Other Articles by Susan Howson
CINEMA» Synecdoche, New York - Revered screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, taking on the role of director, propels the meta-film concept to ever-spiraling extremes. The result? A film so complex that you can basically say anything you want about it, as long as it's convoluted.
[12.15.2008 by Susan Howson]
SPORTS» Baseball + Cinema - One of the biggest reasons that I drift towards the bearded chins this time of year is that baseball has been crafted into an even more glorious slice of old-timey Americana by the zillions of quality movies that attempt to capture the spirit of the sport. For America's two favorite pastimes, fall is truly the season.
[10.27.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» W - Sometimes it's funny that George Bush says "misunderestimated" and sometimes it's funny that Oliver Stone expects us to buy Josh Brolin (who is 40) as an 18 year-old Bush, but for the most part, Stone's biopic is an elegantly made interpretation of the life and career of America's forty-third president (minus the economic disaster of 2008, of course).
[10.22.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Tell No One - What allows director Guillaume Canet's romantic French murder-mystery, to make even the most hardened and snarky cinema critic emote so passionately lies in all of the other elements of the film besides the story. The story, honestly, isn't that stirring.
[09.24.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Tropic Thunder - Ben Stiller's much-hyped film plays on Hollywood narcissism, with the action star, the comic buffoon, the respected actor, the hip-hop star turned actor, and the newbie… all lost in a hostile jungle, unsure if they're still making a movie about 'Nam or just lost in a hostile jungle.
[08.20.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Pineapple Express - LAS cinema critic Susan Howson found this new Judd Apatow Brand comedy - a well-intentioned experimental hybrid between a stoner flick and an action thriller - more and more difficult to rate as time went by.
[08.14.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» The Dark Knight - Is director Christopher Nolan the Dark Knight of twenty-first century cinema? Perhaps, but even if not there is no denying that Heath Ledger's swan song makes LAS cinema critic Susan Howson want to cry. Yeah, it is THAT real!
[07.23.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Hellboy II - In reviewing Guillermo del Toro's latest film, LAS cinema critic Susan Howson is damned if she does, damned if she don't, and as such she chooses to take the low road and infuriate every dude she knows by declaring this comic book-based sequel the "most solid 5/10 movie I've seen in a long time."
[07.16.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» The Visitor - LAS film critic Susan Howson reports on The Station Agent director Tom McCarthy's new film about "a bland, white businessman who timidly joins a drum circle and learns, through a mystical immigrant, how to express himself while my head explodes."
[06.12.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Sex and the City - LAS film critic Susan Howson wasn't a devout follower of the long-running, hard-to-kill television show, yet is oddly satisfied with how the big screen epilogue to the wildly popular HBO series seems to fix a lot of easy cop-outs with which the series left us.
[06.05.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Baby Mama - With this Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy being universally panned in the press, don't look to LAS cinema critic Susan Howson for a contrary opinion. "We all might as well give up now, and just accept that the funniest joke in movies is going to be about a baby grunting like DMX. That's right. BABIES GRUNTING LIKE DMX."
[05.06.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Leatherheads - For awhile, all goes as planned for this George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, and Jon Krasinski film. It even strikes a nice balance of being a sports movie without really involving too much actual sport, playing with the beginnings of professional football in a way that even blockheads can understand. Then it shrinks into flat nothingness.
[04.16.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Run, Fat Boy, Run - Maybe it is time for studios to retire some of the storyboard twists and turns in favor of a return to basic plots with comedy as the main event. This decidedly British film, written by Ian Black and directed by David Schwimmer, doesn't deliver any surprises, but it does a good job of covering the basics of romantic/underdog date movies.
[04.07.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Funny Games - Director Michael Haneke's film was noted for its breaking of the cinematic fourth wall when it was originally released in German. The worst part about this ridiculous device, besides the fact that without it the American remake would be near-perfect, is that having already done it once - the guy had ten years to mull over the film - Haneke makes the same move twice. That's double obnoxious.
[03.24.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - Thanks to director Bharat Nalluri, the fast-paced, irreverent, yet still somehow clean fun of the films of yore - lessons are learned, facades are destroyed, inhibitions are thrown haphazardly to the curb, that sort of thing - is newly resurrected in glorious color.
[03.21.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Be Kind Rewind - Although writer and director Michele Gondry seems to have heeded critics' advice and made a film that's more accessible to those of us not keen on sitting through an arts-and-crafts show, with his latest film he still lands consistently far off the mark set by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
[03.19.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Oscars 2008 - Operating under the theme "Let's Keep It Interesting," LAS cinema junkie Susan Howson takes a stab at predicting the winners and the should-winners ahead of this Sunday's airing of the 80th Annual Academy Awards®. (Gotta include that registration symbol!)
[02.21.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Savages, The - A little film about what it's like to put a dementia-addled parent into a nursing home, written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, and nominated for a couple of Oscars, should be required viewing for young and old alike.
[02.18.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Cloverfield - Vertigo. Stupid girls in high heels. Cookie-cutter monsters attacking the most obvious and over-used target. Yuppies. There are countless reasons to be extremely angry at the J. J. Abrams-produced film, which is flimsy at best, yet you'll still probably want to shell out the cash at the box office in order to to see it for yourself.
[01.30.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» There Will Be Blood - Released on limited screens late last month, Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and scored by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, is now making full rounds on the strength of its Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
[01.23.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Atonement - She's seen a number of films lately, but it is the adaptation of Ian McEwan's best-selling 2001 novel of the same name that Susan Howson keep going back to and marveling at film for filmmaking's sake. It's this year's Notes on a Scandal in both its elegant structure and its insistence that, yes, British people DO behave badly once in awhile. Who knew?
[01.09.2008 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» I Am Legend - After sitting through this Will Smith movie made by the director of Constantine, LAS staffer Susan Howson has just one thing to say: "Nice try, but I'm still dreaming about Johnny Depp, not zombies."
[12.19.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Juno - Judging from the amount of press it's already getting, LAS staffer Susan Howson is concerned that Jason Reitman's new film, one of the year's best, will go down the same dubious road as Napoleon Dynamite, winding up with merchandise in Target stores. It's that appealing.
[12.18.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Golden Compass - "The producer of the American Pie movies made a film adaptation of my favorite book." The very idea was enough to cause LAS staffer Susan Howson's chest to constrict in horror, even as she scrambled to get to the advance screening on time.
[12.14.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Om Shanti Om - For those sick from the glut of Britney paparrazzi video clips and queasy from seeing Brangelina's mugs in every media outlet, Susan Howson urges taking this Farah Khan-directed film as a feel-good antidote. But not before completing an action item list Bollywood primer.
[12.10.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Wendell Baker Story - After two ho-hum runs in theaters, this Bottle Rocket-style comedy is bound to fair better on DVD. Why watch? Because the film proves that not only can Owen and Luke Wilson survive without Wes Anderson, but they might even be better off. It's definitely debatable.
[12.07.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Transformers - It doesn't have the benefit of a comic book background, it had to be liberally doused with talent to get her attention, and it wasn't until she heard at least ten people say "Actually, I thought it was really good!" that she even saw it. But Susan Howson is glad she did see the film, which is now out on DVD.
[10.29.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» 3:10 To Yuma - Even the insane people she knows who hated Stardust loved this James Mangold Western, and Susan Howson had heard so much about it that she sat in the theater during the previews, pre-basking in the glow. "This movie is bound to change my life," she thought happily, and sure enough the train to Oscarland left right on schedule.
[10.24.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Darjeeling Limited - After taking in Wes Anderson's fifth film, LAS cinema critic Susan Howson composes an open letter to the director explaining that, yes, he's made another solid movie, but, as she puts it, "I'm so sorry to be the one to tell you this, dude, but it is just not enough."
[10.08.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Nanny Diaries - "It's impossible to eke rants or raves out of a movie like this," laments LAS staff writer and cinema critic Susan Howson, who has compiled what she considers to be by far the worst review you will ever read, which she in turn blames on a horrible film.
[09.17.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Superbad - In his latest film, one that's been marketed as a Harold and Kumar for the older set, director Greg Mottola pretty aptly creates a world that is reminiscent of the 1970s and early 1980s - wood paneling, antique-looking strip malls, Buicks, and killer opening credits - while placing the action in 2007.
[08.31.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Becoming Jane - Julian Jarrold's film, a biographical rendering of Jane Austen's life as the real version of Pride and Prejudice, is a cheap trick designed to lure in the dreamy escapist ladies who tend to panic during those years without Austen adaptations.
[08.23.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» You Kill Me - A Polish mobster in San Francisco going to AA meetings and trying to score with Tea Leoni?! While Bill Pullman watches on?? There you have it, the combination of unlikely circumstances that provide the meat of John Dahl's comedy.
[08.08.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Susan Howson waxes critical on the David Yates-directed film adaptation of one of J.K. Rowling's best-selling books, which you may also refer to as Harry Potter Is Disturbingly Muscular.
[07.24.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Ocean's 13 - Though this installment of Steven Soderbergh's Rat Pack update may be a slightly weaker version of the other two, it is still clever enough to save the films from the trilogy curse.
[06.14.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Waitress - It has been a long time since Susan Howson left a movie theater feeling excellent. Awestruck, yes. Moved, certainly. But happy and inspired and benevolent towards all humanity? Not until (now deceased) writer/director/mother Adrienne Shelly's film.
[06.11.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Hot Fuzz - The latest film from the team behind Shaun of the Dead is so hilarious, brilliant, and sharp that you will abruptly move to England and try at once to be BFF with director Edgar Wright.
[05.17.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» TMNT - LAS staff writer Susan Howson "naturally assumed that the hysteria surrounding the Turtles in the late 80s had carried over into our adulthood, where it became a sort of warm, nostalgic glow. Well, apparently there's a fine line between 'being nostalgic' and 'acting really childlike and weird'."
[04.04.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Host, The - Joon-Ho Bong's film defies convention and dives much deeper into the psyches of those affected than any monster film ever could. LAS staffer Susan Howson doesn't care what anyone says - you have to admire a director who can eke beauty out of chemical gas and regurgitated bones.
[03.30.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» 300 - It is what it is - eye candy. But the reason reviews of it aren't terrible is that it is some of the finest eye candy yet, and it's hard to pan something that's so unique and truly deserves to be seen on a big screen.
[03.14.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Zodiac - The latest David Fincher film, starring Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robert Downey, Jr., is so long and talent-packed that, combined with its superior editing and eerily funny suspense, will easily become 2007's The Departed.
[03.06.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Painted Veil - From the Edward Norton and Naomi Watts remake of the 1934 adaptation of the Somerset Maugham novel, expect cholera. Lots and lots of cholera. So much cholera that you will never ever want to drink Chinese river water in the 1920s ever again.
[02.22.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Babel - In a world where a film has to hit the masses over the head with a message as heavy as a cast-iron skillet to make a difference in the way people live their lives, is director Alejandro Inarritu's film just too subtle?
[02.05.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Notes On a Scandal - Susan Howson reviews the latest Richard Eyre-directed film, starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, launched from a scandalous script about the deflowering of a 15-year-old boy by his winsome high school art teacher.
[01.31.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Good German, The - George Clooney, Tobey Maguire, and Cate Blanchett star in the latest Steven Soderbergh film, where every climax disappoints and the weak finale isn't made any stronger by the fact that it is directly ripped off from Casablanca.
[01.12.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Night at the Museum - Ben Stiller plays Ben Stiller in this Shawn Levy-directed kid flick and/or two-hour-long advertisement for New York's Museum of Natural History. Admittedly, the special effects were cool, but at this point, that's not enough.
[01.08.2007 by Susan Howson]
CINEMA» Casino Royale - Is it or is it not true that modern-era James Bond movies are, as a rule, laughably bad? Well, that's all shot to hell. Martin Campbell has turned out a film which is not only ridiculously entertaining but actually beautiful as well.
[12.12.2006 by Susan Howson]