Posted in January 2016

Review: The Finest Hours, 2016, dir. Craig Gillespie

Review: The Finest Hours, 2016, dir. Craig Gillespie


  For me, watching The Finest Hours reinforced the necessity for watching movies before interviewing the talent involved in their production. Grant that this is very much an irregular practice for me, and that nobody on a set visit has seen the movie beforehand for obvious reasons. All the same, it was only inevitable that my … Continue reading

Best of Criterion’s New Release, January 2016

Best of Criterion’s New Release, January 2016


Happy January! The start of the new year is always rough for moviegoers, unless they’re out to catch up on Golden Globe and Academy Award nominees; this is the month that studios use to dump out their garbage, for the most part, so you’re probably knocking out your last few “must-sees” from the previous year … Continue reading

TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 3.13 ,”The Cruise”

TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 3.13 ,”The Cruise”


  “Talking about “The Cruise” without talking about Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s fondness for referential and self-contained franchisement is impossible. First, we had “Halloween III,” where Santiago brought the series-long All Hallow’s Eve prank war fought by Holt and Jake to a decisive end; then we had “Yippie Kayak,” where Boyle became subsumed into Jake’s Die Hard … Continue reading

Review: Mojave, 2016, dir. William Monahan

Review: Mojave, 2016, dir. William Monahan


“This has been a good month for moviegoers craving celebrations of machismo. First, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s desperately masculine, Oscar-nominated The Revenant went wide. Then, Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi opened and fizzled in the same weekend. Now, The Departed screenwriter William Monahan’s second directorial effort, Mojave, joins the fray with a … Continue reading

Review: Aferim!, 2016, dir. Radu Jude

Review: Aferim!, 2016, dir. Radu Jude


If you’re looking for a reason to be grateful you’re alive in the era of Donald Trump, ISIS, the Oregon militia standoff, and an all-time high in mass shootings, look no further than Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s Aferim!. Maybe the world isn’t in an especially sunny place right now, but compared to 1800s Wallachia, it’s a paradise. Aferim! is … Continue reading

Whites, Camera, Action

Whites, Camera, Action


It is pretty to think that all of this year’s Oscars outrage might have been avoided with just a few shifts in nominations. In truth, recognition for some combination of Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, Teyonah Parris, Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Jada Pinkett Smith, Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Mya Taylor, Aaron Covington, … Continue reading

Review: Moonwalkers, 2016, dir. Antoine Bardou-Jacquet

Review: Moonwalkers, 2016, dir. Antoine Bardou-Jacquet


“Ron Perlman’s performance in Antoine Bardou-Jacquet’s Moonwalkers is the film’s best recommendation. It is also the only recommendation, for the most part, because for all of the great violence on display, there’s not a whole lot hanging the production together. Screenwriter Dean Craig’s script is the rubber and Perlman is the glue. Nothing sticks here … Continue reading

Interview: Jim Whitaker, The Finest Hours

Interview: Jim Whitaker, The Finest Hours


“Talking to actors and filmmakers on a set visit is tons of fun, but here’s the truth: you only get so much time with them, because while you’re sitting pretty in a tent taking notes and making small talk with your fellow journalists, they’re making a movie (which, in the case of Craig Gillespie’s The Finest … Continue reading

Review: Mustang, 2015, dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Review: Mustang, 2015, dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven


“Imagine the unimaginable: One moment you’re out enjoying a beautiful, sunny day with your friends and your sisters, and the next, your grandmother is slapping you silly for having inappropriate contact with boys. Everything else snowballs from there: You’re whisked off to the doctor for a virginity test, your personal possessions are shut up in … Continue reading

Review: The Reventant, 2015, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

Review: The Reventant, 2015, dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu


“For aficionados of brutal genre films, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant has enough to keep you satisfied. Find scenes of bravura violence photographed by an eminent cinematographer (the great Emmanuel Lubezki). Find the vague impression of deep, abiding meaning. Find bear-mauling, equine disembowelment. Find rape, castration, graphic suffering. Find additional suffering. Find more suffering. And … Continue reading

This Space Reserved, 2016

This Space Reserved, 2016


Keep your eyes here, folks. Exciting things are going to happen here this year. I hope. If you know me, talk to me, and read my stuff enough, you know that this writing thing isn’t simply a hobby for me these days; it’s more like a hobby that’s just a few miles away from being something … Continue reading