April 29th, 2016
Reviews! Piping hot reviews! Get ’em while they’re piping and/or hot! I will list them in order from best to worst:
— “Sing Street” (PG-13) A-
— “Keanu” (R) B-
— “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” (PG-13) D
— “Mother’s Day” (PG-13) F
On Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, we reviewed those movies (except “The Huntsman,” that was last week) and made our selections for the 2016 Summer Box Office Challenge. It’s our sixth year doing this contest, and Bayer is ahead, 3-2. I think I’ve got it this time, though.
At Mental Floss, I wrote about “Gangs of New York” (2002) and “The Philadelphia Story” (1940).
Be sure to subscribe to In the Dark, and check out my Patreon. A dollar a month is all we ask. A dollar! That’s barely even a dollar.
April 22nd, 2016
The only new wide release this weekend is “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” (D), an unsolicited sequel to “Snow White and the Huntsman.” It’s bad — uninspired, bland, pointless. We reviewed it on Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, and I’ll write a review soon, but in the meantime, there you go.
But there are other movies to see! To wit:
— “Green Room” (R) A- (Only on about 30 screens nationwide right now, but watch for it, it’ll come around. Also, we interviewed the director and star on Movie B.S.)
— “Elvis & Nixon” (R) B+ (Playing in almost-wide release. And the R rating is for five uses of the F-word and nothing else, so maybe ignore that.)
— “The Invitation” (NR) B+ (In a few theaters and also VOD through Amazon, iTunes, etc.)
— “Standing Tall” (R) B (Warning: French.)
Over at Mental Floss, I wrote:
— 14 Up-Tempo Facts About “Saturday Night Fever”
Sign up for In the Dark, my weekly email of new reviews and movie recommendations, here. And don’t forget Patreon, the magic that makes it all possible. Thanks, everybody!
April 15th, 2016
BAM! Three new wide releases this week, and I have reviews of all of them! Just like the old days.
— “Barbershop: The Next Cut” (PG-13) B-
— “Criminal” (R) C+
— “The Jungle Book” (PG) B-
I mean, I wish the movies were better, but you can’t have everything.
On Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, we talked about those three, plus “Everybody Wants Some!!” (B-) and “The Invitation” (B+). I’ll definitely be writing a review of “The Invitation,” which is in limited release and VOD.
April 8th, 2016
Happy springtime, everyone! Here are the reviews I’ve posted since the last time I rounded them up, listed from longest title to shortest:
— “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (PG-13) C-
— “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” (PG-13) C
— “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” (Netflix) (TV-PG) B-
— “Midnight Special” (PG-13) B
— “Meet the Blacks” (R) D+
— “Hardcore Henry” (R) D
— “The Boss” (R) C
— “Hush” (Netflix) (R) B+
You’ll notice two of those are on Netflix, not in theaters. This is the new world we live in, where “straight to video” or “straight to Netflix” no longer means the movie is bad (necessarily). I reviewed “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” specifically because one of my Patrons asked me to, hint hint.
Over at Mental Floss, I’ve cobbled together some interesting facts about the following classic movies, for your edification:
— “All the President’s Men” (1976)
— “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)
— “La Dolce Vita” (1960)
— “North by Northwest” (1959)
— “The Wild Bunch” (1969)
This week on Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, we review “The Boss,” “Hardcore Henry,” “Demolition” (C+), and “Mr. Right” (C-).
March 18th, 2016
Howdy, pardners. There isn’t much to round up this week, on account of I was in Austin for South By Southwest and missed the screening of “Allegiant,” part 3 (?) in the “Divergent” series. The first film was mediocre, and I didn’t see (or even have any memory of the existence of) the second one, so I will probably skip this new one, at least for now. Maybe I’ll catch them all before the final (?) one comes out next year (?).
Anyway, I think you already know if you want to see “Allegiant” and don’t need me to tell you.
I do have a review of “The Bronze” (R) C+, which premiered at Sundance last year. It squanders a perfectly serviceable premise. Let us never speak of it.
On Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, we review “10 Cloverfield Lane” and “The Brothers Grimsby.” (The latter: ugh. I’d say I enjoyed about 90 seconds of it, total, and actually laughed quite hard twice. But the rest: ugh.) We also talk about the movies we liked at SXSW.
Speaking of which, I wrote two SXSW reviews for Vanity Fair, like the fancy lad that I am:
— “Hush” (R) B+
— “In a Valley of Violence” (R) B-
UPDATE: Plus two for Film School Rejects:
— “War on Everyone” (NR yet) B
— “My Blind Brother” (NR yet) B
March 11th, 2016
Ahoy-hoy. If you missed last week’s Friday Movie Roundup, well, so did I. Just plumb forgot it. I have included those reviews with this week’s, listed here in order of running time (shortest to longest).
— “Hello, My Name Is Doris” (R*) B+
— “London Has Fallen” (R) C
— “10 Cloverfield Lane” (PG-13) A-
— “Zootopia” (PG) B+
— “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (R) B
*Ignore this. It’s a sweet, funny movie with a handful of F-words and some mild sexuality. It’s PG-13.
Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider is off this week. That’s because of the four movies opening in wide release today, only “10 Cloverfield Lane” screened for critics (and we missed it because of our South By Southwest travels). The other films — “The Young Messiah,” “The Brothers Grimsby,” and “The Perfect Match” — are what we call Hollywood’s Shameful Secrets. I’ll catch “Grimsby” soon for sure; we’ll see about the others.
I’ll be at SXSW through Wednesday. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed if you want updates. We put movie titles in ALL CAPS on Twitter (italics not available; quotation marks waste precious characters), so it’s easy to skip the other things I tweet about and just skim for movie tweets.
February 26th, 2016
Reviews! Get yer pipin’ hot reviews here! I’ll list the movies in order from most good to least good.
— “The Witch” (R) A-
— “Eddie the Eagle” (PG-13) B+
— “Race” (PG-13) B-
— “How to Be Single” (R) B-
— “Touched with Fire” (R) C
— “Gods of Egypt” (PG-13) D
I’ve also seen but have not yet reviewed “Risen” (it’s good — so-so as a sermon, but quite solid as a movie); “Triple 9” (utterly mediocre dirty-cop crime drama); and “Where to Invade Next” (Michael Moore gets in his own way, but it’s a cheery, optimistic movie about possible solutions to America’s problems).
On Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, we review “Eddie the Eagle,” “Triple 9,” and “Gods of Egypt.”
At Mental Floss, I wrote up 13 facts about “The Maltese Falcon.” I enjoy researching and writing all of these, but this one was particularly enlightening (#5 especially).
Over at my Patreon, I’m still working toward the goal of reviewing every single wide release that comes out. I’m going to add some other Milestone Goals soon, too. Thanks to everyone who’s been contributing!
February 12th, 2016
Look at the old graphic I found! I made it myself, if you couldn’t tell. Here are the reviews I’ve posted since the last time I addressed you:
– “Deadpool” (R) B
– “Zoolander 2” (PG-13) C-
– “The Boy” (PG-13) C+
– “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (PG-13) B-
This week’s other new wide release, “How to Be Single,” is decent counter-programming. I’ll have a review up shortly; in the meantime, you can listen to me and Jeff Bayer talk about it on Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider. (I gave it a B-.)
Over at Mental Floss, I wrote about “Roman Holiday,” a fine film that gave us Audrey Hepburn and Vespa scooters.
Reviews coming soon: “How to Be Single”; “Where to Invade Next”; “Touched with Fire”; “Race”
Thanks as always to the Patrons who keep this enterprise afloat. Your dollars mean almost as much to me as your love.
February 5th, 2016
Happy February, readers! Here are the new reviews I have for you this week:
“Hail, Caesar!” – The latest from the Coen brothers is set in Hollywood in 1951, and it’s wacky with a side of inscrutability. Coens gonna coen.
“The Choice” – Based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, though it’s less insane than a lot of them.
“Fifty Shades of Black” – Ugh.
“Kung Fu Panda 3” – The returns are diminishing, but it’s all right.
“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” screened at the same time as “Hail, Caesar!” (not just in Portland but in most markets) because studios like to play chicken with each other. (That’s especially true when one of the studios has a movie that it doesn’t really care if anyone sees.) I’ll catch up with it as soon as I can.
In the Dark, my weekly email newsletter with the latest reviews, Netflix recommendations, and other stuff, is up and running again. You can see an example of what it looks like and sign up for it here.
And if you want to hear me talk about movies with my voice (interrupted frequently by a cohost’s voice), listen to Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider.
In other news, Sundance was great, thanks for asking. I wrote this piece about the films you’ll be hearing about in 2016. Here are the full reviews I wrote:
“The Birth of a Nation”
“The Fundamentals of Caring”
“Morris from America”
(Psst! An archive of all my Sundance reviews since forever is here.)
January 22nd, 2016
Now that my movie reviews are being supported by patrons, I figured I should update this blog more often so you’ll know what’s happening, what’s about to happen, and what will never happen.
First of all, I’m at Sundance! I’ll be providing some coverage for Film School Rejects. I’ll be tweeting a lot, too, if you want to see quick nutshell reactions to things and complaints about the weather.
For Mental Floss, I compiled a list of past Sundance premieres that you can watch online and pretend you’re at the festival.
Back in the regular movie world, “Dirty Grandpa,” with Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, wasn’t screened for critics. In fact, critics in some markets were invited to a screening and then un-invited (always a good sign). “The Boy,” about the creepy doll, wasn’t screened. I will catch up with both eventually, but not for at least a week.
“The 5th Wave,” also in theaters today, was duly screened but not till I’d left town. For catching-up purposes, this will be third priority, after the other two.
Now, some new reviews that I do have:
There’s no Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider this week because Bayer’s wife had a baby or something. Thank you and good day.