In olden times, Memorial Day weekend marked the start of what was known as the Summer Movie Season. It’s an obsolete notion, now that would-be blockbuster releases are most heavily concentrated between mid-February (when Black Panther arrived this year) and the first weekend in May, and can come out basically any month of the year other than January. But as a kid who grew up planning my summers based on which hotly anticipated, frequently disappointing tentpole release came out when, I carry the torch for the idea that summertime is the season for escapist genre films that seek to overwhelm the senses.
My pal Alan Scherstuhl, the Village Voice‘s film editor, indulges me, assigning me each May to single out a dozen due before Labor Day that show promise. These features get shared among the whole New Times media ecosphere; sometimes even before they turn up in the Voice. No matter. Here’s the list.
The New Hampshire Public Radio Word of Mouth show talked to me earlier this week for a short segment on my Four Types of Spoilers essay for The Village Voice. You can listen to that here and read the essay here.
Posted in movies, radio
Tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, Citizen Kane, Edgar Wright, New Hampshire Public Radio, radio, Simon Pegg, spoilers, The Empire Strikes Back, Village Voice, Virginia Prescott, Word of Mouth
1968: Humanity learns the location of the “Planet of the Apes.”
Last year, a brilliant new play premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company called Mr. Burns, a Post-Apocalyptic Play. Everyone who reviewed it told their readers far too much about it. Everyone but me… he said modestly.
The cycle repeated itself when Mr. Burns opened last month at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. So I wrote this for the Village Voice.
Posted in cinema, movies, theatre
Tagged Anne Washburn, Mr. Burns, podcasting, podcasts, spoilers, Village Voice, Voice Film Club, Woolly Mammoth, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
My summer movie autopsy is up on the Village Voice site today. Please enjoy at your leisure, now that Labor Day is past and you don’t have to look out overhead for the computer-generated debris from collapsing skyscrapers.
Directed by Richard Donner, 1987. Black submittd a script for 1989’s “Lethal Weapon 2” — one that killed off Mel Gibson’s character, Martin Riggs — but Warner Bros. rejected it as too grim.
Directed by Tony Scott, 1991. I wish I didn’t have stuff like the knowledge that the logo for this movie uses the same combination of fonts used on the poster for the 1988 action comedy “Midnight Run” taking up valuable real estate in my brain.
Directed by John McTiernan, 1993.
Directed by Renny Harlin, 1996
Directed, at last, by Shane Black, 2005
Naturally you’ll be rushing out to see Iron Man 3 this weekend. I’m afraid that film won’t make a lick of goddamn sense to you if you do not read my brief recap of the career of its co-screenwriter & director, Shane Black, for The Village Voice.
Brady Corbet & Mati Diop
My review of Simon Killer, writer/director Antonio Campos’s second feature film, is in the Village Voice today. Total Recall joke deleted, but the Blow-Up and Taxi Driver and Rushmore allusions (and the Rush Hour 3 joke!) remain. Film critics are terrible people. Read it here. Continue reading
“If I am not me, who da hell am I? I mean, who da hell am I NOW?”
I am delighted to tell you that I am making my Village Voice debut this week with an essay about one Arnold Schwarzenegger, screen icon of my youth, governor of California for part of the time I lived there (I didn’t vote for him) and celebrity host of my narrowly acclaimed 2012 Christmas album.
It was a happy, potentially self-improving experience, being edited by the noted crapologist Alan Scherstuhl, whose cover story in last week’s Voice about current Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott is well worth your time, if you care at all about Spider-Man or comic books. Continue reading