like big rolling kegs

hedwig and the angry inch is a brilliant rock musical. hedwig is an east german transexual (almost — thus the angry inch) whose story is told in flashback as she tours with her band in venues in the shadow of the large concerts by the boy who spurned her and stole her songs. the songs are pretty much all works of genius, especially “the origin of love.”

syriana is a tight political thriller, and i think the rumblings about the complicated plot are largely overblown. it all pulls together in the end, and when i think people are responding to is the lack of clear good and bad guys. the performances are all stellar, and the direction is fantastic. there’s a scene involving an accident with a child that is just incredible in how it is handled.

rize is a documentary by photographer and music video director david lachapelle, and it was a real disappointment. it’s a chronicle of the clowning and krumping dance movements in south los angeles, and it veers from self-important and heavy-handed to not terribly interesting. the best-looking parts are entirely too good-looking, like clips from a music video. i think this was most disappointing because it could have been so good in the hands of a more capable documentary filmmaker.

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