Eric D. Snider

Eric D. Snider's Blog

Friday movie roundup – Aug. 19

August 19th, 2016

My, what a busy week! A busy two weeks, actually — I was away on fambly bidness last weekend and didn’t update you. I have a whole bunch of new reviews, listed here alphabetically:

“Ben-Hur” (PG-13) C
“Florence Foster Jenkins” (PG-13) B+ [Oregon ArtsWatch]
“Hell or High Water” (R) B+
“Kubo and the Two Strings” (PG) B
“Morris from America” (R) B
“Nine Lives” (PG) C-
“Our Little Sister” (PG) B
“Pete’s Dragon” (PG) A-
“Sausage Party” (R) B
“War Dogs” (R) C

Over at Mental Floss, I wrote a fun piece about the 1907 version of “Ben-Hur” that changed the movie business forever (really!). I especially enjoy the old-timey court language.

These reviews are mostly funded by readers like YOU, via Patreon. A dollar a month is all it takes to keep ’em coming. To get reviews and recommendations emailed to you each week, sign up for In the Dark. Thanks!

Friday movie roundup – Aug. 5

August 5th, 2016

August is busting out all over, just like in the first draft of the old song. The movie pickin’s are slim this week:

“Suicide Squad” (PG-13) D
“Cafe Society” (PG-13) B- [Oregon ArtsWatch]

There’s also “Nine Lives,” with Kevin Spacey as a talking cat!?!, which wasn’t screened for critics. I have now seen it, though, and a review is forthcoming. (It’s bad but benign.) (The movie, not the review.)

We talked about “Suicide Squad” a lot on this week’s Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider.

Elsewhere, you can read what I wrote about these movies:

“Metropolis” (1926) [Mental Floss]
“American Graffiti” (1973) [Mental Floss]
“Howard the Duck” (1986) [Movies.com]

To get reviews and recommendations emailed to you each week, sign up for In the Dark. And please consider throwing a dollar a month into the Patreon tip jar to keep the reviews flowing like precious lifeblood. Thanks!

Friday movie roundup – July 29

July 29th, 2016

It’s the end of July, which means the summer blockbuster season is 3/4 over. Only a month to go! Here are this week’s movies, in order of quality:

“Bad Moms” (R) B-
“Nerve” (PG-13) C+
“Jason Bourne” (PG-13) C

We talk about those movies plus “Star Trek Beyond” on this week’s episode of Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider.

To get reviews and recommendations emailed to you each week, sign up for In the Dark. And please consider throwing a dollar a month into the Patreon tip jar to keep the reviews flowing like precious lifeblood. Thanks!

Friday movie roundup – July 22

July 22nd, 2016

The Laotian kids who work in my sweatshop neglected to post a roundup last week, so we have a fortnight’s worth of reviews to catch up on. They are:

“Ghostbusters (2016)” (PG-13) B-
“Star Trek Beyond” (PG-13) B-
“The Infiltrator” (R) B
“The Phenom” (NR) B
“Captain Fantastic” (R) B
“Lights Out” (PG-13) C
“Ice Age: Collision Course” (PG) C-

This week’s episode of Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider also has a review of “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” (C), while last week’s had “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (B+).

If you missed it, there are new rewards and milestone goals for my Patreon, including the potential return of Eric’s Bad Movies. More details about it here.

Friday movie roundup (and Patreon update) – July 8

July 8th, 2016

Greetings, friends who can read! (I have some who can’t. They aren’t reading this.) Here’s what we have this week: two new wide releases and a couple of catching-up reviews from before:

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (R) B-
“The Secret Life of Pets” (PG) C-
“The Shallows” (PG-13) B
“The Purge: Election Year” (R) C+

This week’s episode of Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider also has talk of “Swiss Army Man” (B+), which I’ll write up shortly.

In other news, I’ve made some changes to the Patreon campaign. There used to be two reward levels, $10 and $15. For $10, you could demand that I review a specific movie from the last 365 days that I haven’t already reviewed. For $15, you got that plus Eric’s Personalized Movie Recommendation Service, where you can text me for advice and I’ll tell you what to watch.

Those are still the rewards, but I’ve lowered the amounts. The $10 is now $5, and the $15 is now $10. (If you pledged $15 just to get that reward, feel free to drop it down to $10.) I’m still just asking for $1 a month from everyone (on the premise that it’s such a small amount you won’t notice it missing), but I want to have incentives for those willing and able to pay more.

Finally, there’s a new Patreon goal. The old goal was to reach $1,000 a month, at which point I’d be able to guarantee reviews of every single wide release. Now that’s been lowered to $800 (we’re at just over $600 now), with a new milestone for when we break $1,000: the return of Eric’s Bad Movies!

Some of you who don’t care that much about current films but enjoy a good mocking of an old, bad one have asked for this. I’ve been itching to revive it, too, but it’s time-consuming, much more taxing than a straightforward movie review. So we have that to look forward to once we get to $1,000 a month. Thanks to those who have already become patrons and who will exert pressure on friends and family to do likewise!

Friday movie roundup – July 1

July 1st, 2016

July 1, y’all. The year is half-over. If you’re scoring along at home, I’ve posted 73 reviews so far in 2016, up from 46 at the same point last year. Here are the latest ones:

“The BFG” (PG) C+
“The Legend of Tarzan” (PG-13) C
“Central Intelligence” (PG-13) B

I’m still catching up from my recent quasi-vacation, but you can also be on the lookout for: “The Purge: Election Day” (C+), “Independence Day: Resurgence” (C), “The Shallows” (B), “Free State of Jones” (C), “Tickled” (A-), “The Neon Demon” (B), and “De Palma” (B+). We discussed a few of those on Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider this week and last week.

Thanks again to the Patreon supporters who make the reviews possible. If you’re thinking of becoming a patron, $1 a month is all it costs, and Patreon charges you on the first of the month — so if you sign up now, you won’t be charged till August, by which time you’ll probably have forgotten about it and won’t even notice the missing dollar. So everybody wins.

And don’t forget In the Dark, which doesn’t cost anything and sends you my reviews and recommendations every week.

And don’t forget it’s America’s birthday on Monday. She’s super old, but she’s still got it. Send her something nice.

Friday movie roundup – June 24

June 24th, 2016

Hello! I’ve been on the road this last week, seeing family and friends in Utah, so the full complement of reviews will be late. In the meantime, here’s the rundown:

– “The Shallows,” in which Blake Lively is pestered by a shark, is a solid, tight genre thriller. Bare-bones story, no frills, done quite well.

– “Free State of Jones” has Civil War-era Southern farmer Matthew McConaughey rebelling against the Rebels. Well-intentioned (probably … it’s not clear what the movie’s purpose is), but it feels like a miniseries crammed into one overlong movie.

– “Independence Day: Resurgence” was not screened for critics in the U.S. As far as I can recall, this is the most expensive, highest-profile movie to be released cold like that. Not a good sign, but who knows? I’ll catch it over the weekend.

Xanadu: a benefit production for Chris Clark

June 21st, 2016

Clarks&me061816This is a picture I took the other night of Lisa Valentine Clark, myself, and Chris Clark, Lisa’s husband. They’re two of my best friends. Lisa and I met 21 years ago in the Garrens Comedy Troupe at BYU. We became close friends, which Chris accepted because I am romantically nonthreatening. Then Chris and I got to be good friends, too, which Lisa accepted because I am romantically nonthreatening.

Chris was recently diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The one from the Ice Bucket Challenge. Which didn’t work, because Chris Clark has it. As diseases go, ALS is a bastard. It will gradually destroy Chris’ nervous system, his ability to move, and his speech. Eventually, barring a cure or other miracle, it will kill him.

Chris and Lisa have five children, ages 8 to 18. I used to write about the Clarks in Snide Remarks sometimes.

ALS is devastating and horrible. It’s also expensive, even with health insurance. To help the Clarks, some of their friends are remounting a production of “Xanadu” that Chris directed in 2012 at the Hale Center Theater in Orem, Utah. Shows are at 10:30 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday, June 23-25, and next week on the same nights. There are also 11 a.m. shows on the Saturdays. Ticket price is a donation of at least $25. All the money will go to the Clarks. The actors and technicians are working for free, and the Hale Center Theater is generously lending its stage.

If you’re in the area, please consider seeing “Xanadu.” If you’re not in the area, or if you cannot be compelled to see “Xanadu” (totally understandable), please visit Xanadu Benefit to see about buying some merchandise or just making a cash donation.

It’s no surprise to people who know the Clarks that they’re facing this challenge with humor and strength. But they need all the support they can get, emotionally as well as financially. Please contribute if you can. If you had ALS, they would totally do it for you.

Friday movie roundup – June 10

June 10th, 2016

Hey hey! Three new wide releases this week, plus reviews of the ones from last week that I didn’t see till they opened.

“The Conjuring 2” (R) B+
“Now You See Me 2” (PG-13) C-
“Warcraft” (PG-13) R
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (PG-13) B
“Me Before You” (PG-13) C

The R rating for “The Conjuring 2,” like the one for “The Conjuring,” is for one reason: it’s scary. There’s no sex, nudity, strong violence, or profanity. (There are several violent images.) In both cases, it’s a rare instance of the R rating being applied sensibly: these movies are for adults, or for mature kids accompanied by their parents. But since the ratings are usually inconsistent, it’s annoying.

For example, “Warcraft” is chock-full of slicing, slashing, crushing, beheading, and other gruesome violence. Sometimes blood spatters on the camera lens. But it’s usually green blood, you see. From orcs. The human characters curiously don’t bleed very much when they are slaughtered. Hence, the movie is rated PG-13, sending the message that horrific violence is fine for kids to see as long as they don’t see the consequences of it. But if “The Conjuring 2” is R, “Warcraft” should be too.

ANYWAY. We reviewed this week’s releases on Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, if you’d like to listen to me talk rather than read my words.

To get reviews and recommendations emailed to you each week, sign up for In the Dark. And please consider throwing a dollar a month into the Patreon tip jar to keep the reviews flowing like precious lifeblood. Thanks!

Friday movie roundup – June 3

June 3rd, 2016

Whoa, whoa — what’s busting out all over? Is that … June? Son of a gun. Here are this week’s new reviews:

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” (R) B-
“Dark Horse” (PG) B+
“The Wait” (“L’attesa”) (NR) B+

Press screenings for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Me Before You” conflicted with press screenings of other things (don’t get me started), but I saw them both Thursday night and will have reviews soon. Briefly, “TMNT” is the first “TMNT” movie I’ve enjoyed. It’s made for 13-year-olds but not in a bad way. And “Me Before You” doesn’t earn its emotions but has a charming lead performance by Emilia Clark. Reviews to come.

On Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, we reviewed “Popstar” and the Mark Strong-in-space film “Approaching the Unknown” (B-).

To get reviews and recommendations emailed to you each week, sign up for In the Dark. And please consider throwing a dollar a month into the Patreon tip jar to keep the reviews flowing like precious lifeblood. Thanks!

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