Jesse Stanchak

So many ways to get your head unzipped

When DJ Panic takes the stage, he holds a vinyl LP in one hand and a hack saw in the other, poised to re-imagine the concept of a DJ “scratching” a record. With his experimental group Spaceships Panic Orbit, Panic filled a dimly lit hall of GW’s Building J with freeform electro-jazz last Sunday night, […]

Review: Blade: Trinity

“Blade: Trinity” (New Line Cinema) has serious identity issues. Is this an action movie? A horror movie? A buddy comedy? A surreal blend of all three? Like a raging alcoholic at a Christmas party, the film staggers about, alternating between charming humor and harsh violence, always demanding your attention in the most garish way possible. […]

Movie Review: “Kinsey”

Watching “Kinsey” (Fox Searchlight) is like disappointing sex. It’s intriguing at first, certainly has its moments early on, but by the end it’s just awkward and painful. Afterwards, it’s hard to know what went wrong – it seemed so promising approaching the halfway mark, but the lack of closure, the breakdown of communication, the lack […]

“Kinsey” director Bill Condon discusses the making of the film

“Kinsey,” Bill Condon’s latest opus, deals with the impossibility of confining people to category – a lesson that Condon knows as well as anyone. An openly gay filmmaker who started out making low budget horror films (“Candyman 2”) and then wound up winning an Oscar for his stunning “Gods and Monsters,” a genre-bending biopic about […]

“Saw” co-directors discuss the making of the film

Director James Wan and actor Leigh Whannell, the masterminds behind the new serial killer gore-o-rama “Saw,” are as big an underdog story as you’re likely to see all year. The two Australian filmmakers spent about two years after film school trying to scrape the money together to shoot their first script. Wan came up with […]

Hey kids, like violence? “Saw” hacks into theaters

“Saw” (Lions Gate) is a fantastically ugly movie. If you’re easily grossed out, offended or upset by graphic violence and cruelty, stay home. If there’s even a question about it, stay home. But if you can stand to watch what unfolds, you won’t be disappointed. The film’s low budget is readily apparent, but there are […]

“The Motorcycle Diaries” rolls into theaters

Most movies, certainly most bio-pics, begin at the beginning, end with the ending and treat everything that comes in between like rungs on a ladder. “The Motorcycle Diaries” counts every step along with way and ends long before its subject, Che Guevara, enters history. This is a middle tale, and for better or for worse, […]

Wearing your party on your sleeve

Would you like to “Re-Defeat Bush?” Maybe you’d rather, “Flush the Johns” and send Kerry and Edwards packing. These days there’s a slogan for every political position and a T-shirt to match. We’ve come a long way from “I Like Ike.” Now political slogans aren’t just engineered by candidates; they’re cooked up by organizations, businesses […]

Mo Money, Mo Rocca

On stage and hopping around on one foot, Mo Rocca mulls an audience question with increasing anxiety. An audience member has asked him to make up a funny bogus life story on the spot. “I feel the need to satisfy you,” he said. “And yet I find your request very strange.” It wasn’t the first […]

Ninjas never looked so good

Jet Li’s latest import “Hero” (Miramax) is a different sort of martial arts epic, an unexpected though certainly welcome change of pace for fans of the genre. Far from the grim spectacle of Jet Li’s earlier work or recent jaw-droppers like the “Kill Bill” films, “Hero” is a kinder, gentler kung-fu flick, concerned more with […]