Author: Alex Pappademas

  • A Vampires-and-Werewolves Dud

    Worst Don DeLillo adaptation, ever. Good vampire movies are really about sexual submission, good werewolf movies are really about sexual aggression. Len Wiseman’s Underworld is a vampires-and-werewolves movie that’s about neither. It takes a premise that should have made for primo goth froth—a clan of aristocratic vamps tries to quell a lycanthrope revolt—and renders it […]

  • David Spade Gets and Stays Arrested in Creepy Hollywood Satire

    Obtuse and creepy, Dickie Roberts asks that we accept David Spade as a character who desperately wants to be wanted, which is asking a lot. Spade looks perfect—his pipsqueak physicality suits Dickie, stunted by ubiquity as the pre-teen star of a Partridge Family-ish sitcom called The Glimmer Gang. He’s fey but sinewy in close-ups, like […]

  • Auto Focus

    Underneath the chrome, the candy paint, and the CGI, 2001’s The Fast and the Furious was essentially Point Break on Yokohama tires: an X-treme dick-joust built on the assumption that for men to become men, they must first become dudes. As kicky fast-car porn, it was top-shelf. As the tense undercover-cop-drama director Rob Cohen clearly […]

  • Hip-Hoperation: Mindcrime

    A decade ago, when Del the Funky Homosapien was still spelling his name funee, his cousin Ice Cube drafted him as point man for a mid-gangsta-age P-Funk revival and piled more George Clinton-copyrighted hooks on Del’s first album than a too-goofy-for-the-‘hood East Bay starchild could be expected to bear. By album number two—which failed the […]

  • One Time, at Band Camp

    “Now, ladies and gentlemen,” the MC says, “we come with one of the more soulful sounds from around our town.” It’s a snippet born for a Pete Rock interlude, except that the line, dropped about halfway through the new compilation Schoolhouse Funk: Lab Bands, Stage Bands and a Toast to the Boogie!, is punctuated by […]

  • Quasiphenia

    Hunter S. Thompson—or maybe it was Daryl Dawkins—once avowed that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. And there’s something to be said for marginalists who can take it to the bank: That new Jurassic 5 album on Interscope swings like a Super Bowl Gap commercial. But lately the most striking cult-rappers are […]

  • Write a Book, Dude!

    Eels front man A Man Called E wrote both “Novocaine for the Soul” (a catchily morose request for a stronger-than-chicken-soup cure for pain, with guitars that flopped and quivered like upset stomachs) and Electro-Shock Blues (a little-heard, seemingly dictated-in-the-funeral-home-foyer album about family members committing suicide and dying of cancer, and the attendant survivor’s guilt and […]