Tag Archives: NPR

From the Streaming Service That Brought You The Handmaid’s Tale, Something Completely Different in Becoming Bond

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It’s a strange coincidence that Sir Roger Moore, 007 No. 003, died only about 48 hours after the premiere of the very funny Hulu documentary Becoming Bond, about one-and-done 007 George Lazenby — who, incredibly, landed the most sought-after role in showbiz (circa 1968) with double-oh-zero prior acting experience.
I’ll never get tired of this real-life story. And the Bond flick that resulted, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, is in my Bond Top Five, way above of any of the Moore entries. Anyway, I wrote about all this for the weekend crowd. And I fan-casted Matt Gourley, again.

 

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Alien: Covenant and Veep

ALIEN: COVENANTMy pal-for-life Glen Weldon is Down Under this week—like Quigley, like Jackman, like Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee—but I was glad to be part of a reduced Pop Culture Happy Hour panel along with host Linda Holmes and regular Stephen Thompson to dissect the messy but fascinating prequel-sequel Alien: Covenant and to marvel at how the political satire Veep has stayed so strong for six seasons. At the end of the episode, I give a little love to little-loved—by me, anyway—replacement 007 Sir Roger Moore, who passed away this week at the age of 89. You can hear the full episode here or embedded below.
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Yo-Ho, Ho-Hum: Pirates of the Caribbean — Dead Men Tell No Tales, reviewed.

nullSitting down to review the new Pirates of the Caribbean, I knew for a fact that I’d seen all four of the prior movies but I couldn’t remember a thing about any of them, except that one had Keith Richards in it for a minute. I expect I’ll forget this one, too, though I wouldn’t be averse to catching it on a double or triple-bill on a nice summer night at the Bengies Drive-In.

Handicapping The Fate of the Furious on Pop Culture Happy Hour

fast-and-furious8-1I’m on Pop Culture Happy Hour today for the first time since our bummed-out post-election Pop Culture Serotonin Spectacular. And it was all the way back in December 2015 that I last shared the studio with the great Gene Demby of the Code Switch blog and podcast, when we broke down Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I always feel things have gone well when I’m with Gene; he’s a calming presence I guess.  Most of this week’s episode was recorded live on stage in Chicago at last week, and neither Gene not I were present for that, so we’re in the first segment only. The topic is The Fate of the Furious, a film I reviewed… unfavorably. Continue reading

Gunsmoke Gets in Your Eyes: Free Fire, reviewed.

free-fire-dom-FF030_rgbBen Wheatley’s new comic thriller Free Fire is a feature-length-gun-battle-as-anti-gun-PSA. I enjoyed it, as far as it goes.

Diesel Fumes: The Fate of the Furious, reviewed.

the-fate-of-the-furious-dwayne-johnsonWe all know the deathless The Fast & The Furious series can’t touch Mad Max: Fury Road or even its closer competitor the Mission: Impossible franchise, right? We all know that?

Even by the series’ own standards of allegedly intentional badness, the new The Fate of the Furious is a sour lemon. (136 minutes, four good scenes.) Here’s my NPR review.

Imperfect Organism: Life, reviewed.

2219634 - LIFELife, the new anti-space-exploration space movie from Swedish director Daniel Espinosa and starring my beloved Rebecca “Ilsa Faust” Ferguson plus some other famous people, is no Gravity. Or Interstellar. Or The Martian. But it’s aight. I reviewed it for NPR, and then, having finished reviewing Life, I recalled The Onion‘s lovely backhanded obituary for Roger Ebert from 2013.