Sunday, July 29, 2018
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 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
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
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
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.
Monday, January 1, 2018
As usual, the end of the year was a flurry of bleary-eyed activity, as I attempted to cover all the big end-of-year movies, catch up for best-of lists, plus, y'know, sleep and shop and pack and stuff.
I did a mega-list of the Best 100 Movies on Netflix for the NY Times' Watching.
I was back on the Big Bad Disney beat for The Village Voice, with this piece on their scary-sounding acquisition of Fox.
For Slate, I had this 30th anniversary look at Broadcast News, a movie I celebrate by gawking at its terrible deleted scenes.
And the big Fall of 1997 series came to an end at VICE, with this look at Jackie Brown, Wag the Dog, and As Good as It Gets.
Also for VICE, a review of Phantom Thread, and some thoughts on Paul Thomas Anderson's utter disinterest in mainstream success.
Over at Flavorwire, I did year-end lists galore: the 10 best narrative movies of the year, the 10 best documentaries of the year, and ten runners-up that are streaming right now.
I put together a gallery of cool pop-culture postcards, from Gallery1988.
And, of course, one last DVD/VOD guide.