Sunday, September 23, 2018

Movies Based on TV Shows

Over at SyFy, we're saluting the best films adapted from TV shows. (How many people are unaware that The Fugitive used to be on television?) Check out the results here.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

An Ode to 'Short Cuts'

The Robert Altman classic hit theaters almost exactly 25 years ago. In honor (dishonor?) of Life Itself, I wrote about why Short Cuts remains the gold standard of movies about how we're all connected. You can read it over at Rolling Stone.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gladys Knight & the Pips - "Midnight Train to Georgia"

The reasons why this song has been lodged in my head lately are too long to get into. But enjoy.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

'Assassination Nation' Review

It's impossible not to be affected by Assassination Nation, a brazen, angry film that channels the spirit of the #MeToo movement into an action-horror-thriller about some young women in a fight for their lives. Too bad the movie's not better. My review is up at Screen International.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Paul Simon, New York and the End of a Touring Career

On Saturday, Paul Simon plays his final show ever. For AM New York, I wrote about the man's enduring legacy and why he's the quintessential New York artist. Check it out here.

Is the Predator a Lame Movie Monster?

I say yes. I make the case over at MEL.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Toronto 2018: The Wrap-Up and the Rankings

There were a decent amount of happy discoveries across this year's Toronto Film Festival. Top among them might have been Her Smell, which is now my favorite Alex Ross Perry film. It's a grueling, alienating experience, telling the story of an out-of-control indie rocker (Elisabeth Moss) who puts everyone around her through hell. And, yet, where it goes is deeply moving. It's an imperfect but incredibly rewarding film.

In other words, it's the kind of movie you live for at a festival.

My rankings cover every film I saw that screened in Toronto, including ones I'd seen earlier at Sundance and Cannes. Links lead to individual reviews...

44. A Million Little Pieces
43. Freaks
42. Green Book
41. The Predator
40. Boy Erased
39. Fahrenheit 11/9
38. Giant Little Ones 
37. The Hummingbird Project
36. A Faithful Man
35. Destroyer
34. Birds of Passage
33. Climax
32. Maya
31. Mid90s
30. Colette
29. Everybody Knows
28. White Boy Rick
27. Dogman
26. The Image Book
25. The Kindergarten Teacher 
24. Wildlife
23. First Man
22. 3 Faces
21. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
20. The Sisters Brothers
19. Donnybrook
18. The Wild Pear Tree
17. Capernaum
16. Donbass
15. The Old Man & The Gun
14. Monsters and Men
13. Long Day's Journey Into Night
12. 22 July
11. Ash Is Purest White
10. Shoplifters
9. Hold the Dark
8. Her Smell
7. Non-Fiction 
6. Vox Lux
5. If Beale Street Could Talk
4. Roma
3. Cold War
2. Burning
1. Widows

And now, a few caveats. I didn't include Suspiria or The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which both premiered in Venice but skipped Toronto. Also, I couldn't tell you with any certainty where any of the films in my Top 10 will ultimately land. Widows and Burning were practically a coin toss. So too were Cold War and Roma. Was Vox Lux's higher ambitions and shakier execution ultimately better than Olivier Assayas' relatively slight but pretty wonderful Non-Fiction? Have I yet to fully wrap my head around If Beale Street Could Talk? I don't have any answers, just vague guesses.

Is there anything else to add? I wrote a brief thing for MEL that encapsulated my on-the-fly observations about this year's Toronto. And I look forward to catching up with High Life, which (because of a festival schedule error) I had to miss. But I'll get to it ... and, hey, if I had seen High Life, I wouldn't have had time to fit in Her Smell. That's the way it works sometimes.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Predators, 'White Boy Rick' and 'Mandy'

We're back after a week off. We diss The Predator and stick up for White Boy Rick. I talk a little about the Toronto Film Festival and A Simple Favor. And then we delve into Mandy. The whole episode is down below.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger Isn't the Terminator

For SyFy, we looked at Arnold's career away from his most iconic character. It's time for a new Debate Club.

Some Thoughts on 'Norm Macdonald Has a Show'

Over at MEL, I share some thoughts about Norm Macdonald Has a Show. I also talk about Colonel Sanders. It makes sense, I swear.