Tuesday, October 30, 2018
This week's episode is largely devoted to Lee Chang-dong's wondrous Burning. But I also take a little time to talking about Suspiria ... and Shirkers, On Her Shoulders and Monrovia, Indiana. Then, Will and I go back in time to discuss 2004's Primer. That movie gets better each time I watch it. Hear the whole thing down below.
Monday, October 29, 2018
It's easy to be scared in horror movies. (That's kind of the idea.) But what happens when you get freaked out in movies that aren't, technically, horror films? I wrote about that over at MEL.
Friday, October 26, 2018
Everybody knows the first minute of this track from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly thanks to commercials and parodies. (It's currently being used in an L.L. Bean spot.) But here's the whole thing.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
There's a new girl on the block. Claire Foy is the latest Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider's Web. The movie is completely competent in its slick, anonymous way. But, boy, is it soulless. My review is up at Screen International.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Sometimes, this job can be pretty great. For MEL, I spoke with the one and only Frederick Wiseman. We discussed his new documentary, Monrovia, Indiana, and we also chatted about retirement and the Grim Reaper. You can read my piece here.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Many movies are discussed on this week's podcast. Will and I dig into Halloween, and then I solo on Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Wildlife and Mid90s. Finally, in our Reboot segment, we look back at Memories of Murder. Hope you enjoy.
For MEL, I riffed on the new Halloween, focusing on why we're drawn to bogeymen. I also wrote about John Carpenter's music and the one plot point I'm thrilled has been excised from the franchise's narrative. Check out my piece here.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
On Her Shoulders is a superb documentary about Nadia Murad, an activist speaking out about the Yazidi genocide. This is no simple biography, though. My review is up at Screen International.
Friday, October 19, 2018
I was at a hotel the other day waiting to do an interview. In the room I was in, there's a record player, and someone had put Sam Cooke on. "Mean Old World" started playing, and it just fit the warm, lazy-afternoon vibe so perfectly it felt like it had been made for that exact moment. Now when I hear "Mean Old World," I think of that day.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Is the new Halloween as good as the original? No. Is it still pretty darn good? Yes. My review is up at Screen International. (By the way, this is not how Jamie Lee Curtis looks in the movie.)
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Watching Beautiful Boy, I thought a lot about fathers' relationships with their sons. All children have to break free of the nest eventually, but what if the motivating factor is a son's drug addiction? What does that do to both men? I wrote about that for MEL.
The Grierson & Leitch Podcast: Astronauts, Bad Times, Kindergarten Teachers, '22 July' and 'Beautiful Boy'
Five new movies are reviewed on this week's podcast, and I'm pretty lukewarm on most of them. I explain why First Man is just OK, Bad Times at the El Royale is superficially entertaining, The Kindergarten Teacher is merely modest and Beautiful Boy is minor. Of the lot, 22 July is my favorite. Hear the whole thing down below.
How much better would First Man have been if Tig Notaro was in it?
How many American flags show up in the film?
And why are we fascinated by old-school American stoicism?
I answer those questions, and others, over at MEL.
Friday, October 12, 2018
Rhett Miller gave Bob Dylan partial songwriting credit on this track because of its melodic similarity to "Desolation Row." But that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dylan's association with Champaign. Check it out, yo.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Tuesday, October 09, 2018
With his new film 22 July, director Paul Greengrass completes a trilogy of sorts grappling with post-9/11 life. It's very interesting how different United 93, Captain Phillips and 22 July are, though. My essay is up at MEL.
Monday, October 08, 2018
Lots of movies to discuss on this week's podcast. We dutifully review Venom and A Star Is Born. But the real action is with the indie releases. We enthuse about Private Life, and I solo on The Hate U Give. Then, in our Reboot segment, we look back at Major League. Check out the whole show down below.
Saturday, October 06, 2018
I was on KCRW (alongside Roth Cornet) to review Venom, A Star Is Born and The Hate U Give. We were joined by guest host Duarte Geraldino. You can hear the whole thing here.
Friday, October 05, 2018
Thursday, October 04, 2018
That's the question we try to answer this week over at SyFy. Our Top 5 is right here.
Yeah, that John Carpenter. We spoke on the phone on September 27 ... yup, the same day as the Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Carpenter talked to me while watching the testimony, offering his own commentary along the way. It was a surreal experience. You can read the whole thing over at Revolver.
Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Imagine if the Tasmanian Devil was a live-action character in a superhero movie and you'll get a vague idea of what Tom Hardy tries to do in Venom. The movie has its kicks, but not enough. My review is up at Screen International.
On this week's episode, we set aside Reboots to review three new movies. It was nice to go this long on Hold the Dark in particular. Check out the whole thing down below.
For MEL, I did a deep dive into Bradley Cooper's career, looking for connections. And what I noticed is that, although he's long been a leading man, he rarely plays straight-up heroic men. That got me wondering why that is. You can read my thoughts here.
I really liked The Cabin in the Woods, so I was curious to see what writer-director Drew Goddard would do next. It's Bad Times at the El Royale, a Tarantino-esque look at a group of strangers who descend on an isolated hotel one dark and stormy night. I liked it a little less than The Cabin. My review is up at Screen International.
Over at SyFy, we looked at a decade's worth of fantasy films, trying to figure out which ones have stood the test of time. You can probably guess what No. 1 is. Check out the list here.