Table of contents

The next three days

American Self-hatred

Russell Crowe plays an intellectual, a professor of literature, a gentle husband & father. Then his wife is accused of murder, loses a trial & an appeal, & the family is destroyed. Of course, he believes in her innocence. His lawyer does not. We stand with our hero.

Setting in motion, he […]

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, part 1

The downfall

Harry Potter is coming to the end of his journey. The many, his admirers are enjoying the spectacle. The numbers & enthusiasm suggest this incredibly long story has proven very popular, first in print, now on screen. In the beginning, we saw Harry Potter, neither handsome nor strong, a democrat. He is […]


Heroism vs. science

This movie sets in motion a series of accidents causing a small catastrophe. The adjective in the title qualifies the noun train. The unstoppable train, as it happens, is an enormous mass, & its inertia is rendered deadly by a combination of massive amounts of fuel & toxic chemicals. The train […]

Wall Street 2: Money never sleeps

Further notes on acquisition

Gekko’s daughter is to marry a Wall St youngblood. She apparently admires the father she hates… Love dims her wits. He loves money, finery, & women of negotiable affection. She is good: She hates everything to do with money. She runs a lefty website, speaking truth to power, a job […]


Where are all the good guys gone?

Superman used to be the American hero, fighting for justice & the American way. What was is about the man of steel? He was serious, for he fought evil men; he proved that good is stronger than evil, that justice prevails. But he was unassuming, pleased to […]

Due date

The passion of the middle class

Robert Downey Jr. is back, half his talent with him, but not the funny half. This humorless comedy’s funniest scene has Downey punch a kid in the gut – wouldn’t we all? He also spits at a dog. Here’s the new upper middle-class newlywed, away from the life […]

The Winslow boy 2

The political implications of the secret life of the family

Winslow’s relation to his three children speaks not only to Edwardian England, but therefore to all decent societies. Eldest first: Dickie loses his freedom because his father cannot pay for it. The father disapproves of freedom–the attempt to bring music-hall or review music in […]

The Winslow boy

A quiet drama about the possibility of doing what’s right Some notes on the political inheritance of our democracy

The Winslow boy comes home, scared, in hiding, telling the womenfolk he has been expelled from the navy school–accused & convicted of forgery & theft. He is afraid of his old father, who nevertheless learns […]