I just read Gary Giddins' collection of favorites from his career as a movie/music/book critic, in Natural Selection: Gary Giddins on Comedy, Film, Music, and Books.
I didn't know half of what he was talking about, but the writing is great. The book sort of makes me think I've been wasting my DVD player. In fact, it ought to come with a few DVDs of the movies and music.
In particular, I liked the pieces toward about his professor from Grinnell and his editor at the Village Voice.