Sunday Recap

• Another rough weekend at the movies:"The dueling stories often make Hollywoodland feel like two separate films in search of greater meaning: One film is a brassy detective thriller about a lonesome private dick chasing a murder and possible cover-up that extends throughout Hollywood; the other is a soberly paced drama about the trappings of fame and one man’s sad descent into a life he never really wanted. But by attempting to merge the two, Coulter winds up with an ungainly film that never seems to know what it wants. It strives at times to be a period drama with elements of a crime thriller, and also to be a potboiler with poetic flourishes. And here’s the kicker: They’re both good movies. Just incomplete ones." "It’s a Renny Harlin film that basks in what he believes to be youth culture and more accurately resembles an Abercrombie & Fitch ad with superheroes. The final showdown sequence? Two guys hurl what looks to be giant amoebas or “Street Fighter II” hadoukens at one another for 10 minutes. My God, this movie is asinine." "A query I spoke silently to the Almighty just hours ago: “Lord, why didn’t this movie come out earlier in the summer when I was suffering (albeit willingly, I admit) through the endless parade of overhyped, underwhelming blockbusters You deemed necessary, in whatever infinite wisdom You possess, to place on our screens?” I spoke thus, boldly, because truly The Protector is what I was wanting all summer long." • I'll say it again: This is a pretty great list. I'm amazed and pleased that this many people have seen Zero Effect. • Mmm, books.