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The Daily


Inside Job gets worked up about the financial crisis

From the disaster's beginning, media outlets from PBS to The Wall Street Journal have attempted to make sense of the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing economic meltdown. For a particularly entertaining take, go to the web and check out the Nov. 5 edition of public radio's This American Life, in which a couple of glib reporters buy a toxic asset and name it "Toxie." >More
 TV news dumbs it down in Morning Glory

I laughed a lot at a screening of the television-news comedy Morning Glory, but when I thought about the film later, it didn't hold up. Part of the problem is the lack of nuance Harrison Ford brings to his performance as the humiliated network anchor Mike Pomeroy, the kind of self-satisfied journalist who intones platitudes like, "News is a sacred temple." >More
 Arts Beat: Four Star Video Heaven celebratest 25th anniversary

"Four stars to Four Star," declared film critic Roger Ebert during one of his several visits to Four Star Video Heaven. Other film fans of all types this month are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the feisty DVD rental shop at 315 N. Henry St. >More
 Lebanon rides a tank into hostile territory

Watching Lebanon, the powerful, disturbing Israeli film, I kept thinking of the river scenes in Apocalypse Now. In both movies, wary young soldiers make their way through hostile territory, and the tension is agonizing. The difference: At least the men in Apocalypse Now have a little room on their boat to stretch out. >More
 Zhang Yimou's Blood Simple remake doesn't live up to original

What sounds as though it ought to be delicious -- a Chinese remake of Joel and Ethan Coen's debut film, Blood Simple -- winds up, instead, a soggy noodle. A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop more or less follows the Coens' narrative construct about an adulterous wife and jealous husband who hires a private investigator to put an end to the problem, but director Zhang Yimou's version has little of the wit, surprise or memorable characterizations of the original. >More
 A woman helps exonerate her brother in Conviction

Conviction, an entertaining, sobering film, is based on Kenneth Waters' true story. In 2001 he was, thanks to DNA evidence, freed after serving 19 years for a brutal murder he didn't commit. (In a sad twist, he died in a fall six months later.) Distressingly, what happened to Waters is less unusual than we'd like to think. In the U.S., 261 wrongly convicted people have to date been exonerated based on DNA evidence, like Waters. >More
 The Tillman Story documents a shameful cover-up

What the military did to the memory of Pat Tillman, the football player who gave up a lucrative career in the NFL to join the Army and eventually die in Afghanistan, was wrong. The fact that Tillman was felled by friendly fire in 2004 and the military then covered up all traces of that information is a colossal betrayal of trust, if not a criminal act. >More
 Clint Eastwood's Hereafter delves into the supernatural

At a recent promotional screening of Hereafter, I felt the crowd shudder in discomfort, and I was pretty sure I knew why. After the film, in the hall of the megaplex, my suspicions were confirmed. A young audience member complained, "There were SO MANY subtitles." >More
 Winnebago Man tracks down an unwitting YouTube star

YouTube has a way of turning unsavory people into unwitting sensations (see: George "Macaca" Allen). One of the most unsavory YouTube stars is Jack Rebney, the Winnebago Man. In a series of fuzzy outtakes from a 1980s RV marketing film, he is seen delivering explosive, obscenity-laden tirades. Like many such clips, and like 21 seasons' worth of America's Funniest Home Videos, the Rebney scenes have a guileless comic charge that is undeniable. >More
 Waiting for 'Superman' suggests questionable fixes for education

There's no more vivid indication of our nation's economic divide, which amounts to a racial divide, than the state of the school system. Inner-city kids, generally African American and Hispanic, are ill-served by schools that are rife with chaos. It's a crisis, a tragedy. Everyone knows that. Director and co-writer David Guggenheim vividly depicts the crisis in Waiting for "Superman", his forceful, somewhat maddening documentary about the ailing school system and some reformers who are trying to fix it. >More
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