Won’t Back Down: If You Can’t Do, Don’t Teach

by Ethan Alter September 28, 2012 5:59 am
<i>Won’t Back Down</i>: If You Can’t Do, Don’t Teach

Won't Back Down belongs to a new genre of horror movie, aimed directly at parents of small kids, known as "Education Nightmares." Past examples of this peculiar breed include the documentaries The Lottery and Waiting for Superman, which, like this loosely dramatized version of real events, seek to terrify adults about the troubled state of American public education. And it's true that there are a myriad of problems confronting public schools in America, but those issues deserve better treatment than these fear-mongering features are willing to give them. With its melodramatic flourishes, simplistic black-and-white moralizing and general aura of studied manipulation, Won't Back Down is part of the problem rather than the solution.

Indie Snapshot: Hysteria

by Ethan Alter May 18, 2012 6:00 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>Hysteria</i>

A period comedy about the invention of the vibrator? What will those Brits think of next?

The Dark Knight: Believe The Hype

by DeAnn Welker July 16, 2008 11:14 am
<i>The Dark Knight</i>: Believe The Hype Let's get the hype out of the way: Yes, The Dark Knight was hyped, hyped, hyped. Yes, it's opening on about seven gazillion screens (more than 4,300, to be precise). Yes, the hype got even more deafening after Heath Ledger's tragic death. The hype factory for this movie was working at such volume, in fact, that the rest of the movie sort of got lost in all the white noise. (For example, Aaron Eckhart? Fantastic in his own right, but there's nary a mention of his performance in the media coverage up to this point.)

Okay then, hype acknowledged -- about the movie, and about Ledger's performance in it. And to think I foolishly worried the movie couldn't live up to it all.

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