Monthly Archives: February 2014

‘Fro and Con: Hairbrained, reviewed.

Alex Wolff, Robin De Jesus, and Greta Lee in "Hairbrained."

My review of HairbrainedBilly Kent‘s comedy starring Alex Wolff and Brendan Fraser as college freshmen aged 13 and 41, respectively, is up on The Dissolve today.

Alex Wolff, Robin De Jesús and Greta Lee in Hairbrained.

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The Retouchables: RoboCop

Peter Weller in "RoboCop" '87.

Peter Weller in “RoboCop” ’87. I will call you “Murphy,” and Murphy when you call me you can call me “Al.”

Today! Right now! Right here! The first installment of The Retouchables, an irregular but recurring feature I’ll be writing for NPR Monkey See about reboots and remakes and re-remakes and, just maybe, bootmakers. IN THIS EPISODE: RoboCop!

 José Padilha’s remake opened at number four with a bullet last weekend, so the time just felt right. This’ll be all on RoboCop for a while, I promise.

Radio Radio: On Downtown Boxing Club, for Metro Connection

Downtown Boxing Club trainer Dave White

Trainer Dave White

The thermostat at Downtown Boxing Club read 43 degrees — Fahrenheit — the Sunday afternoon I spent reporting this story for Metro Connection. It felt strange to be in a boxing gym and not be moving around. I’ve wanted to go train at this place for years; a couple of the guys I train with off and on have told me good things. Anyway, I’d better get on it: Downtown Boxing Club will have to move this year, for the third time in its 15-year existence.

You can hear the piece here. I was sorry to have to lose the part where trainer Dave White says that to land a punch you have to be quick enough to catch a penny.

The Life Despotic with Drew Cortese

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I didn’t know Drew Cortese until I saw him in The Motherfucker with the Hat at Studio Theatre this time last year, but the performance made a powerful impression. He’s in Richard III at the Folger Theatre now. We talked about roads not taken and being the bad guy for a piece in today’s Washington City Paper.

All photos by Jeff Malet, courtesy Folger Theatre.

Devise and Conquer: We Are Proud to Present…, reviewed.

Joe Isenberg and Andreu-Honeycut in Woolly Mammoth's "We Are Proud to Present..." (Stan-Barouh)

Joe Isenberg and Andreu Honeycut (Stan Barouh)

I can’t think of another time I’ve had as visceral and angry a reaction to a play as I did to Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present. It takes a lot of gall to sit down with the intent of illuminating a little-known genocide and then decide, at some point during the writing process, to make it all about you.

Profiles of the playwright in the New York Times and the Washington Post cover this. I still kind of want to see the zombie play mentioned in the Times piece, but its revelation that she puts emoticons in her stage directions is unsurprising in light of the clumsiness of We Are Proud, wherein Drury chooses a hacky, wrongheaded premise and then executes it in a way that devolves from merely dull to actually loathsome. Continue reading

Podcast: We Need to Talk About RoboCop (Some More)

Joel Kinnaman and Gary OldmanPlease don’t let the fact that my wonky Skype connection makes me sound like ED-209 stop you from listening to this week’s exciting episode of the /Filmcast, wherein I was delighted to be the guest of hosts David Chen and Devindra Hardawar to chew over José Padhila’s RoboCop remake. I’m sorry my smart interjections are sometimes hard to hear. I’m grateful my dumb and/or irrelevant interjections are sometimes hard to hear.

I’d also like to apologize to copyeditors and Strunk & White fans everywhere for saying “semicolon” (in RE colon The Raid colon Redemption) when I clearly meant “colon.” Because as a beloved writing professor once taught me, when  you mispunctuate, you mis a punc out of u and yeah you know what never mind.

Continue reading

Radio Radio: On Donald Tillery, for Metro Connection

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I have a story on today’s episode of Metro Connection about Donald Tillery, a DC music legend who played with the Soul Searchers for 15 years. He’s a fascinating man, and I hope I’ll be writing about him again at much greater length this year. You can hear the piece here. Continue reading