John Barnett

Feb 17, 2010 2:38 pm

Serious men

One of the year's best hits shelves.

Jan 26, 2010 9:07 pm

"Avatar" vs. The People

John Barnett and Brian Welk debate the Best Picture chances of "Avatar" in an email discussion.

Dec 13, 2009 6:11 pm

Never better

I could easily squander the next 350+ words talking about "Lost"'s fifth season by spewing superlatives like an open wound. I figure, though, that my time would be much better spent explaining why the series is on the creative and aesthetic high it’s on at the moment.

Dec 2, 2009 3:39 pm

BoD: Video Games

BoD: Chad Quandt and John Barnett tackle the decade's best games.

Nov 30, 2009 2:32 pm

'Funny People' have problems too

Adam Sandler turns in his best performance since “Punch-Drunk Love” in Judd Apatow’s dramedy “Funny People.” A box office bomb for multiple reasons (a mishandled and misrepresentative ad campaign; a 146-minute runtime; an art-film sheen), it’s still a modest triumph for the Judd Apatow canon.

Nov 17, 2009 5:22 pm

Modern marvel

Pre-release expectations loomed so large over Infinity Ward’s sequel to “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” that anything the developers offered up risked damning amounts of criticism. Leave it to the Ward folks to shut (almost) everyone up right out of the gate. “Modern Warfare 2” takes everything that was spectacular about the first “Warfare” and cranks it to 11.

Dec 3, 2008 3:45 pm


As a longtime Guns N’ Roses fan, it’s difficult for me to believe I was just 9 years old when the grandiose Use Your Illusion I and II were released. Since then, Axl Rose has spent countless years in studios all over the world attempting to perfect the opus that would come to be called Chinese Democracy.

Nov 19, 2008 12:38 pm

TV’s best series in a box

I could fill page after page with what’s groundbreaking, thrilling and fantastic about HBO’s legendary series “The Sopranos,” but I’ll just say it’s the best series ever to grace the television medium. The momentous Greek tragedy that is Tony Soprano’s dual life as family man and made man never once sagged during its eight years.

Oct 22, 2008 5:46 pm

Indy and the aliens aim to please

“Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is an enjoyable attempt at reigniting a fire that burned its brightest almost three decades ago. Hopefully Indiana Jones will be at peace now, taking pleasure in his twilight years with wife Marion and son Mutt. I, for one, don’t need to see Harrison Ford searching for Atlantis at age 70.

Oct 15, 2008 6:16 pm

More happening than you’d think

This is a frightening movie about one of the many ways mankind could meet its end, this time by way of nature purging us from the planet.

Oct 8, 2008 5:26 pm

A heroic effort

“Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” have catapulted the genre into the Oscar-contending stratosphere, and although “Iron Man” may not aspire to those heights, it’s a jewel in the genre’s crown due to Downey Jr.’s excellent performance and Favreau’s smirking sense of humor.

Oct 1, 2008 5:34 pm

Dear excellence

Dear Science, the third full-length from Brooklyn quintet TV on the Radio, immediately harkens back to a different era with insistent hand claps and a faux-Rivingtons/Trashmen vocal scat on “Halfway Home,” all building to an aural explosion, ushering in the band’s latest experimental musical treatise. If you thought Return to Cookie Mountain was heady, prepare yourself.

Sep 10, 2008 7:42 pm

Wilson celebrates living

 For those fixated on genre, That Lucky Old Sun unfolds with a combination of the pop songcraft and harmonies of the Beach Boys’ early hits with the aged wisdom of Wilson’s late 60’s compositions, without so much as a hint of the grandiosity that made Pet Sounds one of the best albums ever recorded

Sep 3, 2008 6:25 pm

Superheroes that super-suck

Although the first season’s attempt at creating an enduring “Lost”-like mythology fell flat, each individual hero’s discovery of their powers was modestly compelling. Season two feels stagnant, with our heroes in their own personal holding patterns.

Aug 27, 2008 6:54 pm

No recount needed here

This being a crucial election year, movies like “Recount” strike a little closer to home than the average political fare, if only because there always looms the threat of such an electoral disaster happening again. Roach, Strong and an engaging cast manage to nail the prime characteristics of both sides (Republicans: ruthless, logical, calculating; and Democrats: determined, intellectual, fragile), to suggest that even in the most tempestuous of political climates, there’s still hope for our Constitution to prevail.

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