Monday, November 30, 2015

Billy Idol Is 60 Years Old

On November 30, 1955, the man who would become Billy Idol was born. Over at Biography, I look back at a career filled with memorable videos. Was there anything behind the image, though? Sort of. You can read my appreciation of the man here.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

On 'The Danish Girl' and the Art of the Well-Meaning Movie

The Danish Girl, I imagine, will be the sort of film a lot of folks will feel like they "should" see. It's about a worthy subject, it's based on a true story ... you know the drill. The movie is very, very well-meaning, but does that mean it can't be good as well? I explore all that in my review over at Deadspin.

Friday, November 27, 2015

'What the Flick?!': Dinosaurs, Boxers and 'The Danish Girl'

My thanks to Christy Lemire for having me back on What the Flick?! alongside special guest Scott Mantz from Access Hollywood. Below, we review The Good Dinosaur, Creed and The Danish Girl.

James McMurtry - "Copper Canteen"

Finally catching up with Complicated Game, James McMurtry's very fine album from February. He's got lots of stories tell, each of them buttressed with beautiful guitar melodies of the country/folk variety. A little bit Tunnel of Love, a little bit John Prine, it's all kinds of lovely. Here's a live version of "Copper Canteen," an utterly wonderful portrait of a long marriage with all the aches and pains included.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Interview With Will Smith

I tend not to bore you with my personal life, but I wanted to share this tidbit. On the day I was set to interview Will Smith, I was in the midst of a profound funk: nothing major, just the usual accumulation of nonsense that can leave one feeling generally bummed. Within a minute of sitting down with Smith, that all evaporated -- and it triggered a thought that I knew was going to be the opening sentence in my profile of him. For Backstage, I chatted with the ebullient star of Concussion about his hiatus from acting, how his life has changed since returning, and why he loves being famous. (Smith is, by the way, the first celebrity I've ever met who actually told me, "I love being famous." And why not? He wears it well.) You can read my piece here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is 'The Good Dinosaur' Aimed Chiefly at Kids?

And, more importantly, does that matter? I wrote about Pixar's latest for Deadspin, making the case that it's the studio's most kid-friendly film. However, I do think that it does a fine job of not playing down to its young audience. You can read the piece here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Let's Rank the 'Rocky' Movies

When Will and I do a ranking piece, we're sometimes blown away by which entry's positioning will drive people crazy on the Internet. (The classic example for us was our Spielberg list: Folks went ballistic because we ranked Hook so low.) Today, we rank the seven Rocky films for Deadspin ... who knew there were so many Rocky IV fans? Check out the list here.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

'Saints & Strangers' Review

Hoping to tell the story of the first Thanksgiving with stripped-down realism, the Nat Geo miniseries Saints & Strangers is a worthy attempt at showing the clash of two cultures at the dawn of the United States. But I don't think it's particularly riveting drama. My review is up at The Wrap.