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.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 11/12


Well, it was a bit of a week, huh? In doing our customary round-up of the weekend's new movies, I wrote probably the closest I'll come to anything personal about the election - basically, that we have to burrow into art to take our mind off a scary world. So here's that.

Arrival was already one of my favorite films of the year - but after Tuesday, it was suddenly really important. More on that here.

I reviewed Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - well, mostly I reviewed its technology, which ship-wrecks the whole fucking movie.

For Second Glance, I looked at the woefully underrated David Mamet caper movie Heist.

And here's a DVD/VOD guide.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 11/5



Unsurprisingly, I made the case for FilmStruck.

Here's my review of the best movie of the week, and one of the best of the year: Loving.

I reviewed Doctor Strange. It's okay!

For Bad Movie Night, I took a pass at The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. It's not okay!

Did a really loaded indie guide too, which includes Manchester By the Sea, Nocturnal Animals, and Bleed for This.

And, of course, the ol' DVD/VOD guide.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 10/29


I did a big ol' cover story about what draws us to scary movies, and keeps us coming back.

I wrote a New York Film Festival wrap-up, including capsule reviews of Manchester By the Sea, 20th Century Women, and Toni Erdmann.

I reviewed Moonlight, one of the year's best films.

And I reviewed The Handmaiden, which is sexy and terrific and great.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, on the other hand, is about as generic as action movies get.

But at least it's better than Inferno. I did a stunt review, from the persona of Into the Inferno director Werner Herzog, because why not.

For Second Glance, I looked at David Byrne's wonderful True Stories.

Halloween listicle alert! Some of my favorite horror movie performances.

Halloween service journalism alert! A big ol' guide to the best horror movies on your streaming service.

And, of course, DVD/VOD guides for 10/18 and 10/25.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 10/15


I compared and contrasted Tower and Newtown, two new, powerful documentaries about gun violence and school shootings.

From the New York Film Festival, I covered the new Almodóvar and the new Assayas, with some thought on the catlike nature of Kristen Stewart.

I reviewed The Girl on the Train, which is terrible.

Also reviewed The Accountant, which is also terrible.

And I wrote about Kevin Hart's new concert movie, and how it reminds me of Richard Pryor's.

For "Second Glance," I looked at the post-Purple Rain filmography of Prince.

I had somehow never done Mommie Dearest for "Bad Movie Night," so I took care of that.

And your Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guides for 10/4 and 10/11.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 10/1


Indie movie guide for October!

New York Film Festival preview!

And from that festival, I wrote up Ava Duvernay's powerful new documentary 13th.

Went long on the terrific American Honey.

In praise of The Magnificent Seven - particularly, Denzel Washington's presence in it.

On Ron Howard's not-great new Beatles documentary, Eight Days a Week.

I didn't hate Woody's Amazon series as much as everyone else seems to.

For Bad Movie Night, I took a look at the Criterion release of Valley of the Dolls (with a cameo by Beyond the Valley).

For Second Glance, I revisited an old favorite: Stephen King's feline-powered horror anthology Cat's Eye.

And, of course, BD/DVD/VOD guides for 9/20 and 9/27.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 9/17


I spent a good chunk of the last two weeks attending and preparing for the Toronto International Film Festival - so, unsurprisingly, most of what I published in that period was TIFF-based. For example:

  • My preview of all the things I was looking forward to, most of which did not disappoint.
  • Day 1: Gimme Danger, Dog Eat Dog, American Honey, and The Salesman, plus I cheated and wrote about Sully.
  • Day 2Nocturnal Animals, Arrival, A Monster Calls, and Amanda Knox.
  • Day 3: Mascots, Snowden, Beauties of the Night, and Water and Sugar.
  • Day 4: The Handmaiden, Queen of Katwe, A United Kingdom, (re)ASSIGNMENT, and Gringo.
  • Day 5: Blair Witch, Loving, Jackie, The B-Side, and The War Show. 
  • Day 6: La La Land, Una, The Bad Batch, and Into the Inferno.
  • Day 7: Free Fire, Their Finest, The Secret Scripture, and ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail.

And then I went a bit longer on Snowden. And, of course, Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guides for 9/6 and 9/13.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 9/3


Wrote (and am pretty happy with) a big new cover story on the much-reported summer sequel slump, if it's actually new, and if it'll change anything. (spoilers: no and no).

Went a little long on the anniversary re-release of Madonna: Truth or Dare, and its commentaries on both Madonna and the celebrity culture she helped create.

Some thoughts on Southside with You, and what it tells us not just about Obama the man, but Obama the politician.

FALLLLL MOOOOOOOVIE PREEEEEEVIEWWWWWWW.

SEPTEMMMMMMBER INDIIIIIIIIIE MOOOOOOOVIE PREEEEEEVIEWWWWWWW.

For "Second Glance," I wrote a little love letter to Dead Again.

For "Bad Movie Night," I wrote something less than a love letter to Shanghai Surprise.

And finally, DVD/VOD guides for 8/23 and 8/30.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 8/20



  • I interviewed John Waters, who is unsurprisingly delightful.
  • I wrote about the similarities between Trump supporters and DC super-fans. Spoiler: Everything isn't "rigged."
  • My cover story on the parade of production company logos in front of all the movies now, and how that came to be.
  • Instead of reviewing the uninspiring War Dogs, I wrote about the plague of obvious soundtrack music.
  • Hell or High Water is fucking great.
  • Pete's Dragon is just lovely, and makes a fine case for remaking bad movies rather than good ones. And coupled with Kubo and the Two Strings, it's looking like family movies are the only mainstream flicks this summer worth a damn.
  • I wrote about Imperium, and its nuanced portrayal of the white power movement.
  • For "Second Glance," I gave some love to Spike Lee's Clockers
  • And for "Bad Movie Night," a 20th anniversary post-mortem of The Island of Dr. Moreau.
  • And here's your Blu-ray/VOD guides for 8/9 and 8/16.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 8/6



Well, I missed a week. I'm sure you'll forgive me.

  • Suicide Squad sure is terrible, and Jared Leto's the worst thing about it.
  • A piece on The Knick, The Girlfriend Experience, and Soderbergh's television exploits.
  • I've always gone to the mat for the Bourne movies, so Jason Bourne may be the summer's biggest disappointment. My review.
  • Also very bad: Bad Moms, which really should put an end to women's stories told by men, but won't.
  • Some thoughts on disco and the movies, tied to the new series at the Metrograph.
  • For Second Glance, an appreciation of Garry Marshall's Nothing in Common.
  • Finally subjected myself to A Talking Cat!?! for the most recent Bad Movie Night.
  • I made an indie guide for August, with a whole bunch of goods stuff.
  • Blu-ray/DVD/streaming guides for 8/2 and 7/26

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 7/23


For "Bad Movie Night," I watched Dirty Grandpa, which is, in all seriousness, one of the worst pieces of shit I've ever subjected myself to.

Found a lot to like in Star Trek Beyond, except this trend of hiring great actors to play villains and hiding them in bad make-up.

I wrote about taking my kid to movies and the new Ice Age, and how the familiarity family filmmakers are banking on has become the norm.

I made a bold prediction of Trump's nomination acceptance speech. Frankly, wish he'd have done this instead.

And here's your Blu-ray/DVD guide.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 7/16



  • I reviewed Ghostbusters. It's utterly okay!
  • Wrote about the new Woody Allen movie - a topic in which I have some interest! - and found it yet more evidence that he's losing his grip on the most basic moviemaking essentials. 
  • Started out reviewing the new Bryan Cranston movie and ended up writing about why there's no more Gene Hackman movies.
  • For the "Second Glance" column, I celebrated Bill Murray's criminally underrated Quick Change.
  • And this week's DVD/Blu-ray guide, featuring Everybody Wants Some!!, Green Room, and three great catalogue titles. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 7/9


THIS WEEK...

  • I interviewed Norman Lear. He's great!
  • In considering how Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates wastes Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick, I also watched Mr. Right and Dirty Grandpa. I am a glutton for punishment!
  • I reviewed Zero Days, the new Alex Gibney documentary, which is smart and informative and goddamn frightening.
  • Did a listicle of funniest animated vocal performances rather than reviewing Secret Lives of Pets, though it's cute enough. 
  • And here's your Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guide for the week.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 7/2



Happy almost Fourth of July! I remembered to do this two weeks in a row!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 6/25


Through the years, I've been consistently terrible about archiving writings here on the site that bears my name, and it's a thing I'm going to honest-to-God get better about, I promise. Anyway, I wrote these things this week:
  • Did a big cover story on The King of Comedy, its place in the history of comedy, and its ongoing influence. Bonus: got to talk to comedy experts Jason Zinoman (of The New York Times) and Mike Sacks (author of the great And Here's the Kicker and Poking a Dead Frog).
  • Debuted a new column called "Second Glance," which will pop up every two weeks to spotlight an older film that's particularly noteworthy thanks to an anniversary or new availability or a tie-in with a new release. So, for its 25th anniversary, I wrote about The Rocketeer
  • Reviewed the Independence Day sequel. It's not very good.
  • Reviewed Free State of Jones. It's not very good.
  • Reviewed The Neon Demon. It is what it is. 
  • This week's DVD/Blu-ray/VOD guide, including Midnight Special, Embrace of the Serpent, and The Wave.