Scott Tobias

Scott Tobias is the film editor of The A.V. Club, the arts and entertainment section of The Onion, where he's worked as a staff writer for over a decade. His reviews have also appeared in Time Out New York, City Pages, The Village Voice, The Nashville Scene, and The Hollywood Reporter. Along with other members of the A.V. Club staff, he co-authored the 2002 interview anthology The Tenacity Of the Cockroach and the new book Inventory, a collection of pop-culture lists.

Though Tobias received a formal education at the University Of Georgia and the University Of Miami, his film education was mostly extracurricular. As a child, he would draw pictures on strips of construction paper and run them through the slats on the saloon doors separating the dining room from the kitchen. As an undergraduate, he would rearrange his class schedule in order to spend long afternoons watching classic films on the 7th floor of the UGA library. He cut his teeth writing review for student newspapers (first review: a pan of the Burt Reynolds comedy Cop and a Half) and started freelancing for the A.V. Club in early 1999.

Tobias currently resides in Chicago, where he shares a too-small apartment with his wife, his daughter, two warring cats and the pug who agitates them.

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5:03pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Movie Reviews

'The Paperboy': A Crime Drama Lacking Conviction

Miami reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) investigates the murder conviction of Hillary Van Ward (John Cusack), who may have been wrongly charged.
Anne Marie Fox Millennium Entertainment

The words "florid" and "inert" are not quite antonyms, but it would nonetheless seem impossible for those two adjectives to apply to the same thing. And yet here comes The Paperboy, a swamp noir so spectacularly incompetent that even the ripest pulp attractions are left to rot in the sun, flies buzzing lazily around them.

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5:03pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Solomon Kane,' Hellbound And Down In Old England

William Crowthorn (Pete Postlethwaite) and his Puritan family earn the respect of master warrior Solomon Kane (James Purefoy), the brooding antihero of a bleak comic-book adaptation.
RADiUS-TWC

Published mainly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales — also the preferred outlet for his most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian — the serial adventures of Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane character provided an early model for the "sword and sorcery" subgenre, that crude yet irresistible fusion of the superpowerful and the supernatural.

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5:03pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

The Elusive, Endangered 'Knuckleball'

Knuckleball! also features the only other active knuckleball pitcher during the 2011 season: R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets.
Break Thru Films

There are essentially two things that can happen with a knuckleball. It can float toward the plate without spin, jerk around like boozy relatives at a wedding hall and make the world's best hitters look like hapless Looney Tunes characters. Or it can float toward the plate with spin, lope with a steady trajectory at 65 mph and give the world's best hitters the juiciest slab of red meat this side of Sizzler.

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5:38pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Revenant' Mashes Up Undead Havoc, Anti-War Theme

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:22 pm

Bart (David Anders) returns from his tour in Iraq as a fallen soldier, but he doesn't stay dead long — he rises as the titular revenant.
Paladin Film

Back in 2005, for the Showtime anthology series Masters of Horror, director Joe Dante and writer Sam Hamm were given carte blanche to make whatever they wanted, so long as it came in under an hour and could be classified as "horror."

They delivered, in Homecoming, one of the sharpest and angriest films about the Iraq war to date — a blunt allegory about U.S. soldiers who rise from the dead not to feast on the living but to vote the president out of office. It's an anti-war satire that only technically functioned as a zombie movie.

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5:03pm

Thu August 16, 2012
Movies

'Cosmopolis' Captures Decadent Spirit Of The Age

Robert Pattinson's weird, inhuman beauty is used to full effect as billionaire Eric Packer in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.
Entertainment One

A matinee idol for the age of HDTVs and "retina displays," Robert Pattinson has a face that seems to require a higher resolution — glossy and ghostly pale, all sleek lines and alabaster skin. As Edward Cullen, the emo vampire in the Twilight saga, Pattinson plays a creature so immaculately inhuman that he literally sparkles in the sunlight. Edward may be over a century old, but Pattinson has become a thoroughly modern, even futuristic teen heartthrob, looking at all times as airbrushed as his many Entertainment Weekly covers.

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5:00pm

Thu August 9, 2012
Movie Reviews

'The Campaign': Just How Low Can Politicians Go?

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 5:49 pm

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) and Marty Huggins (Zack Galifianakis) are political rivals in The Campaign, a movie that improves the more it lets the two actors veer toward the outlandish.
Patti Perret Warner Bros.

There's a devil-may-care recklessness to Will Ferrell that sets him apart from other screen comics — a willingness to commit to the moment without fear of embarrassment, even if the comedy goes right off the rails.

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5:03pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Neighborhood Watch Goes Alien-Hunting

In The Watch, Franklin (Jonah Hill), Evan (Ben Stiller), Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) and Bob (Vince Vaughn) start a neighborhood watch after a Costco security guard is mysteriously killed on duty.
Melinda Sue Gordon 20th Century Fox

The savings are never passed on to the consumer, but a little product placement has become standard practice for Hollywood movies — a pizza box here or a conspicuously angled soda can there, and few take notice. But product integration is another matter: If a movie has been explicitly designed to accommodate a sponsor, it's worse than just a commercial movie. It's a movie commercial.

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5:03pm

Thu July 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

After The Recession, An American Versailles On Hold

When they outgrew their 26,000-square-foot mansion, David and Jackie Siegel set out to build their dream home, which was to be the biggest in the U.S. The Queen of Versailles looks at what happened when the recession ruined that dream.
Lauren Greenfield Magnolia Pictures

When director Lauren Greenfield started filming The Queen of Versailles, a documentary about 74-year-old David Siegel, a billionaire timeshare magnate from Orlando, and Jackie, a trophy wife 30 years his junior, they had outgrown their 26,000-square-foot home.

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5:03pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

Two Fractious Sisters, Reunited But Still At Odds

In Union Square, Jenny (Tammy Blanchard, left) gets a surprise visit from her estranged sister, Lucy (Mira Sorvino), an emotional train wreck whose outsize personality clashes with Jenny's carefully constructed self-image.
Gerardo Somoza Reunion Pictures

The Mira Sorvino who won an Oscar for her full-bodied twist on the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold type in Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite resurfaces in Union Square, a micro-budget indie that calls for a similar brand of New York brassiness.

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5:03pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

'The Imposter': Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 4:38 pm

Frederic Bourdin, played here by Adam O'Brian in a reenactment, is the subject of The Imposter, a movie about how the French-born Bourdin pretended to be missing Texan Nicholas Barclay, a boy six years younger.
Indomina Releasing

On June 13, 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay went missing from his home outside San Antonio, Texas.

Nearly four years later, his family received a phone call from Linares, Spain, informing them that their son had been found, scared and confused; the U.S. Embassy made arrangements for the Barclays to reunite with him and bring him back home.

And that's exactly what happened: Nicholas' sister hopped on a plane, drove to the orphanage and embraced a reticent teenager who'd been changed profoundly by age and some unknown, unspeakable trauma.

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