Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Thank You for Your Suburbicon, Manchurian Candidate

On this week's episode, we lament Suburbicon while sticking up for the underrated Thank You for Your Service. Then, in the Reboot section, we look back at 1962's The Manchurian Candidate. You can listen to the whole thing down below.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Misleading Men: Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell is in the midst of a comeback, but perhaps you've heard that before. It seems like every other year, some media outlet will declare that this is the movie or this is the year where he finally becomes a superstar. Why do we keep doing this with him? I dig into that over at MEL.

'The Man Who Invented Christmas' Review

Ever wonder what inspired Charles Dickens to write A Christmas Carol? The dreary The Man Who Invented Christmas is here to provide the backstory, casting Dan Stevens as the author. I found the whole thing pretty uninspired, as I explain in my Screen International review.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sinead O'Connor - "John I Love You"

About once a week or so, I'll think about Sinead O'Connor and hope she's doing OK. Lord knows the woman has had a hard life. It only makes her music seem all the more fragile and beautiful.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

'Suburbicon' Review

George Clooney has directed six films. Suburbicon is his worst. My review is live at Paste.

'Thank You for Your Service' Review

Miles Teller is having a very good October. I liked him quite a bit in Only the Brave, and now he's in Thank You for Your Service, a look at Iraq War veterans who come home, unable to cope with civilian life. I reviewed the film for Screen International.

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: 'Sacred Deer,' 'Wonderstruck' and 'The Fugitive'

This week's episode is jam-packed with films. First, Will and I dig into The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Then, I go solo on Wonderstruck and Only the Brave, two movies I liked for very different reasons. After that, I ask Will some questions about The Snowman, a film that seems too ridiculous to be believed. Finally, we revisit The Fugitive in our Reboot segment. I'll admit it: I've never loved that movie. You can hear the whole thing here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

'Coco' Review

Not like a Pixar movie? Me? Sad to say, it's true: I think Coco is a visual delight, and it has some good songs, but I found myself pretty bored by its story. My review is up at Screen International.

Friday, October 20, 2017

'Patton Oswalt: Annihilation' Review

For MEL, I wrote about Patton Oswalt's new Netflix special. Yes, it's the one where he talks about coping with his wife's death. I didn't find it particularly funny, but that doesn't make it any less engaging. My piece is live here.

Joni Mitchell - "Refuge of the Roads"

I'm so in awe of this incredible piece that The Ringer ran this week on Joni Mitchell. Just really great. So I'm playing some Mitchell today. Also, this is a good reminder to myself that I now have Hejira on vinyl and I need to get some speakers for my record player.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

'Thor: Ragnarok' Review

You know, I just like the Thor movies. I like that they're goofy, and I like how Chris Hemsworth plays the guy. So I liked Thor: Ragnarok, which is very self-mockingly silly but also kinda sweet. I reviewed the film for Screen International.

The Gotham Awards: The Nominations (and Me)

For the second straight year, I was asked to serve on one of the nominating committees for the Gotham Awards. In 2016, I handled the Breakthrough Award. This year, I helped select the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees. Our team, which included A.A. Dowd, David Ehrlich, Sheila O’Malley, and Alison Willmore, deliberated yesterday, and now the full list of nominees has been announced. Pretty happy with our picks, and the nominees in general.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Amidst the Weinstein Revelations

For MEL, I looked at the public's (and the media's) portrayal of the Good Will Hunting stars' friendship over the last 20 years. We think of them as adorable, clean-cut kids who realized a dream by turning their passion project into an Oscar-winning hit. But how do we feel about them now that their early champion, Harvey Weinstein, has finally been outed for the creep he is? I dig into that here.

'The Killing of a Sacred Deer' Review

I saw The Killing of a Sacred Deer at Cannes and said this:

I've revisited the film to review for Paste, and I have to say: I feel about the same, although maybe a little more measured. I explain why right here.

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: 'The Meyerowitz Stories,' 'Heathers' and More

On this week's episode, we dive into the latest from Noah Baumbach. Then, we spend a little time on Marshall and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. And may I also recommend our Reboot segment, which is devoted to 1989's Heathers? You can hear the whole thing here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Busan 2017: 'Ash' Review

I'm not at the Busan Film Festival, but I reviewed a film that premiered there the other day. It's Ash, a thriller that opens with a dead body in a movie theater. How did it get there? And who committed the crime? Those are just some of the answers that director Xiaofeng Li provides in his elegant mystery. My review is live over at Screen International.

'Press Play With Madeleine Brand': Attorneys, Shower Scenes, Threesomes and Adam Sandler

Had a blast being on Press Play on Friday. Alicia Malone and I were on to discuss Marshall, The Meyerowitz Stories, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, 78/52 and Faces Places. You can hear the whole thing here.

'78/52' and the Disturbing Legacy of the 'Psycho' Shower Scene

Over at MEL, I wrote about the new documentary 78/52, which is devoted to the shower scene from Psycho. Specifically, my piece talks about how that infamous death sequence unleashed sexual violence into the movies, changing the landscape of horror films forever. You can read my essay here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Beck - "Dear Life"

About a year after it was supposed to first come out, Colors finally gets released today. I've been digging "Dear Life" for a few weeks now. It sounds like an Exile on Main Street track with a modern, sunny pop edge. And, longer than it should have taken, I eventually realized the clever wordplay going on in the chorus.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

'Marshall' Review

Marshall tells the story of a young Thurgood Marshall (played by Chadwick Boseman) in the early 1940s as he defends a black chauffeur accused of raping a white woman. The film is based on an actual case, but Marshall had a basic phoniness that bugged me. I get into it over at Paste.

'Only the Brave' Review

I have to admit that I was skeptical about Only the Brave, a true-life drama about wilderness firefighters battling a horrific blaze. But what intrigued me was that the film was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who's best known for Tron: Legacy, a visually spectacular sci-fi flick. His latest movie doesn't lead with its visuals: It's a modest but resonant ensemble piece starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly. Only the Brave may be conventional, but it's smart and it's thoughtful and it works. My review is up at Screen International.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Blade Runners, Mountains and 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure'

On this week's podcast, Will and I have several new movies to discuss. We rap about Blade Runner 2049 and The Mountain Between Us, and then I go solo for The Florida Project. Finally, in our Reboot segment, we take a look back at Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, which is sweeter and sunnier than you might remember. You can listen to the whole thing here.

At the Movies, We Don't Want the Dog to Die

Last week, Fox revealed a minor spoiler in The Mountain Between Us: The film's dog character doesn't die. Why did the studio do that? Because Fox knew that some viewers would stay away if they weren't sure of the pooch's safety. This inspired an essay from me for MEL, in which I look into the different relationships we have with human and animals characters on screen. Hope you enjoy.

Let's Remember Some Great Brotherly Rivalries

In honor of Liam Gallagher's new album, I decided to look back at some of the more infamous rivalries between brothers. And, as an added bonus, I pick a winner in each feud. The results are over at MEL.

(By the way, after all these years, I still have to think, "Wait, which one is Liam and which one is Noel?")

Friday, October 06, 2017

Tom Petty - "You Wreck Me"

Still bummed about Tom Petty's death. There are so many indelible hits, but I've really been digging on this Wildflowers cut this week. That's an album that seems to be a standout for so many fans -- as close as he came to a really coherent "concept album," even more so than Southern Accents. Little did we know that the record was his way of hinting that his long-term marriage was falling apart.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Let's Rank Harrison Ford Movies

For Vulture, Will and I gave ourselves the challenge of ranking all of Harrison Ford's performances. The real question: Did Han Solo or Indiana Jones come out on top? The answer is here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The Greatest Screenwriters Ever

Vulture put together a list of the 100 best screenwriters of all time and asked its contributors to wax rhapsodic about the choices. I was happy to do so. Our bylines aren't included next to the pieces we wrote, but the entire list is here.

Tom Petty: MTV Trailblazer

For Rolling Stone, I looked back at Tom Petty's music-video legacy. What I found were a lot of funny, clever clips. And the more research I did, the sadder I got that he's gone. Check it out here.

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Talking 'American Made,' 'Bull Durham' and the Original 'Halloween'

American Made underwhelmed at the box office, but Will and I liked it pretty well. We talked about that on this week's episode. And, in our Reboot segment, we dig into two very different themed requests. First up, because the playoffs are about to start, Bull Durham. And then, because horror movies are heading our way in droves, John Carpenter's original Halloween from 1978. Listen to the whole thing below.