The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan’s groundbreaking Batman trilogy comes to an epic conclusion, with a complex, but not overstuffed story, vivid characterization, superb acting and dizzyingly great visuals. Inspiring, emotional and thrilling, it’s an anomaly in the genre: a superhero story with an ending, and a damn satisfying one at that.

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The Dark Knight Rises Original Soundtrack

Hans Zimmer, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Watertower Music)
Zimmer’s first Bat-score without collaborator James Newton Howard expands the previous soundtracks’ nearly subversive lack of heroic themes in favor of almost subliminal musical soundscapes that plumb the characters’ psyches and the impact of their surroundings. It’s haunting brilliance, evoking resignation, malevolence, resilience and ultimately triumph. No na-na-na-na-na-na-na-nas required.


The Newsroom

The news and politics stuff is engaging (although the preaching gets tiresome), and Sam Waterston is fantastic. But why are the interpersonal relationships (most of the female roles are insulting) so high school juvenile? Some lazy music supervision (Coldplay? Really?) only adds to the cloying melodrama. A resounding Meh.


The Amazing Spider-Man

A few tweaks to the origin, vastly improved effects and a much more charming romantic lead can’t make up for the fact that this serviceable reboot still feels too soon. The Lizard is a bit over-the-top, and again, how the hell did Peter Parker make that ridiculous suit?!?!

Waiter Rant

WAITER RANT by The Waiter aka Steve Dublanica (Harper Perennial)
Blogger Dublanica lays bare the peccadilloes of a high-end bistro, slinging tales of horrid behavior on both sides of the menu, from rude, entitled bad tippers to vindictive, slothful servers. More sympathetic than cynical, it’s still a must-read for anyone who’s ever complained about their table at a restaurant.

Midnight in Paris

An oft-precious, but ultimately charming tale of a frustrated American writer vacationing in Paris who time travels to the 1920s and hobnobs with cultural glitterati (including Picasso, Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds) is a rare gem from the modern Woody Allen. A remarkable deconstruction of nostalgia from cinema’s most legendary nostalgic.