Shit I Wrote: Week of 12/1/13
- As promised, the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis is pretty good.
- Talked to Carey Mulligan about same.
- I’ll allow Out of the Furnace.
- I’m quite taken with Tim’s Vermeer.
- Holy shit I talked to Teller about directing the above.
- White Reindeer is a very good, and mostly productive, anti-Christmas Christmas movie.
- Sergio Castellitto is a very good actor and I have no idea what he’s doing directing Twice Born.
- No on Bettie Page Reveals All, which should have been an awesome coffee table book.
- Talked to Rhea Perlman about her new sitcom Kirstie and other things.
- Blu/DVD column this week is about Criterion’s new edition of the pretty great Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion.
Shit I Wrote: Week of 11/24/13
- Did a lot of Oldboy stuff. Here’s my review. I didn’t hate it at all. Sorry, world.
- I didn’t get a question into Spike Lee during a roundtable, but here’s my report on what he said.
- Did talk to Elizabeth Olsen.
- And Sharlo Copley.
- And Michael Imperioli.
- I also didn’t hate Homefront, though it’s not very good.
- And then I talked to Jason Statham, who is very hilarious in person.
- It’s strange, but I did mostly take to Black Nativity. (A Kasi Lemmons interview is also en route. I’ve been cramming a week’s worth of work into three days.)
- Predictably not down with Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, but in a way I didn’t anticipate.
- The Kathleen Hanna doc The Punk Singer is pretty interesting until it’s less so (but still moving)
- Did a round-up thing of winter/Oscar movies.
- Wrote just a little bit more about The Canyons for the Blu/DVD column.
Shit I Wrote: Week of 11/17/13
- This Hunger Games sequel is not bad
- Delivery Man is not that funny and has too much heart and does nothing with Vince Vaughn
- Steve Coogan is a stone cold genius and I have little idea of why he co-wrote and co-starred in Philomena
- The reissue of Roman Polanski’s Jackie Stewart doc Weekend of a Champion is aight
- Michel Gondry’s Noam Chomsky film Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? is good
- Narco Cultura, a grim doc about the drug war and thoughtless thug musicians is good, too, but a bit repetitive
- Talked to Peter Bogdanovich and went a bit Chris Farley Show on him but edited it so I didn’t come off like a total boob (and asked him about Nickelodeon, Saint Jack, Opening Night and other things)
- Talked to Michel Gondry about talking to Noam Chomsky, science, not faking analogue with digital and the boring parts of making documentaries
- I went to the Roman Polanski Skype presser that was here and wrote about it (but not so much how fucking weird it was)
- For this JFK assassination anniversary, I rounded up a bunch of JFK assassination-related films, making room for Bruce Conner’s Report, John Waters’ Eat Your Makeup, the Dalton Trumbo-scripted Executive Action, in addition to JFK and stuff
- Blu-ray/DVD column this week is on Tokyo Story and how it rules
- Parks and Recreation is on winter/holiday vacay, but I recapped its last two episodes before it goes
- The most important thing I did all week was write about the history of Bond supervillain Ernst Blofeld and why he hasn’t been on screens in 30 years
Shit I Wrote: Weeks of 11/10 and 11/3
Of course I neglected to post all my work from last week, probably because I was still busy doing work. Anyway, let’s get this over with:
- Sorry, h8ers, but I’m pro on Alexander Payne’s Nebraska
- Sorry, h8ers, I didn’t h8 The Best Man Holiday (although I enjoyed Terrence Howard’s blue jokes the best)
- Sorry, h8ers, but you’re right: Charlie Countryman is lulz (or is just lol?)
- Sorry, h8ers, but if you say bad things about 12-12-12, you’re literally taking money from Sandy relief
- Sorry h8ers, but The Great Beauty is pretty good but, yes, too long
- Sorry h8ers, but Sunlight Jr. is pretty good
- Sorry, h8ers, but I don’t know what you think about The Broken Circle Breakdown
- Talked to Will Forte for Nebraska
- Talked to Bob Odenkirk for Nebraska
- Talked to Laurie Collyer for Sunlight, Jr.
- Talked to Phil Hall about his book The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time tk
- Blu-ray/DVD column this week focuses on All the President’s Men
- Parks and Rec is back on after a brief hiatus, and thus so are my recaps of same
- Kind of into Thor: The Dark World, even though I forgot all of it the second I left the theater
- Kind of into this new The Great Expectations, which is fine, I guess
- Not into The Book Thief, despite Roger Allam narrating as Death
- Sort of into How I Live Now, which is more grim realism than YA (but still YA) (and awesome Soirse Ronan)
- Not into Alex Gibney’s 10,000th doc The Armstrong Lie, about Neil Armstrong
- Into Frederick Wiseman’s 10,000th doc At Berkeley, about Elizabeth Berkeley*
- More or less into John Sayles’ Go For Sisters, which has a Yolanda Ross performance that should be a breakthrough
- Talked to Saoirse Ronan about How I Love Now
- Talked to Domhnall Gleeson about About Time, and I can now spell his name without double checking
- Talked to Emily Watson about The Book Thief
- Blu-ray/DVD Column was about Antonioni’s La Notte
* It’s actually Berkley, but I didn’t want to wreck the “joke.”
Week of 10/27: Stuff I Wrote on a Professional-Type Basis
- The Ender’s Game movie is weirdly not dumb and has a pleasingly intense focus
- Last Vegas didn’t make me want to kill myself but still
- Looks like I’m going to be in the minority on Dallas Buyers Club
- Richard Curtis’ About Time is pretty okay for an hour
- Keanu Reeves directs Man of Tai Chi and isn’t bad at it
- Was really taken with Let the Fire Burn, the documentary about the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia
- Talked to Keanu Reeves, who is someone, apparently, and in person no less, while his face was marked with fake blood (he was on break from a movie shoot)
- Also talked to Bill Nighy for About Time
- Also talked to Mary Steenburgen, who is predictably totally wonderful, for Last Vegas
- And talked to Romany Malco for Last Vegas, as well, and he was also cool
- Finally, talked to James Toback about his doc Seduced and Abandoned, wherein he and Alec Baldwin try to get a crazy Iraq-set sex drama funded at Cannes ‘12
- Pulled together a piece on Aziz Ansari from a conference call
- The Blu-ray/DVD round-up this week concerns Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer films (Funeral in Berlin is back on DVD courtesy Warner Archive)
Week of 10/20/13: Stuff I Wrote on a Professional-Type Basis
- I’m pro Blue is the Warmest Color
- And I talked to its star, Adele Exarchopoulos
- And its director, Abdellatif Kechiche
- I’m also quite into The Counselor (though honestly Bilge Ebiri has a much more interesting/awesome take)
- Did slightly shorter blurbs on Claire Denis’ Bastards and the Egyptian Revolution doc The Square
- Talked to Claire Denis!
- Talked to Jeff Tremaine, director of the Jackass movies and Bad Grandpa
- With Gary M. Kramer, did a bunch of blurbs for the final weekend of the Philadelphia Film Festival
- Did a Blu-ray/DVD column wherein I talked about King Vidor’s 1925 silent blockbuster The Big Parade, how modern audiences watch silents and how its slightly lower frame rate speed makes it more naturalistic and a bunch of other bullshit
- Oh, and did a thing on Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave
Week of 10/13: Stuff I Wrote on a Professional-Type Basis
- I’m on Team 12 Years a Slave
- And on Team All is Lost
- And (mostly) on Team Carrie
- NOT ON TEAM The Fifth Estate, which is useless garbage
- Did semi-quickie blurbs on Camille Claudel, 1915 and Haunter, one of which greatly disappointed me
- Wrote some blurbs (with Gary M. Kramer) for The Philadelphia Film Festival, which begins tonight. Includes words on The Immigrant, Blue is the Warmest Color, Alan Partridge, etc., etc. (but not a third etc.)
- Talked to David V. Picker, longtime exec who was president of United Artists in the ’60s and ’70s and was thus responsible for James Bond movies, Woody Allen movies, A Hard Day’s Night, bringing Ingmar Bergman, Bernardo Bertolucci and François Truffaut films to America, etc., etc. (He was also involved with Ishtar and other disasters, which he still does not like.)
- Talked to Bradley Whitford about when NYC was dangerous as shit and about that time he went to Alphabet City when he was an acting student in the ’80s and bought some heroin (but did not take it)
- Did a DVD/Blu-ray round-up of some horror movies coming out, including Criterion’s Blu upgrade of Eyes Without a Face and the 10th anniversary edition of Love Actually
- Finally! A recapped the latest Parks and Rec.
Week of 10/6: Stuff I Wrote on a Professional-Type Basis
- First off, there’s my fairly epic interview with Matt Zoller Seitz about The Wes Anderson Collection, his new, beautiful, fascinating book, which sheds some genuinely new light on a sometimes misunderstood filmmaker.
- I’m quite pro on Captain Phillips, and will happily argue that it’s smarter than it may sometimes seem.
- Less so on Machete Kills
- Boo on All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and CBGB
- Did NYFF capsules on Blue is the Warmest Color and Only Lovers Left Alive
- Like most people, I hated CBGB, but Alan Rickman is awesome in it and I talked to him
- And recapping duties led me to do up the recent Parks and Rec
Weeks of 9/23 and 9/30: Stuff I Wrote on a Professional-Type Basis
This week I was busy:
- I’m in the “Gravity is a great film, not the greatest film” group. And then Ernest Hemingway punched me in the mouth (this homage almost works).
- I slightly defended Runner Runner, but it’s pretty weak
- Though it has a fantastic Anthony Mackie, who I interviewed here about smacking around Justin Timberlake and owning a bar
- I’m halfsies on Parkland, which has merit but not a ton of point
- Instead of writing a pile of long reviews on each, I rounded up this weekend’s new indies/art house pics (i.e., Concussion, A Touch of Sin, I Used to Be Darker and Bad Milo!) here
- Also did NYFF capsules here (About Time and Jimmy P.) and here (Inside Llewyn Davis, Bastards and a bit about Views From the Avant-Garde)
- Interviewed Gina Gershon about House of Versace
- Attempted to put into (non-sweary) words my love for one of My Favorite Things: the British government show The Thick of It
- Recapped the most recent Parks and Rec, as I do now every week
- AND! Did a breakthrough piece on Robin Weigert, who is very good in Concussion
- AND OH MY GOD THERE’S ONE MORE! Did a piece on the final episode of some obscure show called Breaking Bad
And from last week, which I didn’t post because I’m a SLACKER
- Didn’t like Don Jon
- The Metallica concert movie is fun but could be more insane
- The Robert Reich income gap doc Inequality for All
- Interviewed Tony Danza
- Wrote about the new "Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive" set, which includes such once-lost films as John Ford’s Upstream and the first three reels of the Alfred Hitchcock assistant directed The White Shadow.
- Ye gods now I’m recapping TV. My take on the first two bundled-together episodes of Parks and Rec.
Stuff I Wrote on a Professional-Type Basis for the Week of 9/15 (and 9/8)
I forgot to do last week, so for starters here’s this week’s shit:
- Prisoners falls from heavy but meaningful revenge drama into hilarious silliness
- Rush is one of the good Ron Howard pictures
- Thanks for Sharing gets better
- Enough Already has more than just an awesome James Gandolfini performance
- Did a Fall Arts Guide preview of upcoming NYC repertory film
- I talked to Joe Lo Truglio about Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- And I talked to Isaiah Washington about Blue Caprice
Aaaaand last week: