The Movie Club

The Lake HouseGuy
Critic vs. critic.
Jan. 6 2007 4:02 PM

The Movie Club

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Wesley, Dana, Carina, and everyone,

Well, I don't want to go down as the Lake House guy. I liked it just fine, but it was probably something like the 47th-best film I saw last year. I'll go down swinging for The Departed, however, whose pop-crackle stirred up a haze of moral confusion. Sure, Nicholson does little more than play Satan in the shape of Jack Nicholson, but Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio take Scorsese's career-long concern with men who lose themselves chasing the American dream in piles of cash, stacks of guns, and smoke-filled backrooms into what feels like its endgame. Nobody here gets out alive.

David Denby has an alarming/alarmist piece in the current New Yorker worrying about the future of film-going, given that the coming generation is "platform agnostic": They're just as has happy watching something on their iPod as in a theater. It's a legitimate concern, but I think the worrying has its limits. I can't imagine anyone getting the same buzz off watching a film downloaded on a whim to an iPod that I got seeing the movies that drove me into this career. I left The Departed shaken, which is something I hadn't expected going in, just as I hadn't expected to be as moved as I was by any of the great films I saw this year. It's easy to get beaten down by the movies—did anyone else see Smokin' Aces yet?—but there was a lot out there this year to shock the faith back into even the most skeptical filmgoers. I look forward to another year at the movies. See you there.

Best,
Keith

Keith Phipps is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor specializing in film and other aspects of pop culture.

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.