisited, MTV goes anti-war, and the Boss.11:00 PM, Feb 25, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
THE STARDUMB word of the week is "agreeance." We shout out a thanks to Fred Dunce of Limp Bizkit for the contribution, which he ad-libbed on stage at the Grammys, in defiance of the English language and rumors of a gag order handed down from CBS. Without him, we wouldn't have a Stardumb word of the week. So, thanks Fred.
Dunce's full comment was, "I hope we all are in agreeance that this war should go away as soon as possible."
Stardumb Hypothesis 4: Although celebrity is often used to advance an overlooked cause, the dynamic works the other way, too.
Ronald Maxwell's new Civil War movie gives conservatives everything they've ever wanted from Hollywood. Is it enough?11:00 PM, Feb 20, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
THE URGE TO EMBRACE "Gods and Generals" is so strong as to be almost overwhelming. It is a beautiful, serious movie about the Civil War that holds tight to the trail of truth. It is well acted and scrupulously made. Anyone who has recently suffered through Hollywoodized history--Pearl Harbor, "The Messenger," "Thirteen Days"--will surely run to "Gods and Generals" if for no other reason than director Ronald Maxwell gets things right.
No small achievement, that.
"Daredevil" delivers the first purely comics-driven movie. Is America ready to join hands with the Comic Book Guy? Plus, more Oscar malaise.11:00 PM, Feb 13, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
JUST AS THERE ARE Elvis men and Beatles men, there are DC men and Marvel men. Perhaps "men" is too strong a word, but nonetheless, among comic aficionados, there are two distinct camps. It has been a rough decade for DC lovers. The company has fallen on hard times and its properties have met with a string of failures in Hollywood: The Superman franchise petered out and the Batman franchise devolved, after a promising start, into something worse than its '60s Adam West incarnation.
"Shanghai Knights" is the new buddy-cop movie archetype. Which may signal something good about America and globalization.11:00 PM, Feb 6, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
SURELY THERE IS much sociology to be done on the buddy-cop movie. So far as my informal, non-academic training can pinpoint it, the buddy-cop genre crawled out of the primordial celluloid soup in the early 1980s with the seminal Eddie Murphy / Nick Nolte film "48 Hrs."
A gigantic hit, "48 Hrs." spawned the usual cavalcade of imitators, each following the same basic formula: Two men of differing temperaments and backgrounds are thrown together by circumstance and must learn to work together in order to solve the murder/expose the crooked police chief/save the world/etc.
What the strange little girl of American agit pop has to say about her mother country. Mo' Moby. And introducing . . . The Barbrometer!11:00 PM, Jan 30, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
SHOWDITZ JANEANE GAROFALO told the Washington Post this week that a pro-war corporatist media encourages stars to speak out against war in Iraq in order to marginalize the peace movement.
On whether "The Hours" succeeds or fails in its ambition to profundity.11:00 PM, Jan 23, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
AS THE ONLY PERSON in North America with anything bad to say about "The Hours," I feel a certain obligation to speak up. Stylish and watchable, perhaps, graced even with some nice performances in the minor roles and some touching moments, "The Hours" tackles a challenging theme--mental disturbance and its toll on the sufferers and their loved ones--but makes of it essentially a heap of pretentious claptrap.
Promising profundity, the movie delivers scrupulously p.c. confusion.
J. Bottum has fun with Spencer Warren and our friends at the Claremont Institute.11:00 PM, Jan 20, 2003 • By J. BOTTUM
IT'S ALL RATHER COMPLICATED. You see, there are West-coast Straussians and East-coast Straussians, and the West-coast Straussians think that the East-coast Straussians . . . except that Harvey Mansfield . . . still, back at the University of Chicago . . . in Xenophon . . . but when Allan Bloom and Fr. Fortin were in Paris . . . the esoteric . . . and if you compare the Seventh Letter with Aristotle's account of Plato's unwritten doctrines . . . Harry Jaffa . . . Machiavelli . . . the Federalist Papers. . . .
Oh, never mind.
In "25th Hour" Spike Lee, one of our most gifted directors, gets in the way of his movie, again.11:00 PM, Jan 16, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
SPIKE LEE is an artist, but he's like a painter who cares just a little more about his signature than what occupies the rest of the canvas.
He subordinates characters to the almighty importance of his own political views. He pushes the actual story offstage to trot out pet themes, like his beloved New York City, his one great subject (other than himself).
The religion gap, "The Two Towers," Gary Carter, and more.11:00 PM, Jan 12, 2003 • By
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor.
An explanation of why "The Two Towers" won't win Best Picture, even though it should.11:00 PM, Jan 9, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
I WON'T SEE "CHICAGO."
There, I said it. I'm sure it's a wonderful movie. John Podhoretz says so. Everyone says so. And besides, it stars Renée Zellweger, who will always be dear to my heart because she was a scrappy point guard in high school. But "Chicago" is going to win the Oscar for Best Picture and once again Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" is going to be overlooked.
College football, the NFL, gay superheroes, Star Wars, Trent Lott, and more.11:00 PM, Jan 5, 2003 • By
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
Parity stinks. Mediocrity is dull. Excellence will always be the standard to strive for (Max Boot, A Level Playing Field). I have been a die hard New York Giants fan since 1961 (the tail end of the glory years)and watch every week on the satellite. But for many years the Giants were god-awful.
An unearthed letter from the great guitarist gives some insight into the Woodstock generation.11:00 PM, Jan 2, 2003 • By DAVID BROOKS
LAST SUNDAY, the New York Times magazine published a document so amazing, I assumed that it would set off a world-wide sensation, a great cacophony of breast-beating, disillusion, and internal crisis. It was a letter Jimmy Hendrix wrote to his father in August 1965. The letter describes the marketing strategy Hendrix planned to use to get rich.
Dec 30, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 16 • By
The Democrats' Flag Fantasy
THE WAR ROOM LIVES! Within minutes of Trent Lott's statement that he was stepping down as majority leader, Democrats were repeating their headquarters-dictated talking points--make that talking point: The GOP is the party of the Old Confederacy.
Nancy Pelosi, top House Democrat, said: "The Republicans have repeatedly exploited the issue of race, as recently as the election in November in Georgia, where their successful campaigns for U.S. senator and governor centered on the Confederate flag."
A letter from John Conyers Jr.