Saturday, August 12, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 8/12


The craziest thing happened this week, something that almost never happens: I worked really hard on a piece, and then people liked it, and a lot of people (way more than I would've anticipated) read it. It's about Bonnie and Clyde - not the movie, which turns 50 this weekend, but Pauline Kael's game-changing review of it. Give it a look.

I wrote a 25th anniversary appreciation of Unforgiven.

And I reviewed Good Time, which is scuzzy and strange and kind of great.

This week's bad movie night is James Foley's Madonna vehicle Who's That Girl, which benefits from a fair amount of leftover late-'80s HBO-play affection.

And, as always, your DVD/VOD guide.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 8/4


Funny thing about taking two weeks of vacation in one month: between laying things out for when you're gone and catching back up when you're back, you may let a few things slide - like, say, this. Anyway. Here's a month's worth of things I wrote.

I wrote this piece about Detroit - and the questions it raises off-screen.

I wondered why superhero movies always come too quick.

Holly Hunter is great in Strange Weather and The Big Sick and in general, so here's a thing about how she's taken for granted.

Also, wrote about why Dunkirk is almost a masterpiece. (And updated my Nolan rankings.)

I reviewed War for the Planet of the Apes, a rare reminder that effects can serve movies, rather than the other way around.

I looked at how To the Bone rises about its TV-movie tendencies.

I said this back at Sundance, but Landline is just lovely.

Lost in America hit the Criterion Collection, so I went long on it.

Did Second Glances on The Pallbearer and Raising Cain, and Bad Movie Nights on The Apple and Jaws: The Revenge.

Oh, and a good old-fashioned Flavorwire listicle of great modern action sequences (tied to Atomic Blonde).

A new month began, so there were guides! The regular monthly indie round-up, of course, and a new feature running down the best of the new streamers.

Gallery 1988 did an exhibit of art based on Mattel toys, and it's pretty cool.

And DVD/VOD guides for 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, and 8/1.

Friday, July 7, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 7/8


This week, I asked the tough question: does Trump tweet on the can?

Film Forum is doing a big series of "New York in the '70s" movies that I'll be spending quite a bit of time at, and I did this round-up of some of them.

I reviewed A Ghost Story, which is kind of amazing.

I didn't review Spider-Man: Homecoming, but jotted down some brief thoughts in this week's theatrical capsules.

Oh, and of course, I did a DVD/VOD guide.

Friday, June 30, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 7/1


The big, big deal this week was getting to sit down with one of my favorite filmmakers, Errol Morris, to talk about his new movie The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography and the current state of documentary cinema. Here's that interview, which I'm very proud of.

I'm also very happy with this piece on Bong Joon-ho's Okja, which is both a review and an analysis of what it means for Netflix.

We don't do nearly as much of the clapping-back-at-hate-reads type of thing anymore, but this bullshit from The Hollywood Reporter deserved it.

Baby Driver isn't quite the revolution some of my colleagues have framed it as, but it is an awful lot of fun.

July is upon us, so here's an indie guide!

And here is a very, very full BD/DVD/VOD guide.

Friday, June 23, 2017

I Wrote These Things - Weeks Ending 6/24



In this week of a new Transformers movie, I ignored a new Transformers movie. Instead:

I reviewed Sofia Coppola's remake of The Beguiled.

I wrote about The Big Sick - the movie, and the widespread complain that it's too long. (Spoiler: It's not.)

And I took a look at the new (and excellent) Netflix doc Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.

For this week's Second Glance, I took a rare literal second glance at Joe Versus the Volcano.

There was, of course, a BD/DVD/VOD guide.

And I usually don't include news posts, but here's what happened when my editor asked me to write something about Downton Abbey.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 6/18


Rough Night was one of the few movies of the summer I was really looking forward to, and boy did it let me down.

And All Eyez On Me is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. (Also, it mentions pretty much every single thing he ever did - except Poetic Justice. There's an explanation!)

BAMcinemaFest started Wednesday, so I saw a bunch of their movies and capsuled them.

Seriously, WTF is going on with The Beguiled's social media campaign?

I did Batman & Robin for Bad Movie Night, and kind of can't believe I hadn't done Batman & Robin for Bad Movie Night.

And, of course, your DVD/VOD guide.

Friday, June 9, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 6/9


I spent way too much time digging through the Twitter feeds of DC fans, and came up with this.

And much of that was brought about by the release of Wonder Woman, so here's a review of that.

I did interviews! Which I don't do that often! Here's one with Ernest Dickerson.

And here's one with Charley Taylor, about his staggeringly good book.

I reviewed It Comes at Night, which is out-frigging-standing.

Beatriz at Dinner is a sharp movie, and an unexpectedly trenchant one.

War Machine isn't very good, but it's an important signpost for Netflix.

I really liked Long Strange Trip, and I'm not even all that into the Grateful Dead.

Sean Hannity is losing his fucking mind, so I wrote about that.

A new month started! Here's an indie guide!

There was a Star Wars anniversary, which means forty years of people writing dumb things about it.

There's a remake of The Beguiled coming out, so Second Glance revisited the original.

For Bad Movie Night, I took an anniversary look at the (not bad at all) Ishtar.

And of course, your buying and streaming guides, for 5/23, 5/30, and 6/6.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 5/20


If you do a summer movie preview, you should probably do an anti-preview too. At least, you should do one this summer.

I meant to just write something about Netflix's new "Skip Intro" thing and ended up writing a goddamn manifesto. tl;dr: keep your tech away from my art.

Also asked what the hell is going on over at MSNBC.

Trump fired off a bunch of tweets about Comey, and I wrote about it. This seems so very, very long ago.

I wrote a review of the unfortunately not-great Alien: Covenant.

Also not great? Snatched.

But here's a good review - of an HBO movie, Barry Levinson's The Wizard of Lies.

In advance of the return of Twin Peaks, I wrote one of like a dozen appreciations of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

A bunch of '90s indie filmmakers gathered at Lincoln Center to talk about John Pierson and Split Screen, so I covered that.

Gallery 1988 did a Stephen King tribute show, so here's some good stuff from that.

And your buying/streaming guides for 5/9 and 5/16.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Weeks Ending 5/6




Tribeca happened! And I covered the shit out of it!

First and foremost, there are wrap-ups - capsule review of all the narratives and all the documentaries I saw.

There was a big Reservoir Dogs reunion, and I wrote about it.

There was a big Godfather reunion, and I wrote about that too.

On the new Clive Davis documentary, and the opening night concert.

On the new Puffy Combs documentary, and its concert.

Michael Moore did a retro screening of Bowling for Columbine, and had things to say after.

There were Tribeca Talks too! Jon Favreau and Scarlett Johnasson, and Noah Baumbach and Dustin Hoffman, and Paul Feig and Michael Che.

And I wrote up the big premieres of The Trip to Spain and The Circle. One of them is good. I'll let you guess which.

Also, there were other things! For example, this big feature I did on all the L.A. riot/Rodney King specials and documentaries.

And this piece I wrote about how Donald Trump treats the presidency like a beauty pageant win.

Gallery 1988 did a Veep show, and I put a gallery together.

There is a May indie guide, and God knows we'll need it.

Related: did a very low-expectation summer movie guide.

I did a Second Glance on the original, 1990 film adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale.

And DVD/VOD guides for 4/18, 4/25, and 5/2.

Friday, April 14, 2017

I Wrote These Things - Week Ending 4/15



The new Mystery Science Theater 3000 is out! I reviewed it! It's great!

And in the run-up, I had the exceedingly difficult task of picking my ten favorite episodes.

Here's something about that United video, and the kind of people who defended thuggery and corporate browbeating.

Richard Gere is great in Norman - but then again, Richard Gere is great in pretty much everything.

I did a Bad Movie Night on Red Dawn. (The original, not that it matters.)

And, of course, your Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guide.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

I Wrote These Things - Weeks Ending 4/8


Venturing into the politics vertical, I wrote about that stupid thing where Mike Pence won't be alone with women. It's #actually kind of important.

I wrote about Five Came Back. It's great!

I wrote about Going In Style. It stinks!

And then this, about The Boss Baby, which is not about Trump.

For Second Glance, I looked at Scorsese's super-underrated The Color of Money.

There is, of course, an indie guide for April.

And we have Blu-ray/DVD/VOD guides for 3/28 and 4/4.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Wrote These Things - Weeks Ending 3/21


The big deal of the last couple of weeks - and the reason why it's been a while since I did one of these - was SXSW, my favoritest film festival of all. Here's the coverage:

I did a preview, of course.

And something about the fan-friendly Alien event.

I covered a female-heavy panel about the challenges of representation in media.

I watched Fred Armisen talk to Bob Odenkirk.

There was a very big, fascinating panel with the cast and showrunner of Veep.

And I did wrap-ups, of the documentary and narrative films.

Oh, and while I was there, I saw Song to Song, and was not into it.

T2: Trainspotting sounded pretty desperate, but I found it surprisingly sharp and affecting.

I reviewed Kong: Skull Island, which is bad.

For a Skull Island-inspired installment of Bad Movie Night, I looked at the 1976 rip-off A*P*E.

I wrote about the one insult Piers Morgan is able to slap together.

And here's DVD/VOD guides for 3/7 and 3/14 and 3/21.

Friday, March 3, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 3/3



Feud: Bette and Joan premieres this weekend, so I took the opportunity to write about What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

I reviewed Logan, which is pretty good! It might not be as good as you've heard.

It's the first of the month, so I did an indie guide.

I wanted Table 19 to be on it, but boy was it not good, so I wrote a quick capsule review here.

Good lord it seems like years ago know, but I did an Oscar post-mortem.

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

I Wrote These Things: Week Ending 2/24



I did a supercut! My first one in like two years! Enjoy over 100 clips of this year's Oscar nominees, before they were stars.

And speaking of the Oscars: Yes, I did predictions, it's legally required of all film writers.

Also, here's a review of Get Out, which is as great as you've heard.

This got some... spirited feedback: a reminder, post-Milo, that Bill Maher is the worst.

And this week's DVD/VOD guide.

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.