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2006 Stories by Robert Wilonsky

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  • Like Herding Sheep

    published December 28, 2006

    It took Norman Mailer seven years and 1,282 pages to write 1991's Harlot's Ghost: A Novel of the CIA, and if memory serves, it took me 12... More >>

  • Rich Man, Poor Man

    published December 14, 2006

    About Will Smith's estimable talents, there is no doubt. Six Degrees of Separation, Ali... um... the "Parents Just Don't Understand"... More >>

  • Willie Nelson

    published November 23, 2006

    This doesn't sound like a Willie Nelson record, and it doesn't sound like a Ryan Adams record (though he produced it). I don't know what it sounds... More >>

  • One Toke Wonder

    published November 23, 2006

    The first few minutes of Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny' are something to behold: a four-minute rock opera cranked to 11. A doughy... More >>

  • Tom Waits

    published November 16, 2006

    Tom Waits cleans out the closet, holds a garage sale, and finds the crowd begging for more, more, more. Hence the 26 soundtrack/compilation/etc.... More >>

  • Royale Flush

    published November 16, 2006

    By all rights, 2002's Die Another Day should have been and could have been the final James Bond film. It was packaged like a cynical, weary... More >>

  • History Lessons

    published October 26, 2006

    There's a scene about halfway through Catch a Fire during which freedom fighters — men and women, each boasting such nicknames... More >>

  • Repeat Offender

    published October 12, 2006

    There is no way of sidestepping the issue, so why not jump right into it: Infamous, this year's retelling of how Truman Capote wound up in... More >>

  • Voter Fraud

    published October 12, 2006

    Barry Levinson hasn't made a movie of note in almost a decade — since 1997's Wag the Dog, to be precise, and even that was less a work... More >>

  • Men Behaving Badly

    published September 28, 2006

    One would never confuse the work of writer/director Todd Phillips with that of the late Robert Hamer, whose filmography includes the essential... More >>

  • Training Day

    published August 31, 2006

    Low, which is to say no, expectations can be a wonderful thing; expect nothing and maybe you'll get that little outta-nowhere sumpin-sumpin... More >>

  • Get a Clue

    published August 24, 2006

    Veronica Mars: The Complete Second Season (Warner Bros.) Any concept along the lines of "high school hottie solves... More >>

  • One Day in September

    published August 10, 2006

    World Trade Center is about just that — the attacks on, and the collapse of, the twin towers on September 11, 2001. But 45 minutes in,... More >>

  • Crash Test Dummy

    published August 3, 2006

    There is no modern-day antecedent to the movies Will Ferrell makes with writer-director Adam McKay, with whom Ferrell collaborated during their... More >>

  • Go-Nowhere Men

    published July 20, 2006

    Two weeks ago, a colleague insisted that Superman Returns isn't the remake of the 1978 original, as I wrote, but a reinterpretation —... More >>

  • Engines Running Hot

    published July 13, 2006

    Grand Prix (Warner Bros.) John Frankenheimer, as underrated as he was brilliant, made... More >>

  • The Replacements

    published July 6, 2006

    The two new songs on this "best of" disc are as forgettable as they are just fine; "Message to the Boys" and "Pool and Dive" neither celebrate nor... More >>

  • Fool's Gold

    published July 6, 2006

    The fact that 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was such a hit had much to do with viewers' prelaunch... More >>

  • Recycled Steel

    published June 29, 2006

    After all that, just... this? After all the anticipation, all the hype, all the product available on toy-store shelves and kiddie sections... More >>

  • Tortilla Flat

    published June 15, 2006

    There is no movie more overrated in recent history than Napoleon Dynamite; it's to cinema what the Doors are to rock 'n' roll, a thing... More >>

  • Dixie Chicks

    published June 1, 2006

    From downtown Dallas street corners to 'round-the-world street fights, it'd be understatement by half to claim that it's been a strange and... More >>

  • Shell Game

    published May 18, 2006

    At this late date, it's hard to tell one digitally rendered talking animal from another. Madagascar blends into Ice Age looks like... More >>

  • Inside the Lines

    published May 11, 2006

    Art School Confidential is much like every movie pilfered from the Saturday Night Live playbook, in which the slight giggles... More >>

  • Fear of Flying

    published April 27, 2006

    United 93 — which uses the hijacking of one plane on September 11, 2001, to tell the story of what happened to all four aircraft... More >>

  • Dust to Dust

    published March 16, 2006

    John Fante's novel Ask the Dust, published in 1939 and all but forgotten till its 1980 reissue with a Charles Bukowski foreword, is very... More >>

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