The Dictator (2012)

The Grating Dictator A delightful surprise, Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator (2012) delivers its jokes from the theatrical trailer—General Admiral Aladeen holds his own Olympics in order to win all of the gold medals by shooting his competitors in the middle of the race—in its first few minutes. This allows director Larry Charles ...

The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Afghan Mordor Toward the end of Annie Hall (1977), Alvy tells Annie to “never take a class where they make you read Beowulf.” Despite the fact that Alvy is to blame for all the couple’s problems, I think he’s right on this one: medieval fantasy (and, as I’ll demonstrate, its 20th Century incarnations) are dangerous to one’s cultural ...

Moulin Rouge (2001)

Moulin Rouge (2001)
Love is Like Oxygen It only happens once in a while. Sometimes, years will go by in between my experiencing such a moment of cine-gasm. But, while watching Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann’s uber-musical, I was so enthralled that I forgot to breathe. For about five minutes, in fact. I’m sorry if you find this hyperbolic ...