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.

After a very long engagement that began with the original Toy Story, Disney finally made an honest woman out of Pixar in 2006, when it paid the requisite billions to move the computer animation giant into the Magic Kingdom. But Disney's spirited 2010 hit Tangled made it abundantly clear that Pixar had a say in the creative marriage: The story of Rapunzel may be standard Disney princess fare, but the whip-crack pacing and fractured-fairy tale wit felt unmistakably Pixar. From now on, it would seem, Mickey Mouse and Luxo Jr.

There's much to admire about X-Men: First Class, a combination reboot and prequel for a three-film mutant-superhero series that peaked with its rousing second entry, then hit the wall in a by-the-numbers adventure that languished between workmanlike and perfunctory.

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse double feature — consisting of Rodriguez's Planet Terror, Tarantino's Death Proof, and a bevy of fake trailers and vintage '70s "Coming Attractions" tags — was intended to evoke the pungent exploitation trash that once screened in drive-ins and seedy Times Square movie houses.

"My job was to create a family, a very specific family," says creator Phil Rosenthal of his immensely successful sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, but he's only half-right. While it's true that Rosenthal and his collaborators, led by comedian Ray Romano, mined the domestic minutiae of a middle-class family for nine years, 210 episodes, and an ongoing eternity in syndication, Everybody Loves Raymond didn't exactly reinvent television.

Over the past decade, the movies have obsessed over doomsday scenarios of all kinds — global warming, global cooling, nuclear war, earthquakes, asteroids, aliens, zombies, shortages in water, oil or food, or the inability to scribble down salon appointments on Mayan calendars after Dec. 21, 2012.

It's a Pixar world. Every other animation studio is just living in it.

After years of fruitless attempts to grab a slice of market share from the Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks pie, Fox acquired the CGI-animation house Blue Sky Studios and enjoyed its first major hit with Ice Age — a bright, mild, agreeable comedy that functioned like methadone for those waiting for their next Pixar fix.

The opening credits of Tony Gatlif's Korkoro appear over an image common to many films about the Holocaust: a close-up of barbed wire stretched between wooden posts, with rows of internment-camp barracks lingering in the background. And then, improbably, the barbed wire starts to shimmy like the plucked strings of a harp, and out comes a simple piece of music, jauntier than the setting would ever seem to warrant. Rest assured, what follows is not a tasteless World War II musical romp. But neither will the film's buoyant spirit be easily extinguished.