Look, I enjoyed the circa 2002-7 Bourne trilogy, and it’s surprising to me that I’ve never gotten around to 2012’s Damonless, Greengrassless The Bourne Legacy given how much I liked writer/director Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton. But as I aver in my NPR review, Jason Bourne isn’t just the least of the Damon-starring Bournes—it’s not even as good as SPECTRE, which suffered an acute surfeit of goodness. And Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. are both far more imaginative and colorful diversions, spywise and otherwise.
It gives me no joy to deliver unto you this disappointing news.
Star Trek Beyond, the third Trek in the 50-year-old franchise’s rebooted “Kelvin timeline,” wants to be a Skyfall-style cocktail of tradition and modernity. I wish it were bolder, but it’s energetic and fun. Here’s my NPR review.
What a pleasure it was to speak with Simon Pegg, an actor and writer whose work I’ve long admired, for my day job with Air & Space / Smithsonian magazine. I’ve been overseeing a special section of our September issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and I was especially keen to have Pegg — as the co-screenwriter of the new movie Star Trek Beyond, as well as one of its key cast members — be a part of our coverage. He was as enthusiastic and smart and funny as I’d dared hope. You can read the interview here, and my NPR review of Star Trek Beyond will be up Friday. Continue reading
I was thrilled to get an invitation from All Things Considered to blab briefly with the great Audie Cornish about one of my favorite movies on the 30th anniversary of its release: SpaceCamp. No, it was ALIENS. Duh. The segment aired at the very end of an ATC that started off with live audio of the “Roll Call Vote!” chant from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. They’re coming out of the goddamn walls, just like Private Hudson said.
You can hear the segment here. I had more to say than they could use, but that’s radio, and hey, this is a show primarily devoted to, you know, real news. One of the first pieces I ever wrote for NPR was largely about ALIENS. I have a narrow range of interests, I guess. And Fox just released a new batch of stills and behind-the-scenes photos from the movie, many of which even I have never seen before, so I’m posting those, too. Enjoy.
My review of Studio Theatre’s terrific production of Robert Askins’ Broadway hit Hand to God is in today’s Washington City Paper.
With the release of a new iteration of Ghostbusters — Sequel? Reboot? Don’t know; the DC screening conflicted with the first session of the new Boxing Fundamentals class I’m teaching at Y — every single one of 1984’s ten highest-grossing films has either been sequeled or remade. I believe ’84 is the only year for which this is the case. In terms of what ruled the box office, it resembled 2014 a lot more than it did ’83 or ’85. Because I enjoy staring at box office charts, apparently, I wrote about this discovery for NPR Monkey See.
For NPR, I wrestled with the 201st (give or take) iteration of The Legend of Tarzan, a movie wherein in the Uncanny Valley is often represented by a valley.