Staff Blogs

I just wanted to remind everyone that even though The Parallax Review is no longer updating, that doesn’t mean the staff isn’t writing.  You can continue reading the work of your favorite Parallax writers by checking out their sites/blogs.  Just click on one of the links to the right.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Last one to leave the site, turn out the lights

I’m sorry to announce the end of The Parallax Review.  The site will remain online, but will no longer be updated.

We started the site to offer a place for serious film criticism on the Internet that was both in-depth and fun to read.  For the most part, I think we were successful.  I’ve been thrilled with the quality of the writing that we were able to deliver every week and I have to thank Mark, Andrew, Kyle, Josh, and Hanna for doing such good work, even when we asked them to review something they weren’t going to like.

Of course, I want to also thank D.B. for launching the site with me.  He was a never-ending supply of good ideas and a great editor.  I leave this site a better writer than when I started because of his influence.

And I want to thank all our readers.  I hope that everyone has enjoyed our reviews and columns and maybe we encouraged people to check out some good movies that they would have otherwise missed out on.

It’s been a pleasure working on the site and I’ll always be proud of what we created.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

Rolling Thunder

For those of you living in or around Chicago, the Music Box Theatre is showing the awesome revenge flick Rolling Thunder this Friday and Saturday, February 18th and 19th, at midnight.  The film’s not on DVD, so unless you can find a crappy pan and scan copy on VHS or catch it on cable, this is your only way to see it.  If you’re not sure if it’s for you, check out my review here.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Lebanon Again

Lebanon was named as the best film of 2010 by D.B.  And while my interest was piqued by his initial review, I still wasn’t sold.  For as many reviews I read that echoed his thoughts, I read several that called it an overblown, overrated message movie.  Now that it’s finally out on DVD, I’ve caught up to it and I find that my thoughts fall somewhere in between the two extremes.  But I still found the film intriguing enough to give it a quick write up for the New Haven Review.

Wherever you fall on the argument for or against the film, you can’t deny that director Samuel Maoz has announced himself as a major new director in the international film community.  He’s one to watch.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Death Wish 3 – One Night Only

The most sublimely ridiculous action movie ever made, Death Wish 3, will be screening at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on February 2nd, as part of The A.V. Club‘s New Cult Canon series, with special guest Alex Winter.

Click here for information on preordering tickets.

Click here to read my four-star review from November.

posted by D. B. Bates in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Poor Ryan O’Neal

I watched a little film today called King Lear, directed by Jean-Luc Godard and “written” by Norman Mailer.  It’s the most unwatchable film I’ve ever seen.  I’ll have a review up for next week’s Cannon Corner, but in the meantime, I stumbled across this clip of Ryan O’Neal in Mailer’s execrable directorial effort Tough Guys Don’t Dance:

I usually like O’Neal, but this is the worst acting I’ve ever seen (worse than Peter Sellars in King Lear).

posted by D. B. Bates in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

2010 Chicago Film Critics Association nominees

These were just announced this morning.  I’m going to hold off on commentary for right now since I’m a member, but the showing for The Social Network (8 nominations) is unsurprising.

Update: Winners are in bold.

BEST PICTURE
Black Swan
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Winter’s Bone

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky—Black Swan
David Fincher—The Social Network
Debra Granik—Winter’s Bone
Tom Hooper—The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan—Inception

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges—True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg—The Social Network
Colin Firth—The King’s Speech
James Franco—127 Hours
Ryan Gosling—Blue Valentine

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening—The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence—Winter’s Bone
Lesley Manville—Another Year
Natalie Portman—Black Swan
Michelle Williams—Blue Valentine

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale—The Fighter
Andrew Garfield—The Social Network
John Hawkes—Winter’s Bone
Mark Ruffalo—The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush—The King’s Speech

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams—The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter—The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo—The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld—True Grit
Jacki Weaver—Animal Kingdom

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Black Swan—Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin
Four Lions—Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain & Chris Morris
Inception—Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right—Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech—David Seidler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Rabbit Hole—David Lindsay Abaire
The Social Network—Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3—Michael Arndt
True Grit—Joel & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone—Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan—Matthew Libatique
Inception—Wally Pfister
Shutter Island—Robert Richardson
The Social Network—Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit—Roger Deakins

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Swan—Clint Mansell
I Am Love—John Adams
Inception—Hans Zimmer
The Social Network—Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
True Grit—Carter Burwell

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Restrepo
The Tillman Story
Waiting for Superman

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I Am Love
Mother
A Prophet

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Tangled
Toy Story 3

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Armie Hammer—The Social Network
Katie Jarvis—Fish Tank
Jennifer Lawrence—Winter’s Bone
Tahar Rahim—A Prophet
Hailee Steinfeld—True Grit

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Bansky—Exit Through the Gift Shop
Derek Cianfrance—Blue Valentine
David Michod—Animal Kingdom
Aaron Schneider—Get Low
John Wells—The Company Men

posted by Mark Dujsik in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

Thoughts on Monsters

Since D.B. reviewed Monsters for the site, I didn’t bother writing up a review.  But the more I thought about the film, the more I realized that, while we mostly agreed on it, I liked it more than he did.  If interested, you can check out my review of the film here.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have No Comments

RIP Ron Santo

I apologize ahead of time, I can tell that this is going to be a rambling post.

I’m not a heartless bastard.  Most people assume I am because of my casually cynical manner.  Granted, this aspect of my personality has aided me when I have to write a negative review, but it’s only one trait out of many that make me who I am.  While I’m much more vocal about the things that annoy or anger me, I really do have a lot of love for many things.  There is, of course, my love for my family, friends, and pets.  Of course, I love movies and surprisingly, for someone who is as invested in the arts as I am, I love sports.

More specifically, I love the Chicago Cubs.  I have for as long as I can remember.  It wasn’t an easy thing to grow up a Cubs fan in southern Missouri, but I feel like it built character.

It’s an abusive relationship–I love them unconditionally and they let me down time and time again, punishing my faith and loyalty with rotten teams or disastrous meltdowns in the playoffs.  Yet season after season, I return for more abuse.  Maybe that’s why I, like so many Cubs fans, became so attached to Ron Santo.

I never saw Santo play (his final season in the majors was the year I was born), but after I moved to Chicago, I became a fan of listening to him call Cubs games on the radio.  He was the ultimate fan, living and dying with every game the Cubs won or lost.  Truth be told, he wasn’t the best color commentator in the game of baseball, but he was among the most fun.  I often found myself echoing his cries of anguish and hoots of joy.  And it was entertaining and enlightening to listen to his tales of baseball in the ‘60s before big money, steroids, and strikes tried to suck the fun out of the game.  He was a treasure trove of anecdotes from a bygone era

It was a cruel kick to the stomach to wake to the news of his passing, this morning.  The cynical side of me thinks it’s foolish to grieve for someone I never knew personally, but I can’t help but feel grief at the passing of a man who became a routine part of my life for six months of the year over the past eight years.

I will continue to be a massive, pathetic Cubs fan–It’s an incurable disease, but the games will be just a little less fun without Ron Santo in the booth shouting and cringing, rambling on bizarre tangents about the smell of rain, and explaining the difference between his “gamer” and his other hairpieces.

In the end, Ron Santo was the ultimate Cubs fan.  I hate like hell that he never got to see them win a World Series, but he got to live the dream of playing for them for fourteen years and talking baseball in the booth at Wrigley Field for another twenty.  That’s a damn good life and one worth celebrating.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

For Keeps

Last night, I bought a used copy of For Keeps, the mammoth compendium of Pauline Kael’s many books of film criticism.  I was very excited to find a copy in such good condition for such a low price (it’s been out of print for years).  When I got it home, I was sort of disturbed and depressed to find an inscription:

For Keeps?

For Keeps?

I’m not sure who NikNik’s BooBoo is (perhaps a pantsless cartoon bear cub?), but it certainly sounds romantic.  And yet it was sitting in a used bookstore, for who knows how long, in a condition I can only describe as “never been read.”  How sad.

posted by D. B. Bates in Uncategorized and have No Comments