Friday, March 30, 2018

The Jacksons - "Blame It on the Boogie"

Happy Friday. Don't blame it on the sunshine. Don't blame it on the moonlight. Don't blame it on good times.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Happy 24th Anniversary, 'Crow' Soundtrack

This was fun: For my buddies over at Revolver, I went back and listened to the soundtrack for The Crow. We sorta forget about this now, but that was a huge album: It was No. 1 on the charts and went triple-platinum, featuring tracks from Stone Temple Pilots, the Cure, Nine Inch Nails and Helmet. How does the record hold up? Read on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What's Dwayne Johnson's Best Movie?

On this week's Debate Club, we select the Rock's five best performances. (Sorry, we didn't include The Other Guys because it's just a cameo.) You can read our thoughts over at SyFy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling' and Male Friendship

Judd Apatow is a filmmaker who has obsessively chronicled male bonding rituals in his comedies. His mentor was Garry Shandling, the genius behind The Larry Sanders Show. Shandling died two years ago, and this week Apatow is putting out a love letter to his friend in the form of the HBO documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. For MEL, I wrote about the film -- specifically, how it picks up a familiar thematic thread from Apatow's previous work. You can read my essay here.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Reviews of 'Isle of Dogs,' 'Unsane' and 'Pacific Rim Uprising'

For this week's episode, we go long on Wes Anderson's acclaimed, controversial new film. Then, we differ on Steven Soderbergh's latest. Finally, we tell you that Pacific Rim Uprising is bad. Hear it all down below.

Some Thoughts on 'Pacific Rim Uprising'

Why is it so fun to watch big robots punch each other? When is Charlie Day going to find a great movie role? Which film did the best job of incorporating "I Want to Know What Love Is"? And where's the colon in the title Pacific Rim Uprising? I answer those questions over at MEL.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Self-Aware Actors in Terrible Movies

Over at SyFy, Will and I were asked to rank the five best self-aware performances in bad blockbusters. That was a challenge, but we were up to the task. (I'm particularly proud that Tom Petty made the cut.) Check out the list here.

'Pacific Rim Uprising' Review

I wasn't that big fan of the original Pacific Rim. So would I be converted by Pacific Rim Uprising? Nope. My review is up at Paste, where I pontificate on our era of the post-human blockbuster.

My Interview With Andrew W.K.

For MEL, I had a lengthy phone chat with Andrew W.K., rock star extraordinaire, about depression, his first musical memories, his new record You're Not Alone, and why making albums has helped save his life. Lots of good stuff -- hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

'Unsane' Review

Unsane is my favorite Steven Soderbergh film since Magic Mike. Led by a great Claire Foy performance, this very smart and very pulpy thriller nods in the direction of #MeToo while delivering a lot of genre pleasures. My review is up at Paste.

On the Use of Architecture in 'Manhattan'

Somehow, I had forgotten to mention this: Late last year, I was asked to contribute an audio essay on Manhattan to The Cinema Show, focusing on how architecture is incorporated into the movie. This was fun -- you can hear my take right here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Lara Croft, 'Eyes Wide Shut' and 'Street Smart'

On this week's episode, we review Tomb Raider, but the more interesting stuff dwells in our Reboot section. There, we look back at Eyes Wide Shut and Street Smart. Plenty to dissect and discuss. You can hear the whole thing down below.

Some Thoughts on 'Tomb Raider'

For MEL, I offered some random thoughts about Tomb Raider, including why I hated its ending and what makes Alicia Vikander such a good action-movie runner. Plus, I investigated underground bike races and the secret to getting jacked like Lara Croft. You can read the whole thing here.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - "I Won't Hurt You"

I've seen the new Wes Anderson film. This is a song on the soundtrack.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

'Tomb Raider' Review

Alicia Vikander is so good in Tomb Raider that you may be tricked into thinking this is a good movie. I confess that I dug this action flick for a while, too ... until I didn't. My review is up at Paste.

Picking the Best Child Performances in Science Fiction

For this week's Debate Club, Will and I picked the five finest performances by children in the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy. (That's right, that means no horror movies. That would have been impossible since there are so many good ones.) If you want a hint of who made the cut, Steven Spielberg movies are well-represented. Check out our list here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My Interview With Rob Cohen, the Director of 'The Hurricane Heist'

For MEL, I spent more than an hour on the phone with Rob Cohen, the man behind The Fast and the Furious, xXx and his latest film, The Hurricane Heist. We talked about a lot of different stuff, including fatherhood and why you can't be a nice guy if you want to be a film director. Plus, he had thoughts about Kathryn Bigelow and Lady Bird. You can read the whole thing here.

Some Thoughts on 'A Wrinkle in Time'

A Wrinkle in Time has been knocked around by critics. I stood up for it over at MEL, explaining where it fits into cinema's proud tradition of weird kids' movies. I also talk about God, Chris Pine and Middle of Nowhere. Check out my random thoughts here.

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: 'The Boondock Saints' Is Terrible

On this week's episode, we review A Wrinkle in Time, Gringo and The Death of Stalin. (I promise to catch up with Thoroughbreds soon.) And in our Reboot segment, we look back at The Boondock Saints, which I never saw back in the day. I did, however, live through the time and place of its inception. You can hear the whole thing down below.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

'Press Play With Madeleine Brand': Reviews of 'Wrinkle,' 'Gringo' and 'The Death of Stalin'

On Friday, I hung out with Christy Lemire over at KCRW. Sadly, Madeleine was out of town, but Steve Chiotakis ably guest-hosted. On the show, we review A Wrinkle in Time and Gringo. Christy handles Thoroughbreds, and I grabbed The Death of Stalin. You can hear the whole thing here.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Bikini Kill - "Rebel Girl"

I try not to spend too much time on "old" music -- that is, music I grew up loving -- but I can sorta cheat that rule by digging into bands who were around at the same time that I wasn't really listening to back then. For example, Bikini Kill has a similar-ish guitar sound to Nirvana or Green Day, but for me it's still wonderfully new.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

'Gringo' Review

Good actors drowning in forced bad-ass attitude: That's Gringo in a nutshell. My review is up at Screen International.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

What's the Best Spy Movie (that's not a James Bond movie)?

For this week's Debate Club, Will and I chose the five best spy movies. There's a wrinkle, though: We couldn't pick any 007 films. (We also decided to skip Mission: Impossible and the Bourne movies, because it was too hard to narrow those down.) So, enjoy: Our list is up at SyFy.

'A Wrinkle in Time' Review

Somehow, I got through my childhood never reading Madeleine L’Engle's award-winning book. Despite that (or maybe because of that), I liked Ava DuVernay's adaptation. I found it quite touching in its championing of goodness. My review of A Wrinkle in Time is now live at Screen International.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The History of 'Death Wish'

For MEL, I wanted to look back at the cultural climate that gave birth to the original Death Wish. Pretty fascinating, and also sort of depressing. You can read my piece here.

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: So, How Were the Oscars?

Will and I did a special episode of the podcast to break down Sunday's Oscar show. You can hear the whole thing down below.

Some Thoughts on 'Red Sparrow'

For MEL, I dug into Red Sparrow, discussing why Jennifer Lawrence's press tour was way more fun than the actual movie she was promoting. Plus, I riffed on my Joel Edgerton problem, the cinematic trope of spy sex, and why the film should have just been called Whore School. Read it all here.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Sparrows, Wishes and 'Defending Your Life'

In this week's episode, we review Red Sparrow. Then Will solos on Death Wish. And then we take a look back at Defending Your Life. The whole thing is down below. And, as a reminder, on Monday we'll have our reactions to the Oscars.

Friday, March 02, 2018

The Popular Mechanics Incredibly Special Effects Awards

It's become a wonderful annual tradition: For Popular Mechanics, I interview a bunch of effects people to learn the behind-the-scenes secrets on the making of the year's coolest films. My work is now on newsstands, but it's also online. This year's installment includes tidbits about Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049 and Mother! Check it out here.

Shabazz Palaces - "An Echo From the Hosts That Profess Infinitum"

To prepare for the new season of Atlanta, I went back to Season One. I had forgotten how well this Shabazz Palaces song was used on the show.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Biggest Oscar Snubs

For our latest Debate Club, Will and I were asked to pick the biggest Oscar snubs. We selected five movies that didn't receive a single Academy Award nomination. No worries: They'll outlive that oversight. You can check out the piece over at SyFy.