Cheap thrills

Fans of the Evil Dead series, with its slapstick violence, twitchy demon possessions and angular visual style, will notice quite a few similarities in the new Sam Raimi movie Drag Me To Hell. In fact, they may think they are watching a cheap knock-off.

Drugs, sex and a thesaurus

Mental note: It’s not a good idea to bring your heroin dealer to work. And it’s even worse to do it while dressed as Osama bin Laden. Especially if it’s Sept. 12, 2001. This was among the lessons I learned from Russell Brand’s My Booky Wook, the silliest title ever for a book about destabilizing drug and sex addictions.

Journalism’s last great adventure?

State of Play is a throwback to the many great political thrillers of the 1970s where noble, but flawed heroes navigate a web of mystery, dealing with their own inadequacies and misconceptions while unearthing massive conspiracies.

The verge of kick-assery

Pig Hunt is a movie on the verge of kick-assery. With rampaging hillbillies, a trippy hippie cult and a car-sized hog, this backwoods horror film has all the ingredients for a great B-movie experience, and it has moments so exciting that they can only be described with made-up words.

The world’s most popular podcast

The future of comedy is a simple man named Karl Pilkington. And he may or may not be in on the joke.

Pilkington, with his exasperated wit, peculiar worldviews and beach-ball cranium, is the Mancunian star of the various incarnations of the record-shattering audio series, The Ricky Gervais Show.

Take up thy fixed gear and walk

I guess I should say this right off the bat: Any documentary that attempts to glamorize the often-ridiculous Portland bike scene is not a movie for me. So with that in mind I watched the new documentary Veer, created by Greg Fredette.

Gulag democracy

If you are ever imprisoned and given the opportunity to exchange your sentence for life on a deserted island with a bunch of violent criminals, it’s probably not a good idea to take the offer.