No one in the world can possibly appreciate the way the narrator of the new Coen Brothers picture, Sir Michael Gambon — the man who once declined the role of James Bond because, quoth he, “I’ve got tits like a woman” — says “in westerly Malibu” as much as I do. But just about everyone seems to like the movie. I do, too. My NPR review is here.
I haven’t seen the by-all-accounts underwhelming Terminator: Genisys yet, because since I’ve been busy being a “Critic Fellow” at the one-of-a-kind Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in the wilds of Connecticut. But I did indulge in some quippy dramaturgy on the wandering-ronin Terminator franchise, for NPR.
My NPR review of Luc Besson’s wiggedy-wack but truly, madly, deeply watchable Lucy.
Health Ledger as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” (2008), the 10th-best summer blockbuster, according to us.
Bob Hoskins and Jessica Rabbit. I’d basically forgotten Robert Zemeckis’ 1988 “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” existed.
“A boy and his Terminator,” writer-director James Cameron told T2 cowriter William Wisher.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Ed Harris in James Cameron’s underrated “The Abyss” (1989).
Yippie kai yay, movielover. Bruce Willis in John McTiernan’s “Die Hard,” 3rd-best summer blockbuster ever. John McClane 4eva.
I fought for John Landis’ “The Blues Brothers” (1980), to no avail.
Andrew Davis’ “The Fugitive” got a Best Picture nod in 1993, but only two votes in The Dissolve’s blockbuster poll.
I bet all my chips on Sigourney Weaver and the cast of James Cameron’s “ALIENS,” the 6th-best summer blockbuster.
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.
I enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer’s return after a decade-long absence to the surprisingly resilient superhero franchise he originated. This movie is based on a 1981 story from The Uncanny X-Men comic book that I first read when it was reprinted in probably 1989 or 1990.
The movie alters the tale as necessary to unite the cast of 2011’s 60s-set X-Men: First Class with the players from the earlier X-pictures, set in the present day — or rather, as a title card at the top of 2000’s X-Men tells us, “the not-too-distant future.” I’d feared this timeline-straddling — Days of Future Past is set in some unspecified year in the 2020s, -ish, and in 1973 — might make the movie as dull and incoherent as the Star Wars prequels, but it’s funny and light on its feet.
Giger’s “Necronomicon IV,” 1975
A brief remembrance, written this morning not quite as quickly as I can type, of the great Swiss artist H.R. Giger and his most iconic creation, for NPR Monkey See. Continue reading
The same weekend I saw both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Raid 2 — prompting this piece for NPR Monkey See — my pal Glen Weldon showed me the mostly-animated G.I. Joe episode of Community. The show got a lot of mileage out of the fact that nobody ever got killed in that war cartoon, wherein an elite American military unit fought a uniformed army of terrorists to a stalemate every 21 minutes using ray guns. Continue reading