Thursday, August 17, 2017

What's Steven Soderbergh's Best Movie?

Vulture asked Will and me to rank Steven Soderbergh's movies on the occasion of Logan Lucky hitting theaters this Friday. We were only too happy to oblige. He's been a fabulous filmmaker for decades, but he's not someone who has a clear-cut best movie. So we put our heads together and came up with this.

'The Hitman's Bodyguard' Review

You can tell it's mid-August because we're still getting action movies, except they're not very good. The Hitman's Bodyguard isn't terrible -- it's just boring. Still, the film kinda crushed my spirits, which I talk a bit about in my Paste review.

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: 'The Glass Castle,' 'Ingrid Goes West' and 'Persona'

If you'd like to hear me do more raving about Good Time, you're in luck: I do my fair share on this week's podcast. But I was also happy to have the chance to talk about The Glass Castle and Ingrid Goes West, in which two very good actresses are trapped in pretty mediocre movies. For our Reboot segment, we took on Persona, which opened in the U.S. 50 years ago. I haven't seen it since college ... it still rules. Check out the whole show here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

'South Park' and Kanye West

South Park returns for its 20th season on September 14. Over at Rolling Stone, I helped out on a list of the show's greatest moments. I called dibs on the Kanye West episode, obvs. You can check it out here.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Dear Prudence"

Tomorrow is my wonderful wife's birthday. So many songs make me think of her ... even in roundabout ways. For instance, whenever I play the Beatles' "Dear Prudence," she mentions that she grew up being more familiar with the Siouxsie and the Banshees version. So, this goes out to her.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

'Lucky' Review

Lucky has gotten good reviews out of South by Southwest and Locarno, with most critics raving about Harry Dean Stanton's performance as a 90-year-old man pondering existence and mortality. I like him in the film, but I'm less enamored with the film itself. Lucky opens September 29; today over at Screen International, I share my thoughts.

My Interview With Robert Pattinson and the Safdies for 'Good Time'

I've been raving about Good Time since Cannes, and this Friday the film hits select cities. Over at Rolling Stone, I talked to its star and its directors. Robert Pattinson is still best known for Twilight, but that might soon be changing. Josh and Benny Safdie previously made superb, intense dramas like Heaven Knows What. We discussed how this project came together, and what the film did for each of them. Hope you enjoy.

(P.S. I bang the drum for the movie over at Paste as well.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: 'The Dark Tower,' 'Columbus' and 'Anything Else'

We fit five movies into this week's episode. Will and I talk a bit about The Dark Tower, while I riff on Kidnap and Columbus. Then, in our Reboot section, we own up to the fact that we don't think Superbad is as fantastic as a lot of folks do. But much of the podcast is given over to Woody Allen's Anything Else. Back in 2003, we were both big defenders of the film. Has it held up? Listen below.

Monday, August 07, 2017

My Interview With 'Icarus' Director Bryan Fogel

Bryan Fogel is best known as the guy who co-wrote and starred in Jewtopia. But a few years ago, he decided he needed to reinvent himself. So, he hatched an idea to test anabolic steroids on himself, Super Size Me-style, and see how they affected him. But during his research, he met a Russian doctor who, it turns out, was deeply involved in that country's Olympic doping scandal. The resulting documentary, Icarus, details what happened. For MEL, I talked to Fogel about PEDs, Russian hacking, the notion of "clean" sports, and whether he feared for his life once he stumbled upon the country's doping operation. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

What's Charlize Theron's Best Movie?

Will and I set about answering that question for Vulture, where we ranked every one of her performances. As always, we had such fun putting this together. You can check out the list here.

Randy Newman in the Trump Era

The great Randy Newman has a new album out, Dark Matter. I haven't fully landed on how I feel about it, but my gut is telling me that it's merely decent, not amazing. But so what? For MEL, I talked about how this brilliant songwriter has become better known in recent decades for his Pixar soundtracks than for the fantastic, caustic character sketches of the 1970s. And yet, we see elements of those despicable individuals in the news all the time. Hope you enjoy.

'The Only Living Boy in New York' Review

No, it's not about the Simon & Garfunkel song. This so-so romantic drama stars Callum Turner as a restless young New Yorker who discovers that his dad (Pierce Brosnan) is sleeping with a much younger woman (Kate Beckinsale). The son confronts the mistress .... and then they start having an affair, too. The mysteries of the heart can make for fun subject matter, but The Only Living Boy in New York tries way too hard to seem literary and sophisticated. Plus, Jeff Bridges plays the kid's funky, loopy mentor and, boy, does that get tiresome. My review of the film is up at Screen International.

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Chemical Brothers (featuring Beth Orton) - "Where Do I Begin"

From the 1997 album Dig Your Own Hole, "Where Do I Begin" features Beth Orton vulnerably singing this verse again and again....

Sunday morning I'm waking up 
Can't even focus on a coffee cup 
Don't even know whose bed I'm in 
Where do I start 
Where do I begin

It's a great start to a short story, one that the Chemical Brothers never finish, which only makes the setup all the more intriguing. So many possible directions for that narrative to travel.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

'Kidnap' Review

Kidnap has been kicking around the release schedule for two years, largely because the film fell into limbo after its original distributor landed in bankruptcy. And, yes, this Halle Berry action-thriller is very silly and incredibly over-the-top. But I enjoyed myself quite a lot. My review is live at Screen International.

'The Dark Tower' Review

The bad buzz circulating around The Dark Tower left most of us assuming it would be terrible. Well, I've seen it now, and it's really .... mediocre. Not ghastly, just mediocre. I reviewed the film for Screen International.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: 'Detroit,' 'Atomic Blonde' and 'Delicatessen'

Lots to cover in this week's episode. We review Detroit and Atomic Blonde. Then, we quickly discuss Brigsby Bear, The Last Face and The Emoji Movie. And finally, we rewatch Delicatessen for our Reboot segment. Hear the whole thing below.

Ranking Stephen King's Movies

Many movies have been made from Stephen King's work. Many of them are bad. For Vulture, Will and I ranked every single last one of 'em. Check it out.