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Matt Zoller Seitz

“Sex and the City 2”: Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is why they hate us. (photo)

“Sex and the City 2”: Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is why they hate us.

A friend describes the “Sex and the City” films as “Ladies’ ‘Star Wars.’” The description isn’t far off the mark — not just because the TV series and the spinoff films are critic-proof revenue-generators, but also because Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her gal pals inhabit a universe so far removed from anything resembling […]

“MacGruber” and “Holy Rollers” (photo)

“MacGruber” and “Holy Rollers”

If you saw any the SNL sketches or the Super Bowl commercial featuring the nimrod government agent MacGruber — basically Richard Dean Anderson’s MacGyver by way of “The Jerk” hero Navin Johnson — you know to expect from the film that bears his name: five or six inspired bits, surrounded by padding. MacGruber (Will Forte) […]

“Robin Hood” and “Looking For Eric” (photo)

“Robin Hood” and “Looking For Eric”

There are two kinds of bad films: actively bad and passively bad. Actively bad movies are engaging. They’re technically competent but utterly nonsensical (and/or offensive), or else so astoundingly inept in every conceivable way that they’re mesmerizing. The greatest actively bad films think they’re masterpieces and carry themselves with an unearned aura of importance. But […]

“Iron Man 2” and “Princess Kaiulani” (photo)

“Iron Man 2” and “Princess Kaiulani”

With the release of “Iron Man 2,” the Marvel Comics franchise is officially two-for-two — two thoroughly competent, occasionally inspired yet ultimately forgettable films that promise sly engagement with real-world anxieties, then set that promise aside in favor of corporate intrigue and endless scenes of robots bashing the crap out of each other. The first […]

Dennis Hopper: The American Dreamer (photo)

Dennis Hopper: The American Dreamer

Update: Dennis Hopper passed away Saturday, May 29th at his home in California. Dennis Hopper’s recent announcement of terminal cancer jump-started a long-overdue appreciation of his art and life. He got a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame last month (finally), and newspaper and blog appreciations are starting to pop up, focusing mainly on Hopper […]

Ranting in Pictures (photo)

Ranting in Pictures

“‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ was the most disappointing thing since my son.” That’s the daffy opening line of filmmaker Mike Stoklasa’s “‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ Review,” an insightful, rudely funny takedown of George Lucas’ prequel. And it’s as good a place as any to start an appreciation of a hybrid of the video […]

It’s Time to Meet the Muppets, Again (photo)

It’s Time to Meet the Muppets, Again

“Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody” debuted on the Muppets’ newly inaugurated YouTube channel just three weeks ago. But nearly ten million views later, it already feels like a signpost that we’ll look back on fondly — a goofy capper to a rotten decade, a bridge to whatever lies ahead, and perhaps a future time capsule, a reminder […]

The Naughts: The Critics of the ’00s (photo)

The Naughts: The Critics of the ’00s

Film criticism as we know it tends to fall into a handful of time-worn categories: an expression of one’s personality, politics and taste, with traces of social critique and memoir (Pauline Kael, James Agee); or a kind of performance art on the page, using individual films, actors or filmmakers as springboards for sustained riffs on […]

The Mundane Fantastic (photo)

The Mundane Fantastic

In this summer’s most spectacular features — from CGI-driven live-action movies to 3-D animated fare — the real star has been the camera. It’s as lively, confident and versatile as any lead actor, taking any opportunity to get into character for a particular shot or sequence, doing whatever it needs to do to sell a […]

Standing Witness (photo)

Standing Witness

In the nearly two decades that I’ve been writing film reviews, I can’t recall another week that saw the release of three movies that are guaranteed to wind up on my year-end Ten Best list. The movies are vampire love story “Thirst” and the documentaries “The Cove,” about an aquatic conservationist’s attempts to stop the […]