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Watching "Side Effects"
Published on March 5, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I review the new Steven Soderbergh movie "Side Effects."

Here's an excerpt:

Steven Soderbergh’s new film 'Side Effects' is a chilly, contemporary film noir that is smart and provocative, but also silly and implausible. It’s sharper than most films, but could be a little sharper. I liked it, but not as much as I would have liked. Some critics have described 'Side Effects' as Hitchcockian, but I don’t think Soderbergh or his film belong in quite the same class.

'Side Effects' focuses on a depressed young woman named Emily (Rooney Mara), whose husband Martin (Channing Tatum) has just been released after four years in prison for insider trading. The transition isn’t easy, and one day Emily presses on the gas and slams her car into the wall of the parking garage. She is hospitalized, and meets a sympathetic psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), who agrees to release her if she’ll undergo therapy with him. He prescribes her a series of anti-depressants, but none are effective, until she tries a drug called Ablixa. Ablixa works really well, but has one big side effect: It causes sleepwalking. And when SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! Emily stabs her husband to death, she claims she doesn’t remember a thing because she was sleepwalking. This seems fairly straightforward, but of course there are some nasty twists and turns, and not everything is as it seems."

Click here to read the whole thing.


Film Capsules
Published on March 4, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I offer up some short reviews on "How to Survive A Plague," "Stay Hungry," "Holy Mountain" and "Despicable Me."

Click here to read them.


Quiet, Please!
Published on March 4, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I rant about people who talk and use cell phones at the movies.

Here's an excerpt:

"I’ve never been particularly concerned with etiquette.

Using the proper fork, keeping elbows off the table, not wearing white after Labor Day — these are not the sort of things that matter to me, and I don’t see why they should.

But there’s a certain type of rudeness that really gets on my nerves.

And because I’ve been going to the movies a lot lately, I’ve been encountering this type of rudeness quite frequently. In fact, I’ve experienced it at each of the three movies I’ve seen in the past week-and-a-half. At every screening, there’s been a moment when I’ve looked around, trying to figure out who’s responsible for the asinine chatter distracting me from the film.

In one case, it wasn’t asinine chatter that distracted me — it was a man with a cellphone that beeped repeatedly and kept lighting up. Decent people are embarrassed when their phone goes off in the theater. Not this guy. His phone beeped again and again, and flashed nearly a dozen times. I was sitting next to this guy at a screening of “Amour,” and I finally decided that I couldn’t allow him to ruin my filmgoing experience."

Click here to read the whole thing.

Related: Here's a piece from Earth Island Journal about how noise is bad for your health


Recent Viewing: Films
Published on March 4, 2013 by Sara Foss

Despicable Me (2010) ***1/2

The Hours and the Times (1991) ***

Joyeux Noel (2005) ***

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (1997) ***1/2


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