Movie BS #371: ‘Logan Lucky,’ ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard,’ ‘Brigsby Bear’

The 2017 Summer Box Office Challenge officially concludes with this episode. I won, and now Jeff has to be punished. 0:00 - Hello, community service, an iTunes review 3:35 - "Logan Lucky" review ...

The Dark Tower

C | PG-13 |
"The Dark Tower" is a bland, benign mediocrity that's probably significantly worse if you've read the Stephen King novels it's based on. As a non-reader (of those; I've read other books), I don't know...

Detroit

C+ | R |
"Detroit" is about one of the more unpleasant things to have happened in a city where so many unpleasant things have happened that you can elicit a feeling of despair just by naming your movie after i...

Movie BS #368: ‘Atomic Blonde,’ ‘Girls Trip,’ ‘The Lost City of Z’

Besides the reviews, the Summer Box Office Challenge is heating up in the final innings... 0:00 - Hello, here's an iTunes review, the clown costume is discussed 3:25 - "Atomic Blonde" review 16:5...

The Emoji Movie

F | PG |
Hating "The Emoji Movie" is easy, not to mention fun, necessary, and appropriate. It's like Trump. Though it represents humanity's worst tendencies (laziness, vulgarity, cynicism) and we groan under t...

Atomic Blonde

B+ | R |
To the extent that there are James Bonds in the real world -- dashing, highly skilled secret agents who can kill enemies with a rolled-up newspaper -- surely by now there are also Jane Bonds. Yet Holl...

Girls Trip

B- | R |
The raunchy, heartfelt "Girls Trip" takes the "Hangover"/"Bridesmaids" formula -- four college friends, now in their early 40s, reunite in New Orleans to get their individual and collective grooves ba...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

B- | PG-13 |
It was while making "The Fifth Element" that vibrant French madman Luc Besson realized his real calling was to adapt the futuristic "Valerian and Laureline" comic book he'd read as a child, but it too...

Dunkirk

B+ | PG-13 |
With "Dunkirk," writer-director Christopher Nolan, most famous for his Batman trilogy but even better at mind-benders like "Memento" and "Inception," applies his cerebral skillset to another familiar ...

Wish Upon

C | PG-13 |
"Wish Upon" is a dumb, silly teen-horror flick about an entitled brat who enters into a monkey's paw situation with a wish-granting music box, leading to consequences that only a sensible person who g...

Movie BS #366: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Wish Upon,’ ‘Maudie’

We do this show every week, though I don't always post a link to it here. This week, we disagreed rather vociferously about a movie, which doesn't happen often. Enjoy! 0:00 - Hello, it's a nice sum...

War for the Planet of the Apes

B+ | PG-13 |
There isn't much battle action in "War for the Planet of the Apes," but it still feels like a war movie -- a World War II movie, specifically, set largely in a wintry prison camp, with some captives c...

Spider-Man: Homecoming

B+ | PG-13 |
Some superhero movies have subtitles referring to the dramatic events or villains featured therein: "Apocalypse," "The Age of Ultron," "Civil War," "The Last Stand." Then there's "Spider-Man: Homecomi...

The House

C+ | R |
When I tell you that a film with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler isn't very good, keep in mind that I find them both very, very funny and am predisposed to liking pretty much anything they do. So if I'm ...

Despicable Me 3

C | PG |
With "Despicable Me 3," I finally put my finger on what it is about these movies that keeps them from working. The premise, as you and your children know, is that a super-villain named Gru (voiced by ...

Baby Driver

B+ | R |
Admittedly, "Baby Driver" employs a gimmick. Written and directed by the impossibly clever Edgar Wright ("Hot Fuzz," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"), the film's main character is a getaway driver who t...

The Big Sick

B+ | R |
There's a lot happening in "The Big Sick," an autobiographical romantic comedy by Kumail Nanjiani ("Silicon Valley") and Emily V. Gordon about the early days of their relationship. It's a rom-com, com...

The Beguiled

B | R |
Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled" is a remake of one of the two films directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood that were released in 1971 -- the other was "Dirty Harry" -- but Coppola makes it ...

Transformers: The Last Knight

D | PG-13 |
Much of what you hear about "Transformers: The Last Knight" makes it sound more watchable than it is. Stanley Tucci hamming it up as Merlin the wizard? Marky Mark employing a small robot pterodactyl t...

Movie BS #362: ‘Cars 3,’ ‘Rough Night,’ ’47 Meters Down,’ ‘The Book of Henry’

Man, it was a bad week for new movies. Good week for the podcast, though! 0:00 - Hello, some teasers 2:00 - "Cars 3" review 14:35 - "Rough Night" review 27:10 - "47 Meters Down" review (Bayer on...

Maudie

B | PG-13 |
Folk-art buffs and extremely patriotic Canadians may already know the story of Maud Lewis, an arthritic Nova Scotian who sold her simple but charming paintings out of the tiny house she shared with he...

Rough Night

D | R |
"Rough Night" comes from two of the writers and directors of Comedy Central's very funny "Broad City," Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs, and features one of its stars, Ilana Glazer. The dark, zealously...

The Book of Henry

D | PG-13 |
"The Book of Henry" is such a mushy, misguided disaster that even its irrelevant subplots are inexplicable. The baffling wrong-headedness permeates every scene in such a way that you'd swear it was do...

Cars 3

C- | G |
Pixar's first bad movie, "Cars 2," erred in making Mater the tow truck the main character and in emphasizing a tired espionage caper over jokes. Pixar's second bad movie, "Cars 3," fixes those mistake...

Movie BS #361: ‘The Mummy,’ ‘It Comes at Night,’ ‘I, Daniel Blake,’ ‘My Cousin Rachel’

Please join me and my friend Jeff Bayer for 40 minutes of scintillating conversation about movies, interspersed with dumb conversation about movies. 0:00 - Hello, moms and technology, our T-shirts ...

The Mummy

C- | PG-13 |
The primary objective of "The Mummy," Universal's latest reboot of its 85-year-old horror property, is to establish an Avengers-style "shared universe" with the other monsters the studio owns. The sec...

It Comes at Night

B+ | R |
"It Comes at Night" opens on the lesioned face of a dying old man surrounded by tearful loved ones wearing gloves and gas masks. He has a fatal and highly contagious disease that has decimated the pop...

My Cousin Rachel

B | PG-13 |
"My Cousin Rachel" stars Rachel Weisz in the part she was born to play: a person named Rachel! Based on Daphne du Maurier's 1951 novel, it's a gothic romantic mystery set on an English estate around t...

Band Aid

B+ | Not-Rated |
"What if we turned all our fights into songs?" That's the idea hatched by a creatively and maritally frustrated L.A. couple in "Band Aid," a very funny -- and then deeply emotional -- comedy written a...

Wonder Woman

B+ | PG-13 |
You don't want to read too much into these things, but after DC Comics' bleak creative stumbles in establishing a shared movie world -- the so-so "Man of Steel," the bad "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Ju...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

C- | PG-13 |
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" is the fifth chapter in the apparently immortal franchise, and like most of us, it pretends part four ("On Stranger Tides") never happened. But that ...

Baywatch

D | R |
The movie version of "Baywatch" is similar to the ubiquitous '90s TV show it's based on, in that both are not very funny. The problem, of course, is that the TV show wasn't supposed to be. The movie, ...

Movie BS with Bayer & Snider: ‘Alien: Covenant,’ ‘Everything, Everything,’ ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Lon...

Kind of a dismal week for new movies. We have fun with 'em, though, and also time-travel back to this weekend in 1992. 0:00 - Hello, some remembrances of Cannes five years ago 4:20 - "Alien: Coven...

Alien: Covenant

C | R |
To watch the "Alien" prequels -- "Prometheus" (2012) and now "Alien: Covenant" -- is to marvel at the changes in astronaut-hiring practices that must have been implemented between the earlier chapters...

Everything, Everything

C+ | PG-13 |
If you don't know anything, anything about "Everything, Everything," it's based on a novel for young adults by Nicola Yoon. As a female-written YA novel, it must involve either a post-apocalyptic dyst...

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

D+ | PG |
Having seen two of the four "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movies and disliked them both to a great degree, I have diagnosed their problem: they are live-action movies about human beings in the real world whe...

Episode 357: ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,’ ‘Snatched,’ ‘The Lovers’

We're in the critical minority this week -- we both liked "King Arthur" and "Snatched." What's wrong with us? Listen and find out! 0:00 - Hello, here's an iTunes review 3:40 - "King Arthur: Legend...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

B | PG-13 |
English dude-bro Guy Ritchie, having made his mark on the Sherlock Holmes mythos, turns his attention now to a famous Brit who probably actually existed. "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," which Ritc...

Snatched

B | R |
Why aren't there more zany comedies about blond women being kidnapped by human traffickers while vacationing in South America? Seems like a goldmine. Anyway, "Snatched" is here to remedy that lack, to...

The Lovers

B+ | R |
Don't let the comparison oversell it, but "The Lovers" is like a Shakespearean comedy soaked in mid-career Woody Allen: urbane, well-acted, and slightly problematic. A sunny farce, albeit one with thr...

Episode 356: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,’ ‘Buster’s Mal Heart,’ Summer Box Office Challenge draft

Welcome to summer blockbuster season! We're back this week with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Buster's Mal Heart," and the always-popular Summer Box Office Challenge draft, plus a recap of The Ov...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

B- | PG-13 |
In this week's episode of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, entitled "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," the ragtag group of space-rogues led by self-described "Star-Lord" Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) meets a...

Slow movie week(s)

I'm writing this update from the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, about 60 miles from Portland. The exterior of the hotel was featured in Stanley Kubrick's movie version of "The Shining," making it a fin...

Unforgettable

C- | R |
Giving a formulaic thriller a title like "Unforgettable" is an act of wishful thinking, but as middlebrow trash goes, this latest entry in the "psycho ex from hell" sub-genre isn't bad. Or maybe it's ...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #355: ‘The Promise,’ ‘Free Fire,’ Pitch Me

It's a light week, or at least it is when the studios don't show critics the movies they're opening. But we reviewed two of them and brought out an old game, too! For fun! 0:00 - Hello, there are a...

The Promise

B- | PG-13 |
Stipulated: The Armenian genocide, in which some 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by the Ottoman government (we call it Turkey now) between 1915 and 1922, is underrepresented in history books and i...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #354: ‘The Fate of the Furious,’ ‘Gifted,’ ‘The Void’

0:00 - Hello; the ethics of laser pointers; the abandonment of Bayer 3:50 - "The Fate of the Furious" review 19:25 - "Gifted" review (Snider only) 25:10 - "The Void" review (Snider only) 27:20 - M...

The Fate of the Furious

C | PG-13 |
The most prominent theme in the "Fast and the Furious" movies isn't family (they didn't come up with that until a few sequels in) but conciliation. Enemies who aren't killed often become friends in th...

Going in Style

D+ | PG-13 |
What kind of lazy, lowest-common-denominator movie is "Going in Style"? The kind where the one F-word in the script is delivered gratuitously by an old lady who has no other lines, and it's supposed t...

Smurfs: The Lost Village

C- | PG |
The lesson learned at the end of "Smurfs: The Lost Village" is that Smurfette can be anything she wants to be -- a great message for girls! -- while the boy Smurfs will continue to be defined strictly...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #353: ‘Going in Style,’ ‘Colossal,’ ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’

Rarely does one have the opportunity to hear men in their early 40s discuss the Smurfs. 0:00 – Hello, an iTunes review, discussion of beer ingredients, it’s a bad week for movies 5:20 – “Going in ...

Gifted

B- | PG-13 |
"Gifted" is a simple, pleasant drama that engages the emotions without manhandling them. It depicts a child-custody battle yet avoids cheap melodrama and doesn't paint anyone as a villain. It has the ...

The Boss Baby

B | PG |
"The Boss Baby," starring Alec Baldwin as the voice of a suit-wearing infant sent to an unsuspecting family to fulfill a secret mission on behalf of BabyCorp -- that's the heaven-based company in char...

Friday movie roundup – March 31

Happy spring! Here are the reviews I've posted in the last few weeks, in case you missed any precious drops of wisdom. "Beauty and the Beast" (PG) C "The Belko Experiment" (R) D "The Boss Baby" ...

The Zookeeper’s Wife

C | PG-13 |
One silver lining to the current political situation is that at least in a few years we'll have some new stories to tell about fighting Nazis. Without diminishing the importance of remembering the Hol...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #352: ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ ‘The Boss Baby,’ ‘Raw,’ ‘The Zookeeper&...

We have this week's movies, plus a little catch-up on last week's. And don't miss "Raw," which is great and has been bothering us for several months. 0:00 - Hello, Jeff has a new beverage, an iTune...

Ghost in the Shell

C+ | PG-13 |
Futuristic cyber-thriller "Ghost in the Shell" is loaded with advanced technology, but it's in the service of a disappointingly basic plot with few surprises. Add to that the bafflingly tone-deaf trea...

Life

B | R |
Scientists talk of distant planets that could almost, but not quite, sustain life, lacking some small but essential condition. "Life" (the movie, not the cereal) is a bit like that, an effective sci-f...

Power Rangers

C | PG-13 |
"Power Rangers" is the "Batman Begins" of its franchise, the gritty reboot that tells our heroes' improbably lengthy and self-serious origin story and introduces them to a whole new generation (by whi...

CHIPS

B- | R |
There's a really funny R-rated buddy-cop movie starring Michael Peña as a reckless law-enforcement officer. It's called "War on Everyone," and it co-stars Alexander Skarsgard. You should see it! Th...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #351: ‘T2 Trainspotting,’ ‘Life,’ ‘The Last Word’

"Life" (which is a pretty solid alien thriller) screened at the last minute and I haven't written my review yet, so the podcast is your only option for the time being. The rest of the show is also val...

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

C | PG |
The only way Disney's live-action remake of its own "Beauty and the Beast" works is if you don't compare it to the 1991 animated masterpiece. This is hard to do, though, because 1) you have seen the 1...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #350: ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘The Sense of an Ending,’ ‘Personal Shopper’...

We disagree on "Beauty and the Beast," which is always good for a laugh. We also talk about new goals and rewards for our Agents (formerly known as patrons) and give away a Blu-ray of "Fences." 0:0...

The Belko Experiment

D | R |
As a movie, "The Belko Experiment" prompts the same questions that the experiment it depicts would. What was the purpose here? What were you trying to prove? Do you maybe just enjoy torturing and kill...

T2 Trainspotting

B | R |
"Trainspotting," a cult favorite since the moment it arrived 21 years ago, was Danny Boyle's second movie and most of the world's first exposure to Ewan McGregor. Boyle has directed nine more films si...

Movie BS with Bayer and Snider #349: ‘Kong: Skull Island’

"Kong: Skull Island" is our only new film this week, so the show's shorter than usual. It's the normal width, though.  0:00 - Hello; Jeff keeps showing movies to his kid; Eric had to steer a 10-yea...

The Sense of an Ending

C+ | PG-13 |
It's nice to see Jim Broadbent in a starring role -- he's been a supporting actor in all but a few of the 90 films he's made -- and his warm presence is a boon to the wispy, high-minded "The Sense of ...

Raw (French)

B+ | R |
It’s fitting that “Raw” begins with a car crash since it, too, is sometimes sickening to watch but impossible to look away from, and you'll be telling people about it long after you saw it. The fea...

Kong: Skull Island

B | PG-13 |
"Kong: Skull Island" is about people barging into a place they've never been before, dropping bombs to see how solid the land is, then acting indignant when the local wildlife responds defensively. It...

Friday movie roundup – March 3

Greetings, friends (and others). Here are the reviews that I've secreted from my review orifice over the last few weeks, in descending order of quality: "Get Out" (R) B+ "The Girl with All the Gif...

Table 19

B | PG-13 |
In "Table 19," the title piece of furniture is at the back of a wedding reception, past the tables reserved for guests who matter. The outcasts back here are the people who were invited out of obligat...

The Last Word

D+ | R |
Newspapers, radio stations, relationships -- these are just a few of the things that "The Last Word" focuses on despite not understanding how they work. It's bold to write about things you're unfamili...

Before I Fall

C+ | PG-13 |
"Before I Fall" is what would happen if Nicholas Sparks rewrote "Groundhog Day" as a teen-angst melodrama. The same lessons are to be learned, in the same order, only instead of a funny Bill Murray le...

Logan

B | R |
"Logan" is the third standalone film for Hugh Jackman's knife-fisted X-Men maverick Wolverine, completing the weary trilogy with something fans have long waited to see: Wolverine's adamantium claws sl...

Crooked Scoreboard: Everything from January and February

Crooked Scoreboard is a sports-and-culture website that is transitioning to an everything-and-culture website, with yours truly in charge of the movie section (mostly just editing for now; I plan to s...

Get Out

B+ | R |
"Get Out" is a feature-length version of the not-quite-joking sentiment among African Americans that the suburbs, with their overwhelming whiteness and cultural homogeneity, are eerie twilight zones f...

The Girl with All the Gifts

B+ | R |
With the post-apocalyptic setting of a young-adult novel and the slavering flesh-eaters of a zombie movie, “The Girl with All the Gifts” is a clever improvement on both genres, offering a rare look at...

Collide

B- | PG-13 |
There is a certain movie formula where an ordinary man must do something illegal and dangerous (usually to save a loved one), but the task goes awry and he spends the next 24 hours running from bad gu...

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

B | Not-Rated |
••• A disaffected title like "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore" could fit about 75% of Sundance films, but it's particularly apt for the one that uses it, an off-kilter, low-key comedy with...

The Great Wall

B | PG-13 |
That long wall they've got over there in China has inspired many stories, some true and some fictional. "This," says the title card at the beginning of "The Great Wall," "is one of the legends." The f...

Fist Fight

B- | R |
Charlie Day has made a name for himself playing frenetic, high-pitched idiots in the "Horrible Bosses" movies and TV's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," so his performance in "Fist Fight" -- as a m...

XX

B- | Not-Rated |
"XX," named after the chromosomes, is the first horror anthology written and directed entirely by women (not counting that one of the shorts is based on a Jack Ketchum story). That's a worthy achievem...

A Cure for Wellness

B | R |
Gore Verbinski has directed three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies and "The Lone Ranger," plus "The Ring," "Rango," and "Mousehunt," as well as under-seen gems "The Mexican" and "The Weather Man." Wi...

Friday movie roundup – Feb. 10

It's a week of Number 2's -- sequels, not poop. (OK, some poop.) Actually, the only one of the three that's better than its predecessor is "Fifty Shades Darker," which gets a D instead of a D-. "The L...

The LEGO Batman Movie

B | PG |
Three years ago, "The LEGO Movie" surprised everyone by being very good despite having the flimsy premise of "What if we made a movie based on a toy?" What we feared would be a cynical feature-length ...

John Wick: Chapter 2

B- | R |
When last we saw John Wick, at the end of his out-of-nowhere 2014 cult hit, the grudgingly reactivated assassin had avenged, with extreme prejudice, the murder of his dog and the theft of his car and ...

Fifty Shades Darker

D | R |
Fans of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie may have been nervous when they heard the sequel, nonsensically titled "Fifty Shades Darker," would have a different director. I'm kidding, of course; people w...

My 2017 Sundance Film Festival Diary

Listen! Do you smell that? It's the Sundance Film Festival, back for another year of showcasing new independent films and terrorizing the helpless town of Park City, Utah. The mood is slightly mute...

The Space Between Us

B- | PG-13 |
As wholesome and sappy as a maple tree, "The Space Between Us" is an inoffensive teenage romantic drama, set in the near future, about a boy named Gardner (Asa Butterfield) who is the first person bor...

Rings

C | PG-13 |
"The Ring" was my favorite of the remakes of Asian horror films in the early aughts. I'm on the record; I'm a Ring-leader. When Samara the stringy-haired wraith comes out of the TV at the end, there's...

War on Everyone

B | R |
John Michael McDonagh's first film, "The Guard," had Brendan Gleeson as a racist, drug-using, rule-ignoring Irish police officer who didn't care about smaller crimes but would put forth some effort wh...

January: An Exhaustive Report

Hello there! Quite a month it's been, no? January was a little light on movie reviews due to a perfect storm of factors: - More movies than usual opened without being screened for critics. - More ...

I Am Michael

B- | Not-Rated |
In 2007, a prominent gay activist named Michael Glatze produced shocked gasps and not a few eye-rolls by renouncing his homosexuality, declaring himself straight, and becoming a Christian minister. "I...

Call Me by Your Name

A- | Not-Rated |
"Call Me by Your Name," a gay coming-of-age romance set at an Italian villa in the summertime (the best possible location for such a story), isn't sexual so much as hormonal. It's not about doin' it; ...

Split

B+ | PG-13 |
"Split," a return to form for once-beloved writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, is a psychological thriller disguised as a kidnapped-girls horror movie. After stifling himself to make the found-footage...

The Bye Bye Man

D+ | PG-13 |
If "The Bye Bye Man" feels familiar, it's because you have seen movies before and your brain is capable of forming memories. Congratulations on that! You're more advanced than the people who made "The...

Underworld: Blood Wars

C | R |
"Underworld: Blood Wars" is the fifth entry in the dimly lit, surprisingly resilient vampires-vs-werewolves franchise, but it's the first one where I generally understood what was happening and why. (...

Mormons of Portland! Come watch me talk to the gays!

Portland-area Mormons! Do you want to hear me speak in public about being gay and Mormon, and tell stories on that subject from my BYU and "Snide Remarks" days, and perform some of my fun-time songs o...

Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2016

This will not be on the midterm. This is not valuable information to anyone but me and those who stalk me (hi, Tim!). It's just a list of what I watched and read this year. MOVIES As it happens, I w...

Patreon 2016: The Reckoning

Last November, I launched a Patreon campaign, wherein patrons contribute $1 (or more) per month and I review as many new films as I reasonably can. As we conclude the first full year of this new syste...