Eric D. Snider

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Archive for December, 2011

My ‘best’ film-related pieces from 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Here is a pile of links to some of my one-off movie columns from this year that you might find “funny” or “interesting” or “not very long.” Except as noted, all of these were for, where my editor, Laremy, is nearly always responsible for coming up with the great topic.

Jan. 10: Predicting the Marketing Slogans of 2011.
Feb. 9:
Logical Problems Presented by “Just Go with It.”
March 2:
The 10 Commandments for Getting a Film into Sundance.
April 17: Why the “Don’t Think About It!” Argument Is Dumb.
June 22:
Unsettling Questions Raised by the Alternate Reality in “Cars.”
July 13:
A Long Column About the Length of Movies.
July 27:
The Pitch Meeting for “The Smurfs.”
Aug. 30:
A Fake Report from Our Fake Set Visit.
Sept. 7:
The Pitch Meeting for “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”
Oct. 7:
A Proper Gentleman from 19th Century England Reacts to Seeing “Human Centipede 2.” []
Oct. 10: Things Nicolas Cage Could Do That Would Theoretically Still Shock Us.
Oct. 18:
The Timeline for Winning Best Picture.
Nov. 1:
The Pitch Meeting for “New Year’s Eve.”
Nov. 9:
Logical Problems with a Horse That Goes to War.
Dec. 20:
The Next 35 “Alvin and the Chipmunks” Sequel Titles.

2011 film titles: a dramatic reading

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

And now, a playlet in which the dialogue is composed entirely of 2011 movie titles.

[Outside a bar at closing time. People are waiting in line for taxis. A MAN sidles up to a WOMAN.]

MAN: What’s your number?
WOMAN: I am number four.
MAN: Arthur.
WOMAN: Hanna.

[They shake hands.]

MAN: [gesturing to his car] Monte Carlo. Real steel!
WOMAN: [unimpressed] Something borrowed?

[Despite the WOMAN‘s lack of interest, the MAN plunges ahead.]

MAN: Cold weather! [pause] Everything must go… [he gestures to his car again]
WOMAN: Abduction?!
MAN: No strings attached!
WOMAN: One day. The future. Another earth.
MAN: Don’t be afraid of the dark!
WOMAN: [considering] The dilemma: Contagion? Unknown.
MAN: Just go with it!

[She considers his offer. She does find him attractive, and it is getting late…]

MAN: 30 minutes or less.

[She still isn’t sold.]

MAN: Fast five.
WOMAN: [sighing reluctantly] Take me home tonight.
MAN: Win win!
WOMAN: [to herself] The art of getting by…

[He opens the passenger door for her.]

MAN: Your highness.

[They get in.]

WOMAN: Drive.
MAN: In time. [seeing pedestrians in the crosswalk] Madea’s big happy family!
WOMAN: Drive angry! Like crazy!
MAN: A dangerous method!

[She puts her hand on his thigh.]

MAN: [shrugging] Crazy, stupid love…

[He runs over the pedestrians. The WOMAN is impressed.]

WOMAN: Courageous! Footloose! Limitless!
MAN: [regretful] Beastly. Shame.
WOMAN: [seeing an acquaintance on the sidewalk] Martha Marcy May Marlene!
MAN: The girl with the dragon tattoo? Young adult? Zookeeper? I don’t know how she does it!
WOMAN: We bought a zoo.
MAN: Super!

[They arrive at her home, a charming two-story.]

MAN: Dream house! [he sees a silhouette in the window] The help?
WOMAN: We need to talk about Kevin.
MAN: The roommate?
WOMAN: Friends with benefits.
MAN: Sucker punch.

[Suddenly a bright light fills the sky. Loud ALIEN VOICES boom in the night air.]

ALIEN VOICE 1: Attack the block!
ALIEN VOICE 2: Mars needs moms!
MAN: Take shelter!
WOMAN: I am!

[They run inside the house.]

MAN: Sanctum!
WOMAN: I saw the devil! Extremely loud and incredibly close!
MAN: Insidious immortals!

[The ALIENS attack and kill everybody. The end.]

All the wide releases of 2011

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Do you like lists of things? Then here is one! It is a list of the 141 movies that 1) opened in the United States in 2011 and 2) played on at least 600 screens. Movies that opened smaller but eventually got to 600 screens are included, as long as their first release was in 2011. Re-releases of older movies don’t count, even if they were converted to 3D and called “The Lion King.”

I saw 113 of the 141 movies. The ones I missed have asterisks. Links are to my reviews. Sometimes I saw a movie but didn’t review it. That’s how life is sometimes. Dates are when the film opened, not necessarily when it went wide.

How many did you see? It is a contest.

1/7 Season of the Witch
1/14 The Dilemma
1/14 The Green Hornet
*1/21 No Strings Attached
*1/28 The Rite
1/28 The Mechanic
2/4 Sanctum
2/4 The Roommate
2/11 Just Go with It
*2/11 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
*2/11 Gnomeo and Juliet
2/11 The Eagle
2/18 Unknown
2/18 I Am Number Four
2/18 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
2/25 Hall Pass
2/25 Drive Angry
3/4 Rango
3/4 The Adjustment Bureau
3/4 Beastly
3/4 Take Me Home Tonight
3/11 Battle Los Angeles
3/11 Red Riding Hood
3/11 Mars Needs Moms
3/18 Limitless
*3/18 The Lincoln Lawyer
3/18 Paul
3/25 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
3/25 Sucker Punch

Continue reading…

Weekly link roundup – Dec. 10-16

Saturday, December 17th, 2011


“Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” (B+)
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (B-) []
“Young Adult” (B)
“The Sitter” (D+)

* * * * *


Eric’s Bad Movies: “Hunk” (1987), about a dweeb who sells his soul to the devil to become a popular stud. Based on a true story (mine). []

What’s the Big Deal?: “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), a holiday film about the redistribution of angel wings. []

One Year Ago: Catching up with “Tron Legacy,” “Yogi Bear,” and more. []

* * * * *


Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider: We talked about “Mission: Impossible,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Young Adult,” and the way certain actors are better runners than others. Scintillating! [MovieBS] or [iTunes]

In the Dark: Subscribe to this weekly e-mail and get all the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info delivered to your electronic mailbox. [Eric D. Snider’s In the Dark]

Twitter: @EricDSnider

Help defeat my friend’s evil kidney

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Dawn Taylor was the first new friend I made when I moved to Portland in 2005. We’d had some Internet interactions before that through our membership in the Online Film Critics Society, but we didn’t meet in person until she sat next to me at the “Fantastic Four” screening in Portland. We laughed at that movie and quickly became BFFs.

That makes Dawn’s husband, Patrick Hurley, my BFF-in-law. As tart and sassy as Dawn is, Patrick is sweet and goofy, like a big ol’ puppy. (Dawn is secretly sweet, too, but she won’t admit it.) I got to know Patrick because he came to a lot of screenings with his wife. They’re a fine pair. I love them.

Last year, one of Patrick’s kidneys turned to the dark side and attempted to kill him, having been inspired by an equally sinister gall bladder that had to be forcibly removed. Patrick now requires dialysis a few days a week for the rest of his life (or a kidney transplant; let us know if you have one lying around). His health problems cost him his job, which decreases his ability to pay for the bills incurred by his health problems. He and Dawn do not have insurance. Patrick qualifies for disability payments — but those won’t kick in until March 2012. The government likes to wait a few months before it helps you out, in the hopes that in the meantime you will get better or die.

So here’s what I want you to do: Go to this page that some friends of ours have set up, read more about Dawn and Patrick, feel compassion for them even though you don’t know them, then click the “Donate” button and contribute a few dollars. The account is operated by Patrick’s sister. (Edit: Her name is Erin Davis, her husband is Scott Davis. Their names are on the PayPal account.) All the proceeds will go straight to Patrick and Dawn to help them pay their bills.

I can personally vouch for the 100-percent legitimacy of this cause. Give a dollar, give $10, give $50, give $1,000 — whatever you can give, it will help. These people are my friends, and they need help from their fellowmen. Were you hoping to do something charitable and kind for someone this Christmas season? Here’s a perfect opportunity.

Patrick’s Evil Kidney

Weekly link roundup – Dec. 3-9

Saturday, December 10th, 2011


“New Year’s Eve” (D-) []
“Shame” (B) []
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (C+)
“I Melt with You” (D)
“Hugo” (B+)
“Melancholia” (B-)

* * * * *


Eric’s Bad Movies: “Under the Cherry Moon” (1986), starring Prince, directed by Prince, enjoyed by no one. []

What’s the Big Deal?: “The Great Escape” (1963), with Steve McQueen jumping a motorcycle over a fence to get away from Nazis. []

Re-Views: “Pearl Harbor” (2001), a movie (and a B+ review) which will live in infamy. []

One Year Ago: Catching up with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “The Tourist,” and more. []

* * * * *


“Rocky! The Musical”: Stallone really is producing a live musical version of “Rocky.” When I learned this, I wrote the opening number, to be sung by townspeople. Enjoy. [YouTube]

Snide Remarks: “Indistinguishable, That’s What You Are” — Some products don’t inspire loyalty.

Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider: Reviews of “New Year’s Eve,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” a game of Interquel, and many more treasures. [MovieBS] or [iTunes]

Not Just New Movies: Ben and Tyler invited me on to discuss “Cool World” on this week’s podcast. How could I turn that down?? [NJNM]

/Filmcast: Dave, Devindra, and Adam invited me on for “Hugo” talk this week. I never say no to the /Filmcast! No one ever should! [/Film]

In the Dark: Subscribe to this weekly e-mail and get all the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info delivered to your electronic mailbox. [Eric D. Snider’s In the Dark]

Twitter: @EricDSnider

Weekly link roundup – Nov. 26-Dec. 2

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


There aren’t any movies this week, because Hollywood has forsaken us. Maybe you should think about what you did wrong.

* * * * *


Eric’s Bad Movies: “Steel Dawn” (1987), a dull post-apocalyptic Western in which Patrick Swayze stars as Patrick Swayze. []

What’s the Big Deal?: “An American in Paris” (1951), in which Gene Kelly dances his way into our hearts with ballet (?!). []

Re-Views: “Almost Famous” (2000), a movie whose charms might have faded over the years. []

One Year Ago: Catching up with “The Warrior’s Way,” “Black Swan,” and more. []

* * * * *


Snide Remarks: “The Circle K of Life” — The Snider boys’ Christmas tradition

Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider: Our first show outside the warm embrace of proves to be uneventful, insofar as nothing caught on fire. [MovieBS] or [iTunes]

In the Dark: Subscribe to this weekly e-mail and get all the latest movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info delivered to your electronic mailbox. [Eric D. Snider’s In the Dark]

Twitter: @EricDSnider

* * * * *


Drew McWeeny points out that “fan fiction” is shaping a lot of our current pop-cultural pleasures, thus giving hope to every fan who dreams of writing for his favorite show. [HitFix]

This chart shows how much of the Science, Discovery, National Geographic, and History channels’ programming is actually dedicated to each channel’s supposed focus. (Hint: not much.) [PhD Comics]

Follow-up: the Kansas governor who demanded an apology from a teenage girl has instead apologized to her for overreacting. Justice! [Yahoo!]

The same picture of Dave Coulier every day. [Tumblr]

In Colorado, a retired county sheriff was arrested for trying to trade meth for sex. That’s newsworthy but unremarkable. What’s remarkable (and awesome) is that he was booked in the jail that was named after him. [Denver Post]

Dancing in a mall while listening to Christmas music on your iPod. The big dopey grin on his face is what sells it. [YouTube]

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