Eric D. Snider

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Friday movie roundup (and Patreon update) – July 8

Friday, 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 – April 29

Friday, 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.

Friday movie roundup – April 22

Friday, 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!

Friday movie roundup: April 15

Friday, 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.

Friday movie roundup: April 8

Friday, 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-).

Friday movie roundup: Feb. 26

Friday, 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!

Checkin’ in – Feb. 5

Friday, 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”

“Other People”

(Psst! An archive of all my Sundance reviews since forever is here.)


Just checkin’ in on Jan. 22

Friday, 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.

An assortment of Eric D. Snider updates

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Happy 2016, Sniderinos! My deepest apologies for addressing you with a racial slur, but I needed to get your attention.

Just wanted to check in and let you know what’s hoppin’ over here at EDS headquarters. First, we had the usual bombardment of end-of-the-year stuff, as follows:

The Best and Worst Movies of 2015

My media inventory (everything I watched and read in 2015)

A handy list of every wide release of 2015

A handy list of everything I wrote in 2015

Miscellaneous data about the films of 2015

(The miscellaneous data is at Thrillist this year. I noticed it had been somewhere different each year since 2012 — Pajiba, then, then Movie Mezzanine — and decided I liked the nomadic tradition.)

The Patreon movie critic thing

You may also be aware that I’ve embarked on a new scheme for writing movie reviews, one where I am paid not by “legitimate publications” or “editors,” but by You, the People. Like the artists of the Renaissance, my movie reviews are now supported by patrons!

It’s going well so far. At the moment, 164 people are pledging a total of $436.05 a month, which works out to about $40 per review. Most patrons are giving the suggested $1 a month. A buck a month ain’t no thing. Others are pledging amounts that are more than $1 a month, and I’ve come up with a couple of rewards for those who do:

– At $10 a month, you’re entitled to politely demand that I review a particular movie that I haven’t gotten to yet — anything released in the previous 365 days. So if you want to make me watch and review “Pixels,” for example, this is your chance.

– At $15 a month, you get the $10 privilege, plus Eric’s Personalized Movie Recommendation service. This is basically my phone number. You can text me questions like: “I know you haven’t posted a review, but have you seen ‘Such and Such,’ and if so, how is it?” Or: “Is ‘Whatever Movie’ suitable for my children, ages whatever and whatever?” Or: “Here are the three movies we’re considering tonight. Which one should we choose?” This service is already used extensively by friends and family, and for $15 a month you can pretend to be one of them.

I’ve also set a “milestone goal.” Once monthly pledges reach $1,000, I’ll guarantee reviews of every single movie in wide release (plus the handful of indies I review, too). As it stands, I have to skip some in order to work on other things. At $1,000 a month, I can say, “Bug off, other things! The People need their reviews!”

To those who have already become patrons, I give my wettest, most heartfelt thanks. I hope you feel you’re getting your money’s worth. I’ve written 20 full-length reviews since announcing the Patreon 57 days ago. In the 100 days before that, I wrote about 10. It’s nice to be back in the saddle again, metaphorically speaking (I would not enjoy being in a real saddle).

Now I’d like your input. I’d like it so much that I’m turning on the comments. What are some rewards I could offer for different pledge levels? What are some other milestone goals I could set? In short, what are the fondest dreams you’ve always had for and movie reviews? We can make them come true (unless they’re dumb)! Let me know.

Everything I wrote in 2015

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Everything I published, anyway. There’s a lot to read here! Better get started!

Movie reviews:
The 33
99 Homes
Adult Beginners
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Balls Out
The Big Short
Black Mass
By the Sea
Cop Car
The D Train
Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
The Duff
The Duke of Burgundy
Ex Machina
Far from the Madding Crowd
Fifty Shades of Grey
Furious Seven
The Gallows
Get Hard
The Good Dinosaur
Goodnight Mommy
Heaven Knows What
Hotel Transylvania 2
Hot Pursuit
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Infinitely Polar Bear
Inside Out
Insidious: Chapter 3
In the Heart of the Sea
It Follows
Jem and the Holograms
Jupiter Ascending
Jurassic World
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Knock Knock
The Last Witch Hunter
The Lazarus Effect
Learning to Drive
Love the Coopers
Madame Bovary
Mad Max: Fury Road
Magic Mike XXL
Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
Night Owls
Once I Was a Beehive
Our Brand Is Crisis
The Overnight
Pawn Sacrifice
Point Break
The Revenant
Run All Night
San Andreas
The Scorch Trials
Seventh Son
Sinister 2
The Stanford Prison Experiment
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Steve Jobs
Taken 3
Ted 2
True Story
Unfinished Business
Victor Frankenstein
The Visit
The Voices
We Are Still Here
The Wedding Ringer
What We Do in the Shadows
Wild Horses
Z for Zachariah

Comedy laff-laff chuckle pieces:
The Pitch Meeting for ‘Unfinished Business’ [Complex]
The Film Festival Blurb Generator [Movie Mezzanine]
Love and Sects [Snide Remarks]
Bake Me to Church [Snide Remarks]
Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist [Snide Remarks]
Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist (Part 2) [Snide Remarks]

General movie stuff:
11 Forgotten Sundance Gems You Can Watch Right Now [The Week]
Kevin Hart’s Film Performances, Ranked [Complex]
14 Directors Who Did Complete 180s Between Movies [Complex]
‘Spy’ Is Surprisingly Progressive [The Week]
‘Dangerous Men’ and John S. Rad [Vanity Fair]
‘The Hunger Games’ by the Numbers [Vanity Fair]
2015 Movies: The Miscellaneous Data [Thrillist]

Celebrating anniversaries:
‘Stuart Saves His Family’ at 20 [Vanity Fair]
‘Lambada’ vs. ‘The Forbidden Dance’: The bizarre Hollywood rivalry that spawned two legendary flops [The Week]
40 Things That Wouldn’t Have Happened Without ‘Jaws’ [Vanity Fair]
You’re Old: ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ Came Out 30 Years Ago []
You’re Old: ‘The Usual Suspects’ Came Out 20 Years Ago []
You’re Old: ‘Bring It On’ Came Out 15 Years Ago []
Remember When ‘The Running Man’ Foreshadowed ‘The Hunger Games’? []
Remember When the Supergirl Movie Made Us Think We’d Never See a Supergirl TV Show? []
Remember When ‘The Crying Game’ Did the Impossible by Keeping Its Secret a Secret? []
Remember When ‘Edward Scissorhands’ Introduced Us to Johnny Depp’s Weirdness? []
Remember When ‘The Color Purple’ Gave Us Our First Glimpse of ‘Adult’ Spielberg? []

Mental Floss lists of facts:
12 Angry Men
All About Eve
Bicycle Thieves
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Con Air
Days of Thunder
Dog Day Afternoon
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Fifth Element
Good Will Hunting
The Graduate
High Noon
The Hunt for Red October
The Hustler
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Once Upon a Time in America
Raging Bull
Requiem for a Dream
Reservoir Dogs
Singin’ in the Rain
The Sting
Sunset Boulevard
Taxi Driver
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Usual Suspects
Weird Science

Subjects other than movies:
How Portland’s Neighborhoods Got Their Names [Mental Floss]
15 Ways ‘Parks and Recreation’ Is Just Like ‘The Simpsons’ [Complex]
‘Parks and Recreation’ by the Numbers [Vanity Fair]
15 Facts of Life About ‘The Facts of Life’ [Mental Floss]

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