Tag Archives: Samuel L. Jackson

Ape-Pocalypse Now: Kong: Skull Island, reviewed.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Look, I’m no hero, but did you happen to notice that my NPR review of Kong: Skull Island contains not one occurrence of “titular” or “eponymous”? Please notice that.

Vernacular Spectacular: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, reviewed.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

The evergreen Eva Green is the best thing about Tim Burton’s adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ bestselling, “vernacular”-photography-inspired YA novel. But the stop-motion sequences are great, too. I reviewed the film for NPR.

When the Legend Becomes Fact: Tarzan, reviewed.

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.

Pop Culture Happy Hour No. 278: The Hateful Eight and the Theatrical Filmgoing Experience

Jennifer Jason Leigh in "The Hateful Eight." (The Weinstein Co.)

It’s a split verdict from the Pop Culture Happy Hour panel this week on the merits of Quentin Tarantino’s eighth and—on account of having been shot in 65mm Super Panavision, for a 2.76:1 aspect ratio when projected in 70mm—widest feature, The Hateful Eight. I don’t think I was at my sharpest trying to defend the picture. All I can tell is you that I saw its refusal to give us any character to empathize with fully as a strength, not a weakness, and reflective of a deliberate decision by Tarantino. Although more modest in scale and contained in its setting, this is a more complicated film than the two historical fantasias that preceded it, 2009’s Inglorious Basterds and 2012’s Django Unchained. I enjoy and admire all of these films, but it’s very clear in the latter two who is supposed to enjoy the audience’s support. Not so in The Hateful Eight. That discomfiture ain’t for everyone. “The viewership for this one narrows to the self-selected,” wrote my pal Scott Tobias in his NPR review three weeks ago.

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