Friday, February 17, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 2/17

Yikes, I let this go a bit.

First and foremost, big new cover story on the final effects of Oscar nominations and wins.

Dug a bit into The Great Wall, and the controversy around it.

I reviewed John Wick: Chapter 2, which is great.

I also reviewed The LEGO Batman Movie, which is also great.

I wondered what kind of Oscar show they should even have this year.

I had some great ideas about who should direct The Batman!

I reviewed The Comedian, and dug a bit into our current lives-of-comedian overload.

Another swing and a miss: Ricky Gervais's rather desperate reanimation of David Brent, Life on the Road.

There's a new recut and restoration of Beat the Devil, so I wrote about that.

Also did our annual Oscar nominee priority guide.

For Bad Movie Night, we did a rare new release: Fifty Shades Darker. You understand.

For Second Glance, I took a look at the currently inescapable They Live.

There was, of course, a February indie guide.

And, last but never least, Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guides for 1/31, 2/7, and 2/14.

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Post-Sundance Edition

Hey, I'm finally not only back from Sundance, but caught back up from Sundance! That can take just as long as the festival itself. Here's some stuff I've written about it, and after:

First of all we did our customary Sundance preview, which usually gets way more traffic than any of the actual reviews, so insert sad commentary on the culture of anticipation here.

And I did the diary thing at Sundance this year:
Day 1: An Inconvenient Sequel and The Little Hours.

Day 2: Landline, The Incredible Jessica James, Ingrid Goes West, and Person to Person.

Day 3: The Big Sick, Mudbound, The Hero, and Before I Fall.

Day 4: To the Bone, Wind River, Wilson, and Gook.

Day 5: Manifesto, The Polka King, Lemon, and Tell Them We Are Rising.

Day 6: Nobody Speak, Marjorie Prime, Golden Exits, and 78/52.

Day 7: Oklahoma City, Quest, Trophy, and final thoughts.

I also reviewed Gold, which has McConaughey hitting some awfully familiar notes.

As well as The Salesman, which is genius.

Bad Movie Night is back, and I finally did The Happening.

And, of course, a home media guide for 1/24.

I Wrote These Things: Pre-Sundance Edition

I'm headed off to Park City, Utah today, for my sixth year covering the big ol' snowy indie clusterfuck known as the Sundance Film Festival. But before I go, here's a few recent items I've run over at Flavorwire...

I wrote about Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg's "docbusters," and what they say about the stories we want to be told about America right now.

I floated the notion that artists and celebrities actually can be helpful in #TheResistance - as irritants.

On Oscar nomination due day, I offered up some less-buzzed awards-worthy performances.

I reviewed Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which is wonderful.

I weighed The Founder against the current figure it can't avoid invoking.

And, of course, DVD/VOD guides for 1/10 and 1/17.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Big Year-End and Year-Beginning Catch-Up!

So the wildest thing happened: we went and had another kid. Well, "wild" might not be the right way to put it, since it makes it sound like it was unexpected in some way; it was totally expected, and in fact, I knew about for so long (nearly nine months) that I had time to write and file a whole bunch of pieces that ran while I was on family leave. Here they are!

It wouldn't be the end of the year without a whole bunch o' lists. So here's my 10 best movies of the year, 10 best documentaries of the year, and 10 great movies from 2016 that you can totally stream right now.

And I wrote a "Year in Culture" piece on how 2016's African-American films directly and indirectly addressed #OscarsSoWhite and Trump's America.

Reviews! Fences is very good, and so is Paterson,  20th Century Women is even better, and both Live By Night and Hidden Figures have good stuff and some real problems.

For a special holiday Second Glance, I looked at Ted Demme's The Ref.

Of course, we listed our most anticipated movies of 2017, and managed to include no sequels and only one remake.

And a whole bunch of Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guides, for 12/13 and 12/20 and 12/27 and 1/3.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 12/10

I worked really hard to do right by I Am Not Your Negro, which is probably the year's best film.

I also reviewed the magical La La Land.

One of the very first things I ever wrote for Flavorwire (all the way back in 2010!) was a round-up of the year's best movie moments, so it's something I've tried to do every year since. Here's this year's.

For Bad Movie Night - happy holidays - I took apart Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

Some pretty good stuff in the Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guide for 12/6.

And I don't usually include my quickie news posts here, but this one sort of gets to the heart of the critics' awards dispatches I find myself writing a lot lately.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 12/3

The big one for these two weeks is my big cover story on how awards season is taking over the movie-going calendar. Talked to some very good, thoughtful writers on the beat, and came up with something reasonably helpful, I hope.

I reviewed Jackie, which is so much better than it sounded.

I reviewed Moana, and it is lovely.

I was low on space Thanksgiving week and didn't have room for full reviews of Allied or Miss Sloane, but there are capsules for them here.

Also, our annual movie geek gift guide dropped. It's packed.

And we ran our jam-packed December indie guide.

For Second Glance, I went back to Robert Zemeckis's very first feature, the charming Beatlemania caper I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

For Bad Movie Night, I looked at the bonkers Canadian cable-access Terminator rip-off Phobe: The Xenophobic Experiments, and got a little personal.

And, of course, BD/DVD/VOD guides for 11/22 and 11/29.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 11/19

Less than usual this week, on account of some time off for the birthday (my 41st, if you're keeping track), but spotlighting some really great movies, and an interesting failure too.

First up, a review of Manchester By the Sea, which is both masterful and restrained.

My review of The Edge of Seventeen, which put me in mind of Easy A - a smarter-than-average teen comedy that will hopefully make its leading lady into a mega-star.

Some thoughts on Rules Don't Apply, which doesn't quite work, but in some fascinating ways.

And, of course, this week's DVD/VOD guide.