Sunday, September 25, 2016

'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' Review


I'm not sure it's possible for me to ever enjoy another of Tim Burton's super-Burton-esque films. With his latest, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, he again indulges his favorite themes and visual tics. It's so exhausting. I reviewed the movie for Screen International.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Misleading Men: Danny Glover


For the latest installment of my "Misleading Men" column for MEL, I took a look at Danny Glover. There's a new Lethal Weapon on Fox, which made me think of the venerable stage and screen actor. It would be a shame if anyone considered Glover's career since that franchise as some sort of letdown. If anything, I argue that he's been a more major figure since. Read all about it.

Let's Rank All Denzel Washington's Movies


With Denzel Washington's painfully mediocre The Magnificent Seven out now, Will and I took to Vulture to offer a comprehensive guide to the man's movies. He has made so many movies, people, but we were up to the task. Take a look.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stephen Malkmus - "Jo Jo's Jacket"

I wrote a piece about the original Westworld this week, which made me think of this great Stephen Malkmus song. Also, I tracked down this quote, since I'd always been wondering about it:
"I didn't plan [the song's satiric subject] to be Moby -- I have to set the record straight," he said of the very bald dance music producer. "He'll have his day in court with God one day, just like all of us, and I'm not going to be the judge on him."
I will forever love how Malkmus says "medicinal jellllly."


Thursday, September 22, 2016

'The Exorcist' Review


On Friday, Fox debuts The Exorcist, a small-screen reboot of the super-popular 1970s horror classic. (I actually don't love the movie that much, but that's for another time.) Anyway, what do I think of the show? It is, uh, really atmospheric. My review is up at The Wrap.

Taking a Look Back at 'Westworld'


For Popular Mechanics, I rewatched the 1973 sci-fi/Western Westworld to see if it still resonates in the culture. Sure does! With the new HBO series ready to debut, I wrote about the original film right here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hooray for 'Better Things'



Better Things, the new show from Pamela Adlon, is pretty darn good and, more importantly, it's not just a Louie knockoff. It's its own beast, and I'm glad FX has renewed it for a second season. Over at The Wrap, I talk about why the show matters.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Reviewing 'Snowden,' 'Blair Witch' and 'Bullitt'


I'm back from Toronto, and for this week's installment of the Grierson & Leitch podcast, I recap the festival briefly. Plus, we talk about two disappointing new releases, Snowden and Blair Witch. Then, in our Reboot section, I totally flip out for Bullitt. (It's more than a movie with a great car chase, folks.) You can hear the whole thing here.

Jerry Gergich and the Rise of the TV Schlub


With Kevin Can Wait premiering last night, I was thinking of the popularity of sitcoms starring dumpy everymen. And I decided to write about the greatest of them all, Jerry from Parks and Recreation. And, really, he's so different than his schlub contemporaries. For MEL, I explain why, really, the character type should have died with Jerry.

Toronto 2016: Ranking the Best and the Worst


Among other things, what the 2016 installment of the Toronto Film Festival demonstrated convincingly is that this has been a fabulous year for movies. Combining the best of Sundance, Berlin and Cannes -- as well as the gems of Venice and Telluride -- this Toronto ought to kill any notion that we're not living in a great time for film.

There were films I missed -- Arrival, Frantz, Fire at Sea, Nocturnal Animals, etc. -- but the below ranking is pretty stacked even without those omissions. What's clear is that I'm going to have a hell of a time coming up with a Top 10 in a couple months. There will be at least two or three really great movies that will miss the cut.

One last thing: If I'd seen the whole thing, I would have included Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids on my list. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it's a revelatory concert film from the guy who made the greatest of all time. I'm hoping I'll have a chance to write more about it later. For now, though, here are my rankings, with links leading to individual reviews.

1. American Honey
2. Paterson
3. Moonlight
4. La La Land
5. Jackie
6. Christine
7. Graduation
8. Toni Erdmann
9. Elle
10. Certain Women
11. Things to Come
12. Personal Shopper
13. Manchester by the Sea
14. Ma’ Rosa
15. The Unknown Girl
16. Sieranevada
17. Neruda
18. Safari
19. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
20. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
21. The Salesman
22. Aquarius
23. Lion
24. I, Daniel Blake
25. The Birth of a Nation
26. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea
27. Free Fire
28. The Cinema Travellers
29. Mascots
30. Blair Witch
31. American Pastoral
32. Maudie
33. Loving
34. The Edge of Seventeen
35. Barry
36. Wakefield
37. Snowden
38. LBJ
39. The Levelling
40. Blue Jay
41. The Magnificent Seven
42. Queen of Katwe
43. The Exception
44. The Promise
45. The Bad Batch
46. Dog Eat Dog
47. Daguerrotype
48. It’s Only the End of the World
49. (Re)Assignment

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Toronto 2016: 'The Edge of Seventeen' Review


The Toronto Film Festival closed with The Edge of Seventeen, a thoughtful but, ultimately, kinda familiar coming-of-age story. What's most interesting about it is what it promises for its filmmaker (first-timer Kelly Fremon Craig) and its star (Oscar-nominated True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld) in the future. My review is up at Screen International.