January 19, 2006
Critic's Pick--A cheated-on husband (Tim Robbins, above) turns the tables on a would-be carjacker in Nothing to Lose (7:15 p.m.-9 p.m., Starz).
October 31, 2004
It has been a political season of the most intense order, and rock acts have been dusting off message tunes. One of the songs enjoying revival is Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?" Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., Jackson Browne, John Fogerty, Bright Eyes, Audioslave, Tim Robbins (in "Bob Roberts" mode) and, of course, Elvis Costello are among the artists who pointedly have performed the song over the last year. Lowe's song was popularized by Costello in 1979 - a rowdy version that the Dixie Chicks took to piping in for fans as pre-show politicking on their last arena tour.
March 21, 2004
Tim Robbins begs to differ. Embedded, his play about war in the Middle East that has attracted sold-out audiences to the Public Theater in New York City, has been criticized as "preaching to the converted." The recent Oscar- winner's comment: an emphatic "No way!" "For one thing, I'm not sure who the choir is," says Robbins, his lanky frame folded into a cushy sofa in his Chelsea office, which is decorated with movie posters, including ones for the sources of the two Academy Awards in his household.
April 23, 2003
Robbins is angry that free speech works both ways Isn't it amazing that Tim Robbins complains about restriction of his free speech ("`A chill wind,'" Opinion Commentary, April 20)? Here's a man who for years has vocally and with evident impunity supported every anti-American cause, program, dictator or thug to appear on the world stage. Suddenly people actually listened to what he's been saying -- and they don't like it. Mr. Robbins is not really whining about restrictions on his speech, but rather that those who disagree with the Tim Robbins/Susan Sarandon viewpoint are free to voice that disagreement and act upon it. The president of baseball's Hall of Fame opted to disinvite Mr. Robbins and Ms. Sarandon from this year's induction ceremony because he felt they would be disruptive -- as Michael Moore was at the Oscars.
November 8, 2002
Robert Altman's 1992 The Player has only gained in pertinence over the last 10 years. This inside-Hollywood comedy derides the decision-making process that turns most American movies into funhouse rides. And in effect, this is Altman's lightly satirical version of a ride movie - an executive-suite branch of the Universal Tour. It kicks off with a virtuoso moving-camera shot that introduces the bustle of big-studio production and keeps rolling as the antihero, Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), commits murder, endures a police investigation and takes us through the steps that can transform even a tough-minded flop into a potential smash hit. It's a pleasurable spin, all right; here Altman directs like a canny engineer.
October 6, 2000
Paul Rudnick's comedy, "I Hate Hamlet," is a love letter to theater. Sure, it pokes fun at Shakespeare. But the play ultimately demonstrates that the Bard can change your life. That makes it highly apropos for the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, which is giving it a diverting production. The plot is as simple as a situation comedy - a logical comparison since the protagonist is a TV star. With his series canceled, Andrew Rally has returned to New York to try his luck on the stage. The role he's won, however, is more than he bargained for. Andrew has been hired to play Hamlet in Central Park.