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John Rodat

John Rodat

Hip to be Square

by John Rodat October 3, 2013


  When asked to review Don Jon, I considered the possibility that I was being punk’d. The movie was written and directed by its leading man, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and it co-stars Scarlett Johansson. I am not ...

His Wife Was a Nazi Telepath?

by John Rodat September 26, 2013


  Advanced press about the documentary Salinger promised an “unprecedented” look inside the life of J.D. Salinger, the famously reclusive author of The Catcher and the Rye. But even a cursory search of Amazon turns up ...

The Apocalypse? I’m Cool With That

by John Rodat December 20, 2012


  On Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, they say the world will come to an end. “Oh, that Mayan nonsense?” you scoff.  For all the popular buzz there’s little real scholarship and less hard science behind this particular ...

Broadcasting With Bite

by John Rodat December 6, 2012


  The audience at Ira Glass’s presentation/performance was, evidently, very familiar with the NPR producer and host’s long-running program This American Life: During both of the evening’s question-and-answer periods (Why two? More on that later), they ...

1 comment Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Sexual Healing

by John Rodat November 20, 2012


  The subject matter of The Sessions, the tale of a disabled man’s quest for physical intimacy, seems to promise melodrama. Paralysis may not constitute a genre, per se, but it is a powerful metaphor and ...


by John Rodat October 25, 2012


The linking of Morrissey with Oscar Wilde is one that the former Smiths frontman and now-iconic solo artist has much encouraged, himself. He’s been photographed lounging at that 19th-century decadents’ Parisian grave and, at Thursday’s ...

The Romance We Deserve

by John Rodat July 19, 2012


Lynn Shelton’s film Your Sister’s Sister can be viewed as, among other things, testimony to just how bloated and hackish most Hollywood romantic comedies are. According to IMDB, the movie was produced on an estimated ...

Roger Waters

by John Rodat July 5, 2012


When I first heard Pink Floyd’s The Wall, a year or so after it was released in 1979, I was floored. Until that point, my listening habits were limited largely to WPDH, a new-wave radio ...

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They Belong

by John Rodat June 27, 2012


The central conflict in many—arguably, all—of Wes Anderson’s films is that of belonging. Characters strive, clumsily, to fit in. Often, it’s their very enthusiasm that proves most problematic: The more forcefully they assert themselves, the ...

Il Doofy

by John Rodat May 24, 2012


I found the latest Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, The Dictator, tedious and predictable; though I’m not really a fan of Cohen’s work, I am surprised to have to use those adjectives. Cohen’s appeal is largely ...

Savagely Funny

by John Rodat May 10, 2012


  For a play with such an apocalyptic title, the setting and stakes of God of Carnage are mundane: Two couples, the Raleighs and the Novaks, meet in the Cobble Hill apartment of the latter, to ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

A Real Pisser

by John Rodat February 9, 2012


  The musical Urinetown is a curious blend of earnest social commentary and ironic self-awareness. On the one hand, it scolds (if it doesn’t quite skewer) capitalistic-monopolistic command over essential resources; on the other, it satirizes ...

Sex Negative

by John Rodat January 26, 2012


Steve McQueen’s Shame might be as good as its hype—if, that is, you’re willing to accept certain prejudices about promiscuity or sexual behavior, generally. There are explicit indications that the lead character, Brandon (Michael Fassbender), and ...

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The Lemonheads

by John Rodat January 19, 2012


There’s something slightly amnesiac about the appeal the Lemonheads have for me, apparently. The first time I saw the band, in 1993 touring the album Come on Feel the Lemonheads, my friends and I got ...

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Mild Animals

by John Rodat January 12, 2012


  Cameron Crowe’s family dramedy We Bought a Zoo is entirely inoffensive, and may be as good a way for you to spend 124 minutes as another. But it really depends. The movie tells the story of ...

Sociopaths in Love

by John Rodat December 21, 2011


I remember seeing Diablo Cody, writer of Young Adult, interviewed by David Letterman around the time her debut, Juno, won the Oscar for best original screenplay. She was entertaining Dave with a story about getting ...

The Adventures of Dick & VJ: “All Ye Faithful”

by John Rodat December 21, 2011


Narrator: Limber of limb, stout of heart, pure of intention and mind, our heroes roam the globe with their wise and sober mentor. In an era of vacuous pass-times, salacious entertainments and morally dubious diversions, ...

Fragments From Two Guys With Prostheses

by John Rodat December 7, 2011

  Peg Leg Aye, two score years adrift ’round the watery world, and not three amidst spent complete on dry land. Transhumeral Myoelectric U3+ It was late summer of ‘05. Bummer, too: Ending up missing Trey’s first solo tour. Peg ...

It’s Time To Light The Lights

by John Rodat December 1, 2011


The praise—both critical and popular—for The Muppets comes across as virtual sigh of relief: "They didn't screw it up!" is the implicit refrain. Each new installment of a franchise runs the risk of torpedoing former ...

She’s Come Undone

by John Rodat November 16, 2011


At the conclusion of the final scene of Martha Marcy May Marlene, the woman seated to my left said loudly, “Really?!” In the row ahead of us, another said, “I feel like I’ve been ripped ...

Man Is But an Ass

by John Rodat November 10, 2011


Director Roland Emmerich’s film Anonymous is about as successful an argument that Edward de Vere is the true writer of Shakespeare’s plays as his earlier film Godzilla is a successful argument that . . . ...

Boogie On, Mumbai Cyborg

by John Rodat November 3, 2011


If you’re at all familiar with Bollywood—which, technically, comprises only those Indian studios producing Hindi-language films, though it is often used incorrectly to refer to all Indian cinema—you likely know of its eclecticism. Bollywood is ...

Weird Al Yankovic

by John Rodat October 27, 2011


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; unless it’s outright mockery—in which case it’s a 30-year career. OK, that’s a lousy aphorism. But as applied to Weird Al Yankovic, you’ll agree, it’s tough to argue. Since ...

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A Flock of Dodos

by John Rodat October 19, 2011

Director David Frankel has been attached to big money makers. Keep that in mind. He directed the pilot episode of Entourage, as well as both The Devil Wears Prada and the record-breaking Marley & Me, ...

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by John Rodat October 6, 2011


The performance by the man known as Jandek—among other names, including Sterling Smith and the Representative from Corwood—was as much a collectible as it was a concert. That’s not to lend credence to Kurt Cobain’s ...

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