I’ve wanted to be a guest on James Bonding, the podcast hosted by 007 “lovers, not experts” Matt Gourley and Matt Mira, since the first episode appeared four years ago. (The topic was Dr. No, 007 No. 001, and the guest was Paul F. Thompkins.) I’ve plugged the show on Pop Culture Happy Hour and on Filmspotting. I owe Gourley and Mira a debt of gratitude for getting my girlfriend interested in watching Bond movies by poking fun at them in the loving way that only a true fan can. Beyond that, I’ve been a huge admirer of Gourley’s work on his other podcasts, I Was There Too and Superego.
I’m an admirer of all the principals involved, so it brings me no joy to report to you that Suburbicon—cowriter/director George Clooney’s deeply misguided retread of a Coen Bros. script from 30 years ago—is the biggest embarrassment to Hollywood’s liberal piety since Crash. At least Oscar Issac is having a good time.
Writing a review the same day I see a film or a play will never be my favorite way to work, but the results aren’t always bad. It’s trickier when the subject is as provocative and original as Yorgos Lanthimos’ movies tend to be. His latest, a mix of Greek myth and The Shining-era Stantley Kubrick, is well worth seeing even if it’s not quite as strong as The Lobster.
My Shakespeare professor at James Madison University, Ralph Cohen, told us Antony and Cleopatra was his favorite Shakespeare play. Robert Richmond’s new production for the Folger Theatre, with Cody Nickell and Shirine Babb in the title roles, took me back to my salad days. I reviewed the show in this week’s Washington City Paper. Individual issues are free but the paper is now for sale. It’s all very confusing.
Cody Nickell and Shirine Babb (Teresa Wood)
You can see for yourself what a business-casual mood I was in the day Robert Aubry Davis, Jane Horwitz, and I convened at WETA to shoot a fresh batch of Around Town segments. Perhaps you are correct that I should have chosen a shirt that is not the same shade as our studio backdrop. Hey, I don’t tell you how to do your part-time job.
I reviewed Ford’s Death of a Salesman and Constellation’s The Wild Party for the Washington City Paper. For In the Heights, the musical I herein refer to as “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s THX-1138,” I didn’t write about it. I just bought four more tickets the morning after to take my folks. Anyway, because WETA posts videos in a format that WordPress can’t embed, I gotta give you the links: Death of a Salesman, In the Heights, The Wild Party.
Posted in theatre, video
Tagged Constellation Theatre Company, Craig Wallace, Danny Gavigan, Farrell Parker, Kari Ginsburg, Kimberly Schraf, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Olney Theatre Center, Robert Aubry Davis, Round House Theatre, Thomas Keegan, WETA Around Town
“Let’s just watch the movie on my phone.” My NPR review of Martin Campbell’s The Foreigner, which I enjoyed for its Northern Irish political skullduggery and for Pierce Brosnan’s sleazy performance but found far less involving as a vehicle for producer-star Jackie Chan. In addition to a bunch of decent-but-not great movies (and the giant flop Green Lantern, which I never saw) Campbell made the best-in-class 007 adventure, Casino Royale, so a mediocre espionage film from him counts as a disappointment.
A surfeit of arts coverage in last week’s Washington City Paper means it took my reviews of Forum’s Caryl Churchill experiment Love and Information and Constellation’s Jazz Age musical The Wild Party ’til now to appear. They’re in the paper this week.
Any debate over whether Blade Runner 2049, a 35-years-later sequel to the cultiest cult film in the history of movies, has general-interest appeal should be put to rest by virtue of the fact that Stephen Thompson—the host of the three-way discussion of the film the comprises today’s Pop Culture Happy Hour—liked it, too! Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon and I are this movie’s core constituency. But when the Kung Fu Panda-loving Mr. Thompson gives his approval to an intense, nearly-three-hour dystopian future flick, you know it’s got some moves.
You can listen in here, where the episode is posted along with my review from last week. I had to write it just a couple of hours after I saw Blade Runner 2049, but I think the piece stands up. I’m seeing the movie again tomorrow night at the National Air and Space Museum. I’m looking forward to spending another 163 minutes with a new stone classic.
Posted in movies, podcasts
Tagged Blade Runner, Denis Villeneuve, Glen Weldon, Harrison Ford, Jessica Reedy, Linda Holmes, NPR, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Ryan Gosling, Stephen Thompson
What can you do with Death of a Salesman, a play that has never really fallen out of circulation since it debuted almost 70 years ago? Just stay out of its way. Here’s my Washington City Paper review of Ford’s Theatre’s new Craig Wallace-starring production, which I loved.