Eric D. Snider

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Archive for April, 2011

‘Snide Remarks’ bombshell: I’m dumb

Monday, April 25th, 2011

So here’s the thing. Remember that one time when I had the Kickstarter campaign for a year of “Snide Remarks,” and the deal was that I’d do 50 columns in 52 weeks — basically every Monday, except that I’d get a couple weeks off? Well, do you know what I didn’t take into account when I made those plans? I didn’t take into account that when I’m at a film festival, I cannot accomplish any work that isn’t immediately related to the coverage of that film festival.

My plan was to have a column written before I left for Tribeca so that I wouldn’t have to work on it while I was in New York. Now, I could make some excuses for why that didn’t happen, but they all boil down to the fact that I just didn’t get it done. I just didn’t. Oh, I tried. I have some great bits assembled. So funny! But nothing resembling a coherent (even for me) “Snide Remarks.”

So I figured I could either publish something that I’m not entirely 100 percent proud of — and let’s pretend that I’ve never, ever done that before, and definitely not during a film festival — or I could own up to my mistake and plead for your mercy and not run a column this week and make it up to you later. I have chosen the latter option.

Technically, I’ve now used up both of my free weeks, and believe me, I feel dumb for using them already, like when people on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” blow through their lifelines before they even get to the $100,000 question. You’ll still get your 50 columns, don’t worry — only 44 more to go! — even if I have to double up one week or something.

So that’s the story. I’m an idiot. Back on track next week, and then forever.

Love,
Eric

Friday link roundup – April 22

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

OK, so there are three new wide releases this week, and I didn’t see any of them. I am not to blame, however! I am blameless.

Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family” wasn’t screened for critics at all. I caught it Friday afternoon and reviewed it for Film.com. Eh, it’s all right, whatever. The Disney nature documentary “African Cats” screened in the largest markets but not the mid-sized ones, goodness knows why.

“Water for Elephants” — starring R-Pattz and Reese With her spoon — screened everywhere, but I couldn’t attend the local screening due to the local publicist’s longstanding policy of being insane. I will probably catch it at some point, on account of I liked the book and I like old-timey circuses.

I’m at the Tribeca Film Festival for the week, so follow me on the Twitter for updates and stuff, if you want.

New movie reviews:
“Madea’s Big Happy Family” (C+) [Film.com]

Movie columns:
Eric’s Bad Movies: “Can’t Stop the Music” (1980), starring the Village People. I know it goes without saying, but wow, is this ever bad. Just embarrassing, baffling, what-were-they-thinking? incompetence. I actually had to turn it off halfway through and finish it the next day because it was becoming unbearable. It’s on Netflix Instant. You should watch the first few minutes of it, just to get the idea. [Film.com]
What’s the Big Deal?: “Network” (1976). I’d been meaning to do this one for a while, but it took the death of the director, Sidney Lumet, to finally motivate me. I accept full responsibility for Mr. Lumet’s death. [Film.com]
How “Gulliver’s Travels” could have been fixed. [Film.com]
Why the “Don’t think about it!” argument is dumb. [Film.com]

My other stuff:
Snide Remarks: “Soccer Punch” — Portland gets a new national pastime.

Miscellaneous merriment:
– The venerable and cuddly online film journalist Drew McWeeny wrote what appears to be the first chapter in a fantastic superhero-oriented story. It’s really a fun read, and he says more is coming soon. [Mulholland Books]
– A very talented fellow named Terje Sorgjerd shot time-lapse photography on the Spanish mountain El Teide. This video compilation is breathtakingly beautiful. [Vimeo]

Subscribe to “In the Dark,” a weekly e-mail with the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info.

Listen to “Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider,” a weekly Internet radio show featuring Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider, at Cascadia.fm. It’s live at 11 a.m. (Pacific) every Friday, then downloadable as a podcast. Ignore the iTunes “explicit” tag; we always keep it PG.

Friday link roundup – April 15

Friday, April 15th, 2011

This used to be the Friday Movie Roundup, a collection of links to my reviews and movie-related features from the previous week. But from now on it’s the Friday Roundup of Links to Many Types of Things (title still in development). It’ll still be the movie stuff, plus links to anything else I happen to have written that week (like “Snide Remarks”), plus links to things that aren’t mine but that I found amusing during the preceding seven days.

So if you don’t check the site hourly, or subscribe to the RSS feeds, or follow me on Twitter, you’ll still be in the loop as long as you remember to look at this blog once a week. If you can’t manage that, just give me your phone number and I’ll call you and tell you when there’s something I think you should read.

New movie reviews:
“Scream 4″ (C)
“Rio” (B)
“The Conspirator” (C)
“American: The Bill Hicks Story” (B)

Movie columns:
Eric’s Bad Movies: “Johnny Mnemonic” (1995). I was astonished to realize that despite Keanu Reeves’ well-deserved reputation as a terrible actor, I’d never featured one of his movies in this column. Finally rectified that situation with a movie that I can remember watching on VHS in late 1995 at my friend Nick’s house, but of which I had no actual memories. [Film.com]
What’s the Big Deal?: “Eraserhead” (1977). Goodness knows I don’t like weirdness just for weirdness’ sake, but David Lynch’s debut is mesmerizing. [Film.com]
Why a New Pee-wee Herman Movie Is a Bad Idea. Come, let us reason together. [Film.com]

My other stuff:
Snide Remarks: “Leaving in a Huff” — AOL’s new friend kills Cinematical

Miscellaneous merriment:
– Someone on Twitter called this “the ‘Troll 2′ of websites.” [Yvette's Bridal Formal]
– One of my all-time favorite stupid lines of dialogue is in “The Fast and the Furious.” It involves the term “sandwich crazy.” [YouTube]
– An image-based name-the-movie game called Clockbusters. The only one I couldn’t get was the one with the old man napping, the motorcycle, and the boy in the bow tie. [Veer]
– From “Saturday Night Live,” Kristen Wiig as a Southwest Airlines flight attendant. Great example of how so-so writing can be made hilarious by sterling delivery. [Hulu]
– Stephen Colbert can’t keep a straight face talking about pap smears at Walgreens. [Colbert Nation]
How to fold a bandanna. Trust me, even if you don’t need to know how to fold a bandanna, you need to see this video. [YouTube]

Friday movie roundup – April 8

Friday, April 8th, 2011

If you follow me or any other movie-oriented people on Twitter, you probably know that the fine movie blog Cinematical was essentially shut down this week, with the last of the editors quitting and nearly all of the writers (including me) being dismissed. This is bad news for the online movie world, and it’s been encouraging to see the many, many R.I.P. tweets going out all week.

I’m lucky in that I have other freelancing teats from which to suckle, most importantly Film.com. Many of the other Cinematical folks were earning more of their livelihoods from Cinematical than I was and are thus further up a creek now than I am. I hope they’re able to find other gigs soon.

I’ll be writing more about what happened, and why, and who deserves the blame (spoiler alert: Arianna Huffington) in the next couple days.

In the meantime, here’s the roundup of this week’s reviews and such:

“Arthur” (review at Film.com): B-

“Your Highness”: D

“Hanna”: B

“Soul Surfer” had a screening, but it was the same time as “Arthur.” It’s about a surfer who gets her arm bitten off by a shark, though, so that’s cool.

At Film.com, I spotlighted 10 summer movies I’m looking forward to that don’t have superheroes in them; “What’s the Big Deal?” addressed “Metropolis”; and “Eric’s Bad Movies” took a can of Raid to “Empire of the Ants.”

And for some reason you can also hear me talk a lot this week, if you want to. I joined Jeremy Kirk and Tim Buel for the “Golden Briefcase” podcast. Then Chase Whale interviewed me for his “Whale of a Writer” series (GET IT?? He’s saying I’m fat). Then, after the Cinematical thing went down, I was invited to join Scott Weinberg and Erik Davis to discuss it on “Reject Radio,” hosted by “Cole Abaius.” Part of that involved participating in a game show, which was very exciting for me. (Listener advisories: there’s some cussin’ in the first one, none in the second one, a tiny bit in the third one.)

Subscribe to “In the Dark,” a weekly e-mail with the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info.

Listen to “Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider,” a weekly Internet radio show featuring Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider, at Cascadia.fm. It’s live at 11 a.m. (Pacific) every Friday, then downloadable as a podcast. Ignore the iTunes “explicit” tag; we always keep it PG.

Friday movie roundup – April 1

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Five new reviews for you this week, four of which are not new at all because they’re movies that played at South By Southwest a few weeks ago. That makes things easier for me, which I like!

“Source Code,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, was the SXSW opening night film. smart, entertaining, and sci-fi-ish. “Insidious,” a delightfully terrifying PG-13 horror movie, is also quite good. I have the wet pants to prove it.

You may also enjoy “Win Win” (in limited release), an upbeat, realistic comedy from the writer/director of “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor.” Somewhat less successful is “Super” (also in limited release), a dour satire (kind of?) starring Rainn Wilson as a costumed vigilante.

The other wide release this weekend is “Hop” (review at Cinematical), which unfortunately doesn’t have much to recommend it.

Over at Film.com, notice the facelift! The site’s all redesigned and stuff, and hopefully easier to navigate and interact with than it used to be. “Eric’s Bad Movies” tackles Chuck Norris’ “Invasion U.S.A.,” and “What’s the Big Deal?” addresses “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” For the record, in terms of sheer idiocy and nonsensical storytelling, “Invasion U.S.A.” is one of the most breathtakingly incompetent movies I’ve ever seen. Nice going, Chuck!

Subscribe to “In the Dark,” a weekly e-mail with the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info.

Listen to “Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider,” a weekly Internet radio show featuring Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider, at Cascadia.fm. It’s live at 11 a.m. (Pacific) every Friday, then downloadable as a podcast. Ignore the iTunes “explicit” tag; we always keep it PG.

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