Monthly Archives: July 2014

Capital Fringe Festival on New York Ave. NW: — 40 —

Fringeworthy-blog-squad
As it has every year since 2010, overseeing the Washington City Paper‘s coverage of the Capital Fringe Festival here in DC claimed most of my July. Here’s my wrap-up of the festival from this week’s WCP.

Deleted Scene: The Infiltration Unit

T-1000 molten

The “mimetic pollyalloy” T-1000 in its transitional state.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day originally had a sunlit coda set on the National Mall in the no-longer-grim future of 2029 with Linda Hamilton in unconvincing old age makeup. Director James Cameron was right to cut it.

My essay about the movie’s villain that ran on The Dissolve last week originally had a rambling 500-word introduction. My editor, Keith Phipps, was right to cut it.

So here it is! Continue reading

I reviewed a movie “that attempts to do for cunnilingus what Jaws did for ocean swimming.”

"Cabin Fever: Patient Zero"

Think of this image the next time you reach for a cigarette. “Cabin Fever: Patient Zero.”

If a giant, irradiated lizard can be the star of a long-running franchise, why not a flesh-eating virus? Many reasons, actually.I still haven’t managed to see Boyhood or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but  I reviewed Cabin Fever: Patient Zero for The Dissolve.

Psychiatric Help $0.05: Lucy, reviewed.

Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson's "Lucy."

My NPR review of Luc Besson’s wiggedy-wack but truly, madly, deeply watchable Lucy.

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The Infiltration Unit: Terminator 2‘s Brilliant Game of Good ‘Bot, Bad Cop

T-1000
I’ve very proud to have contributed the concluding essay of The Dissolve’s Movie of the Week coverage of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, long one of my sentimental favorites. My piece examines how cowriter-director James Cameron’s decision to disguise the film’s mysterious villain, the advanced T-1000 Terminator played (mostly) by Robert Patrick, as a uniformed Los Angeles police officer anticipated our growing discomfort with police in general and the L.A.P.D. in particular at the start of the 90s. It also explores the film’s ironic connection to the tragic beating of Rodney King by four L.A.P.D. officers near one of T2‘s key locations while the movie was in production. Read the essay here.

You Can Castle-Keep It: Ironclad: Battle for Blood, reviewed.

What's in a name? Twinnie Lee Moore (!) as Crazy Mary (!!) in "Ironclad: Battle for Blood."

What’s in a name? Twinnie Lee Moore as Crazy Mary in “Ironclad: Battle for Blood.”

Look, I’m not sorry for likening Predator to The Seven Samurai in my Dissolve review of Ironclad: Battle for Blood. And compared to this thing, Predator may as well be The Seven Samurai.

On the FringeCasting Couch with Live Action Theatre

And this episode of The FringeCasting Couch was recorded last Tuesday afternoon, during a brief interval between a depressing visit to my doctor’s office and the two fitness classes I had to teach that evening; one boxing and one boot camp. This were necessarily verbal-instruction-only editions of said classes for me; doctor’s orders. Nothing feels worse.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of Live Action Theatre. Their show in the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy, was my favorite last year. I liked their new one, The Tournament, so much that I’m leaving to see it for a second time right now. Here’s the original Fringeworthy post.

I had them on the podcast last year, too.

On The FringeCasting Couch with Twanna A. Hines

For the fifth consecutive year, I’m running the Washington City Paper’s coverage of the Capital Fringe Festival here in DC, manifest mainly through a blog previously known as Fringe & Purge that we decided this year to rename Fringeworthy. In 2012, I started The Fringe & PurgeCast to accompany that blog; its rebranding this summer forced me to rethink the podcast’s name, too. The Fringe & PurgeCast is dead; long live The FringeCasiting Couch.

I’m not cross-posting most of the stuff I’m doing for Fringeworthy, but I’m going to put up a couple of recent episodes of the podcast that I thought were particularly fun. This one, which I recorded last night with Twanna A. Hines, whose show is called I Füçkèð Your Country, is one of those. The original post is here.

Quizzed on Pop Culture Happy Hour’s 200th episode, live!

Audie Cornish and Linda Holmes compete in the Wonder Woman quiz administered by Glen Weldon, June 24, 2014.

Audie Cornish and Linda Holmes compete in the Wonder Woman quiz administered by Glen Weldon, June 24, 2014.

This was my enviable view for most of Pop Culture Happy Hour’s special 200th episode live show at NPR headquarters last month. But I did have the honor of briefly ascending the stage to join All Things Considered film critic (and my Washington City Paper colleague) Bob Mondello in absolutely crushing NPR’s Tanya Ballard Brown and Petra Mayer in the blockbuster movie IMDB plot keyword quiz conceived by PCHH host Linda Holmes. That’s about halfway through the quiz segment of the show, posted today.

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Sex Tape Is the Funniest Move About Sex Under the Corrupting Influence of Marriage Since Eyes Wide Shut

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel set fire to The Cloud in "Sex Tape" (Claire Folger/Sony).

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel set fire to The Cloud (Claire Folger/Sony).

Here’s my Village Voice review of Sex Tape, a defiantly R-rated farce starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel that’s almost good enough.

The Battle of Los Angeles: Rodney King, reviewed.

Roger Guenveur Smith performs his haunting and perceptive 65-minute monologue "Rodney King."My review of Rodney King, Roger Guenveur Smith’s one-man play about the man he calls “the first reality TV star,” is in this week’s Washington City Paper.

That Equine Object of Desire: A Brony Tale, reviewed.

A BRONY TALE
As has been the story of my life for the whole of July after Independence Day every year since 2010, I am hip deep in Capital Fringe Festival coverage for Fringeworthy, the Washington City Paper‘s CapFringe blog. But I took some time out to review A Brony Tale,  a documentary about the organized, adult fandom of the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, for The Dissolve.

Anyway, We Delivered the Bomb: On Choosing the 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters

Scheider in "JAWS." I knew Spielberg's 1975 genre-starter would be No. 1.

In honor of the historic 25th anniversary of the release of Lethal Weapon 2, give or take a couple of days  — no, that’s not actually why I did this — I elucidated the agonizing process of logrolling and negotiating required for me to determine my votes in The Dissolve‘s list of the 50 greatest summer blockbusters in this essay for NPR Monkey See.

Sometimes you need the Socratic Method and math to discover you’re dead inside.

The Unbearable (B)lightness of Being… Rich! Affluenza, reviewed.

Valentina de Angelis and Nicola Peltz in "Affluenza." I could barely tell them apart.

Valentina de Angelis and Nicola Peltz in “Affluenza.” I could barely tell them apart.

I reviewed the unenlightening spiritual-poverty-among-one-percenters melodrama Affluenza for The Dissolve. The movie is set just prior to the 2008 financial crisis, which is uses as a backdrop for its lame love triangle plot. You could read a couple or three chapters of Michael Lewis’ The Big Short with your 85 minutes instead. Or just watch some soaps.

(My Contributions to) The Dissolve‘s 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters

It’s only July 1, but thanks to the ever-accelerating start date of the summer movie season — it kicked off the first weekend of April this year, when Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out — summer movies are done. I still want to see Snowpiercer, which will roll out to Washington, DC this week, but the less-than-enthusiastic early notices from critics I respect has tempered my enthusiasm for that. There’s no Dark Knight coming in two weeks. There’s no Terminator 2: Judgment Day opening at midnight tomorrow night. Does that sadden me? It does, a little! Shut up.

Anyway, I was honored to be one of a dozen critics who determined — through three rounds of voting — the 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters for The Dissolve. Numbers 50-31 were posted yesterday; 30-11 went up today. Tomorrow you’ll all find out what we deemed the Top Ten.

I had the honor of writing the entires for three of my favorites: Steven Spielberg‘s Minority Report, from 2002, which placed 46th; Nic Meyer‘s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, from 1982, which placed 37th; and at lucky no. 13, James Cameron‘s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which is probably my personal all-time favorite summer movie. (I still love you, Jaws, but so does everyone else, and you arrived before I did. Whereas I had the experience of discovering T2‘s greatness at the same as the rest of the world.)

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