Gonna Fly Again: Creed, reviewed.

In my NPR review of writer-director Ryan Coogler’s stirring new Rocky sequel Creed, I avoid mentioning that I sorta-cried four times during this movie but only once during Inside Out. Read it here, and Happy Thanksgiving.

James-Bonding with Kempenaar & Larsen on Filmspotting No. 563

Underheralded 007 flick "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," from 1969, starring adequately-heralded 007 George Lazenby.

It’s been a few years since I sat in on an episode of Filmspotting, the great Chicago-based radio show and podcast devoted to dissection of movies new and old, famous and obscure, foreign and domestic. But now I can reveal that earlier this week, founding host Adam Kempenaar sent me a highly classified diplomatic cable inviting me to join him an regular co-host Josh Larsen for the Top Five segment of this week’s SPECTRE-themed show, devoted to Favorite Bond Things. I regret only that I did not refer to Diana Rigg’s character from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by her full name, Contessa Teresa Di Vincenzo.

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Apples to Apples, Dust to Dust: Sorry and Regular Singing, reviewed.

Sarah Marshall, Elizabeth Pierotti, Rick Foucheux, Ted van Griethuysen, and Kimberly Schraf in My review of Sorry and Regular Singing, the latter two entries in Richard Nelson’s Apple Family quartet, is in today’s Washington City Paper. I reviewed the the first pair, That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad, when the same director and cast staged them here in Washington two years ago. If I’ve little more to say now than I said then, it’s only because the strengths of the magnificent whole are also the strengths of its magnificent component parts.

What’s in an Acro-Name? The Weirdly Punctuated History of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

I went D.E.E.P. on the H.I.S.T.O.R.Y. of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. for this Atlantic essay chronicling the tortured-acronym-loving cabal’s bizarre contributions to the James Bond literary and film franchises. Anyone with enough interest in the Bond flicks to stick with this thing for nine paragraphs won’t be surprised by the SPECTRE spoiler found therein, but consider yourself duly warned.

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The Ties That Bond: SPECTRE, reviewed.

My NPR review of SPECTRE, definitive Bond Daniel Craig’s 004th appearance as 007, is up at NPR now. The fourth time around has been a trouble spot for every prior Bond — witness 1965’s Thunderball, 1979’s Moonraker, and 2002’s Die Another Day — and Craig is the fourth actor to reach film No. 4 in the role. Before I saw SPECTRE I was convinced I wanted one more Bond flick from him; not I’m not so sure.

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps): Girlstar and Avenue Q, reviewed.

In this week’s Washington City Paper, I size up a pair of musicals: Signature Theatre’s Girlstar is a confused mess borne aloft by a strong cast, and Constellation Theatre’s revival of the hit Sesame Street parody Avenue Q is funnier and more soulful than The Muppets. (The dour 2015 version, not The Muppet Show.) More words, if not necessarily more insight, on these subjects here and here.

Arboreal Talk: Keegan Theatre’s The Magic Tree and Molotov Theatre’s Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite, reviewed.

Brianna Letourneau and Scott Ward Abernethy in Keegan Theatre's "The Magic Tree."

In this week’s Washington City Paper, available wherever Washington’s free alt-weekly is sold, I review the well-performed Keegan Theatre production of Ursula Rani Sarma’s perplexing The Magic Tree, plus Molotov Theatre’s Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite, adapted from a half-dozen short stories by the celebrated author of chillers, Hey Probably Lovecraft.