Author Archive: Jon Bastian

Jon Bastian

Jon is a playwright and screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles, where he has been currently appearing in Flash Theater LA when not working for Cesar Millan to keep his dogs rolling in kibble.

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Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

| November 4, 2008

The funniest thing—the only funny thing, really—about Clerks 2, Kevin Smith’s noisy backslide into his own sloppy seconds, was the unflattering irony woven right into its dirt-cheap fabric. Here was a belated, cash-grab sequel, a return to the same characters and situations Smith began his career chronicling, that actually had the audacity to extol the […]

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Funny Games

Funny Games

| March 23, 2008 | 0 Comments

When George Sluizer remade his late-’80s, Euro art shocker The Vanishing for American audiences, his original vision got a bit lost in translation. Gone were the Euro, the art, and the shocks, but what truly got buried in the filmmaker’s watered-down, dumbed-down, Hollywood do-over was that bleak, claustrophobic corker of an ending. Stripping the tale […]

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Chicago 10

Chicago 10

| March 9, 2008 | 0 Comments

They say those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but what of those who only remember the fun parts? It was the decade that spawned Vietnam and the Civil Rights struggle, but if television and the movies are to be trusted, the 1960s was little more than the longest, grooviest party in […]

Be Kind, Rewind

Be Kind, Rewind

| February 27, 2008 | 0 Comments

Great films often speak great truths, but they can also whisper beautiful lies. According to Michel Gondry, the beating-heart visionary behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, those lies can be valuable, too. The heroes of Gondry’s brain-teasing fantasias are dreamers and poets of the unreal: in Sunshine, Joel reshapes […]

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4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

| February 7, 2008 | 0 Comments

It’s been called a wave, but something with “neo” or “realism” in the title might be more appropriate. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 12:08 East of Bucharest, and now, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days–these are the celebrated films of the new Romanian cinema. Boldly naturalistic and steeped in the traditions of verité, these […]

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There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

| January 20, 2008 | 0 Comments

Seeping out of the ground like some primordial ooze, dark and thick and fluid, a priceless poison. It’s pure crude oil, and what Daniel Plainview sees in it is nothing less than the future–his and a whole nation’s, reflected in the shiny slick that spews from the dirt and coats his hands. The year is […]

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Short Takes – December 2007

Short Takes – December 2007

| December 1, 2007 | 0 Comments

Television The big news in TV this month and last month–and what will probably continue to be big news in the months to come–is the WGA strike. The Writer’s Guild officially went on strike on November 5th, citing the studios’ stringent policies on negotiating contracts and their continual refusal to cut writers in on residual […]

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No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

| November 10, 2007 | 0 Comments

George Bernard Shaw once wrote “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” The Coen Brothers would likely agree. In the films of Joel and Ethan, those oddball, sibling auteurs from Minnesota, death is often needless and usually pointless. It is indiscriminant, […]

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Short Takes – October 2007

Short Takes – October 2007

| October 1, 2007 | 0 Comments

Movies After giving Ellen DeGeneres a go at hosting earlier this year (she did so-so), the Academy has put Jon Stewart back in the driving seat for Oscar Night ’08. The Comedy Central funnyman–who scored in ’06 with dry, impromptu zingers and priceless, Daily Show-style montages–will take the stage of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood […]

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Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises

| September 15, 2007 | 0 Comments

For the true fans of David Cronenberg, Canada’s premiere art house provocateur and one of our greatest living filmmakers, 2005′s A History of Violence was a bit of a mixed blessing. To be sure, it was an artistic triumph, a tough, heady, complicated act of genre deconstruction. Yet, for those of us who had loyally […]

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