Author Archive for Ted Scheinman

Oblivion, Reviewed

The post-apocalypse, for all its downsides, looks spectacular in IMAX. The scorched but luminous earth of Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion feels somehow closer to heaven than our own—a dystopia of striking beauty, shot by cinematographer Claudio Miranda but designed by the director himself, a Columbia-trained architect specializing in 3D modeling. This would all be pleasant backdrop, [...]

Olympus Has Fallen, Reviewed

Notions of American exceptionalism don’t just win elections—they also represent Hollywood gold. Take Argo, sweeper of Oscars, with its honest Americans seeking to navigate hordes of brown people, or even Air Force One in which Harrison Ford (ever able to make the dumb catchphrase pop) tells Gary Oldman’s Central Asian terrorist to “get off my [...]

Identity Thief, Reviewed

The country needs a lot of things right now, but another Planes, Trains, and Automobiles rewrite is not among them. The formula claims among its victims Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, both hung out to dry in 2010’s Due Date. So it’s just shy of a miracle that director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) achieves [...]

Zero Dark Thirty, Reviewed

The critical baggage attached to director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty has established the film as a “motion picture event,” something people go see because it’s the done thing. That's good for business (not to mention a testament to Bigelow’s Hollywood clout) but also rather troubling. A stump speech, a ribbon-cutting, the birthday party of [...]

Promised Land, Reviewed

If you’ve been living under a rock—and that rock isn't harboring a trove of precious shale gas—perhaps you haven’t heard of hydraulic fracking. In that case, Promised Land is here to help.
Directed by Gus Van Sant with a screenplay by Matt Damon and John Krasinski (while we’re name-dropping, Dave Eggers wrote the storyline), Promised Land traces [...]

D.C. Soul Star Terry Huff Dead at 65

Terry Huff, the honey-voiced singer-songwriter behind the D.C. soul hits “I Destroyed Your Love” and “The Lonely One,” died of colon cancer early Friday morning at a hospice in Clinton, Md., after three weeks of inpatient care at George Washington University Hospital.
Born Oct. 16, 1947, the ninth child of 18, Huff began his musical career [...]

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Some Final Thoughts

One of the many delightful things about the world of John le Carré’s fiction is that his superspies often resemble the nattering members of some great English department. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, for example, is mainly about a tubby and washed-up former spy who learns a great deal about the secret service by reading old files in the Hotel Islay. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, this approach was a conscious reaction to the fictional offerings of Ian Fleming; John le Carré wouldn’t be caught dead in a trick tuxedo, and neither would George Smiley.

Farewell Jamaica, Hello Hollywood: An Interview With Debra Ehrhardt

Twenty years ago, Debra Ehrhardt left Jamaica for Miami with a pocketful of dreams and a bag full of smuggled currency. Though she is leery of putting an exact number on it—federal agencies tend to bristle at currency trafficking—Ehrhardt says the sum, in dollars, ran to seven digits. That journey, like so much of Ehrhardt’s life, often sounded like something out of a movie. Soon, it will be.

David Wax at Newport: Folk Festivals, Thunk About

Over the last couple of years, Boston roots-folk act The David Wax Museum has been a mainstay at group houses across Northwest. These house concerts afforded lodging and modest merch sales for Wax and Suz Slezak, his fiddle- and jawbone-playing compatriot. The parties, here and elsewhere, also consolidated a growing fan base that would elect the [...]

Steve Carrell and The Office: Bleak or No?

Steve Carrell's judicious and graceful exit from The Office after seven seasons has prompted nostalgic YouTube medleys, a RENT take-off, and at least one really baffling article by the very interesting Bill Wyman. (Witness this relatively recent home run, in which the writer who has the same name as the bassist of the Stones impersonates [...]