Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I Wrote These Things: Fall 2018 Edition

No need for the usual "ugh, haven't done this in too long" apologies, let's just do it, here we go:

For the New York Times:

A brief history (and, along the way, something of an etymology) of the "director's cut."

A round-up of Orson Welles movies, pegged to the Netflix debut of The Other Side of the Wind.

And along the same lines, a look at movies lost (partially or entirely) and found.

Plus, some recommended reading by William Goldman, on the occasion of his passing.

For Vulture:

A brief history of the X-rated movie (like, before it meant porn).

Inspired by Bad Times at the El Royale, a look at the good and bad Pulp Fiction knock-offs.

A bunch of Halloween content: a deep dive into the making and release of the original, a ranking of the entire series, and a round-up of the new entry's callbacks.

From the Tallgrass Film Festival, I interviewed Pam Grier and Martin Starr.

And from the International Film Festival and Awards at Macau, I covered Nicolas Cage's Master Class.

For Flavorwire: 

I was so mad about FilmStruck closing, I wrote about it. Twice.

I had cancelled MoviePass, so I tried Sinemia. It did not go well!

Festival coverage! Here's a preview and wrap-up of the New York Film Festival, and a wrap-up of Tallgrass too.

And here are reviews, of Suspiria, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Roma.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I Wrote These Things: Post-TIFF Edition

It's been a busy late summer/early fall - so busy, I haven't updated this damn thing in way too long. But here are a few highlights:

My first solo byline at Rolling Stone, a profile of Prayer Before Dawn star Joe Cole.

Over at Vulture, I ranked every damn episode of Sports Night, which turns 20 this month.

For the New York Times, I contributed to a big obituary round-up of Neil Simon's work. 

I went to TIFF! And wrote many reviews there for The Playlist:

If Beale Street Could Talk
High Life
Hold the Dark
The Outlaw King
Beautiful Boy
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

I also reviewed Fahrenheit 11/9 for L.A. Weekly, and did a big TIFF diary for Flavorwire.

And also for Flavorwire:

I reviewed The Sisters Brothers, and praised John C. Reilly.

I interviewed Larry Clark, mostly about Kids.

MoviePass is basically dead, so I wrote an obit.

And there are more excerpts of the book (which, don't forget, is still available in paperbook and ebook!): this one, from Flavorwire, on Night Movies, and this one, from Oscilloscope's Musings, on Shaft.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I Wrote These Things: Summer Edition

Let's begin at the beginning: the new book, which is actually the old book (i.e., announced at the end of 2015 and written the following spring) is finally, finally out. It's Okay With Me: Hollywood, The 1970s, and the Return of the Private Eye was supposed to be released in late 2016 / early 2017 by The Critical Press (which put out Richard Pryor: American Id), and then that house tanked and the publisher ghosted me and several other writers - leaving several, myself included, owed money - and then I was left with this book that was too short for anybody else, since TCP's specialty was short volumes. So after some fruitless shopping around, I just published the damn thing myself. You can get it in paperback or ebook from Amazon; if you're in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas, you can also pick it up at Watermark Books & Cafe (signed, even!). It's not half bad. On to the next one!

And on to the links. For the Times, I participated in a conversation about home viewing vs. going to the movies.

Did a bit of background digging into the story behind A Very English Scandal.

I rounded up Sacha Baron Cohen's earlier political ambushes.

I also compared the three film (and TV) portrayals of John Gotti.

Here's a list of movies for people who love Jurassic Park (and seriously, who doesn't love Jurassic Park).

And a list of Robin Williams' best one-offs.

Plus, bunch of new stuff at Vulture! For their 30th anniversaries, I looked back at the making of three great summer 1988 movies: Big, Coming to America, and Die Hard.

I interviewed the great Susan Seidelman, mostly about her breakthrough movie Smithereens.

And I ranked the Mission: Impossible set pieces.

Oh! And I contributed to this Rolling Stone list of the best movie comedies of the 21st century.

And finally, for Flavorwire! I reviewed Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Ocean's 8, and wrote about Gotti and Trump.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

I Wrote These Things: Spring Edition

I really didn't mean to go this long without an update, but things have been a bit upside-down lately. To wit: After several months of dipping my toe into the freelance pool, I am now fully living that freelance life. I'm still doing some stuff for Flavorwire (and I'll hopefully be able to explain exactly what's going on over there one day, but that day is not today), but I've been lucky enough to have a pretty good run of pieces on outlets old and new.

The biggest news on that front was my first byline expressly for the New York Times, in which I went to that insane 31-hour Marvel movie marathon, and wrote about it.

And for Watching, I did a big mega-list of the best movies on Amazon Prime.

I also made my Vulture debut, with this piece on the production woes and controversies of Scarface.

And deep-dives into troubled Al Pacino movies is apparently a specialty now, as I also wrote something up for the Village Voice on Cruising.

Also! I was very happy to participate in their Tribeca Film Festival preview.

And I also made my way onto Crooked Marquee (with some SXSW mini-reviews) and Indiewire (also out of SXSW, with full reviews of The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter and Upgrade.)

For Flavorwire, I wrote a bit on an ongoing preoccupation: the danger of phasing out physical media.

And I penned this introspective piece on nostalgia and things you missed, inspired by the Club 57 show at MoMA.

I wrote about why the ending of the new Avengers pissed me off.

I reviewed Annihilation! It's great! And I Feel Pretty! It's not!

Also did a SXSW capsule review round-up.

More Tribeca coverage: the best and worst documentaries and narratives, plus reports on the Patti Smith show and the Robert De Niro / Bradley Cooper talk.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I Wrote These Things: Post-Sundance Edition

So, Sundance happened!

For VICE, I interviewed Chloë Sevigny about Lizzie and talked to Joel McHale and David Wain about A Futile and Stupid Gesture.

For Uproxx, I interviewed Jason Mitchell about Tyrel - which I also reviewed for The Playlist.

And for Flavorwire, I did a preview piece, and then a documentary wrap-up and narrative round-up.

Oscar nominations happened! I wrote about them.

And a new month began, so here is a streaming guide and an indie preview.

Also for Flavorwire, I did some galleries! Here's one for Gallery1988's "Fake Theme Parks" show, and one for their Monty Python show.

UT Austin has a great new digital archive of vintage movie posters; here are some highlights.

Folio Society has a new edition of A Wrinkle In Time, so here are some illustrations from that.

Oh! And! BD/DVD/VOD guides! For 1/23 and 1/30.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Wrote These Things, Pre-Sundance Edition

Tomorrow morning, I will get on a jet air liner and fly all the damn way to Utah for my seventh (seventh!) Sundance Film Festival. So before I go, here's a few things I've managed to write and curate in what was supposed to be a slow couple of weeks.

My main thing of 2018 thus far is this big piece on the wide (wider than you'd think) influence of cinéma vérité on movies both fiction and non, inspired by a great upcoming series at Film Forum and Metrograph's concurrent revival run of the new Salesman restoration.

Inside the "Shitty Media Men" story is another, smaller story about how entertainment journalism often functions without context, and aggregation is the devil. So I wrote that story.

The Oscar nominations are coming up, so I suggested a few dark horse acting possibilities.

It's a new year, and I was legally bound to make a list of my most anticipated movies. Sorry, I don't make the laws.

Mondo did a bunch of very cool new posters for classic Universal monster movies, so I made a lil' gallery. And, related, there's an amazing new edition of Frankenstein out from Classics Reimagined, so I made a gallery of that too.

Here's your January streaming movie guide, and its indie theatrical counterpart.

And, obviously, your BD/DVD/VOD guides for 1/2, 1/9, and 1/16.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Here Are All of the Fall of 1997 Columns

In case you'd like them in one, bookmark-able place!

Column one, mid-September: L.A. Confidential and The Game.

Column two, early October: The Edge, The Ice Storm, and Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control.

Column three, mid-October: Boogie Nights and Happy Together.

Column four, early November: Gattaca and Starship Troopers.

Column five, mid-November: Eve's Bayou and One Night Stand.

Column six, late November: Good Will Hunting and The Sweet Hereafter.

Column seven, mid-December: Titanic, Amistad, and Kundun.

Column eight, late December: Jackie Brown, As Good As It Gets, and Wag the Dog.