Happy Birthday, Charlie Chaplin

On this date in 1889, Charles Chaplin was born. By 1918, he was the biggest star in the world. But Chaplin was more than an entertainer; he was also the first Hollywood activist. His early films, starring Chaplin as the Tramp, were subtle commentaries on class in America. The Tramp was a friend to the…

“Cabin in the Woods” Gives us a New Reason to be Scared

To go forward, we must first go back. Here’s what I wrote two weeks ago about “Mirror, Mirror” and “The Hunger Games.” The heroine of “The Hunger Games” has a lot in common with the Snow White of “Mirror, Mirror.” Both are teenage girls, abandoned by the death of their fathers and by mothers who…

Lindsay Lohan is Truman Burbank

Politics isn’t just about government. It’s also about how we function as a society – who we lift up, who we tear down, and for what reasons. These collective impulses certainly shape our legislation, but they also shape our lives in more insidious ways that have nothing to do with “politics.” With that in mind,…

Is Matt Damon the Ticket for Democrats in 2016?

For a society that places so much emphasis on celebrity, it is kind of surprising that in the century or so that movies have been our most popular art form, we have only elected a handful of movie stars to public office. I suspect the reason for this is one that only raises more questions:…

Sherman vs. Berman: A Referendum on SOPA

Since internet activists led a successful effort to kill the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year, most legislators have been backing off of their prior support for the bill. I’m sure you all remember your favorite websites (Google, Wikipedia, Reddit) engaging in a one-day blackout to protest the passage of the bill that…

Casting Call: Ronald Reagan

UPDATE (5/10/12): It was announced today that Alan Rickman will be playing Reagan in “The Butler.” A very odd, terrible choice, but not nearly as terrible as who will be playing JFK. It was recently announced that liberal activist Jane Fonda will play former first lady Nancy Reagan in “The Butler,” an upcoming film that…

Top 3 Movie Lawyers Who Could Have Saved the Individual Mandate

Last week, supporters of health care reform may have seen their hopes and dreams go up in flames. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., tasked with defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, gave a rambling, cough-filled, nervous opening statement that brought to mind Woody Allen without the jokes.…