The Best of Earn This: Grant’s Picks

Grant chose ten of his favorite articles from the Earn This archives, presented here in no particular order with a choice quote from each article:

Jay Mathews writes, logic cries

“I very much believe that intelligent discussion of one of the country’s most prominent high schools is warranted.  This is not that.”

Shutter Island: Live as a monster or die as a free man?

“And when you leave Shutter Island, you’ll wrestle with your inability to state exactly what “happened”—both because that question can’t really be answered without reference to specific characters’ perspectives and because Laeta Kalogridis’s script doesn’t have any interest in giving you a simple resolution.

James Bond: Dying another day, film after film

“If you think it’s cool that Bond continually escapes from perilous positions thanks to gimmicky, made-up devices, I’m happy for you.  If you like the painful dialogue and plots, great.  But even the mediocre-to-decent Bond films (like Die Another Day) are bad movies overall.”

The Raveonettes: Noisy Summer, in every season

“The Raveonettes re-envisions rock and roll’s past into one endlessly entertaining vision of the present.”

Green Day, Live and Under Review

“Green Day’s contradiction can be summed up as such: they give a shit—about the world around them, with or without Bush in office—and don’t give a shit—about people’s expectations for them, about their genre’s constraints, about their history.”

Joy Division: Don’t walk away in silence…

“As far as I’m concerned, there’s no greater loss to music than the suicide of Ian Curtis at the age of 23.  There’s no one I’d rather bring back for a couple decades of recording than him.”

U2 – War (1983): Welcome to the big leagues

“If the latter six songs of War were as good as the first four, we’d be talking about one of the eight or ten best albums ever made, but they’re nevertheless able to change the tone while still maintaining the feel of the entire album.”

Brothers: Diffidence disguised as melodrama

“Painted with a hunched sensitivity, somehow avoiding melodrama but nevertheless evincing other damaging flaws, Brothers almost manages to succeed by doing basically nothing.”

Cruel Intentions: Actually, they’re too nice

“Unfortunately, Cruel Intentions has little of the charm and zest of Clueless or the damn-the-stiffs embrace of decadence of “Gossip Girl.”  It’s too somber, too watered-down and safe, and, ultimately, too bland.”

Friday Night Lights: Football, not life

Most sports movies try to lift you to the rafters based on the athletic talents of the players on screen; here is the rare one that does so based on the inherent quality of its filmmaking,

Dan and Brian from Earn This now have a film review site and podcast:

The Goods: Film Reviews

The Goods: A Film Podcast

Available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and more.

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