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...

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 ...

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...

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...

2016 films: miscellaneous data

Based on my own research. Additions welcome (@ me), will update accordingly.   Total wide releases: 160 Remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, and franchises: 45 Based on novels: 19 B...

The Best and Worst Movies of 2016

It has not been a very good year, except for movies. And really, what else matters? THE BEST MOVIES OF 2016 1. "Arrival" I'm not particularly a science-fiction guy, but I know what I love, ...

Everything I wrote in 2016

As a writer, I often write things. I may write many things over the course of a year. For example, in 2016, I wrote these things. Thank you. Movie reviews: HERE. (Sorry they're not sortable. We ne...

Wide releases of 2016: a handy list

The end of the year is a great time for people like me who love lists of things. Here's a list of every wide-release film (600+ screens) that opened in the U.S. in 2016. Movies that opened small in 20...

Moonlight (2016)

A | R |
"Who is you?" That question, phrased in the vernacular of a demographic that is often scorned, ignored, or pitied, is asked more than once in "Moonlight," a quiet, poignant movie about many things, in...

Passengers

C- | PG-13 |
"Passengers" sets out on a course for being good, then detours and misses good's orbit before landing clumsily on bad. It's a waste of a rich premise, excellent special effects, and a charismatic cast...

Hidden Figures

B+ | PG |
"Hidden Figures" belongs to the feel-good section of Films About Racism, the kind where racism is a problem that can be handled incrementally, with many small victories and bursts of happiness along t...

Toni Erdmann (German)

B | R |
The title character in "Toni Erdmann" doesn't exist but is the alter ego of Winfried Conradi (played by Peter Simonischek), a mischievous old jokester who carries a wig and false comedy teeth with him...

Friday movie roundup – Dec. 23

Merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah, as applicable! I hope you're spending it with loved ones, or with whomever you prefer to spend holidays with. Here are this week's reviews: "Assassin's Creed" (PG...

Silence

B | R |
Martin Scorsese works with two of his favorite themes in "Silence" -- Catholicism and violence -- but not in the way he's done in the past. Slowly paced and, yes, often quiet, Scorsese's adaptation of...

Why Him?

B- | R |
It's not often that Bryan Cranston and Megan Mullally are the comedic saviors of a movie, but that's 2016 for you. Their years of practice improving sitcoms ("Malcolm in the Middle" and "Will & Gr...

Assassin’s Creed

D | PG-13 |
In a just world, the late-December movie starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, and Brendan Gleeson would be a lush historical epic or period drama. But since...

La La Land

A- | PG-13 |
"La La Land" is a musical from the writer-director of "Whiplash" (my favorite film of 2014), starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, set in Tinseltown, heavily influenced by "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"...

Patriots Day

C- | R |
It's hard to narrow it down, but the most damaging mistake in "Patriots Day" might be the choice to focus on a single fictional character but surrounding him with real people. Peter Berg's nakedly ...

Manchester by the Sea

B+ | R |
Some movies are about people being broken by tragedy and finding a way to carry on. "Manchester by the Sea" is about someone who was broken several years ago, who is now prompted by new circumstances ...

Lion

B+ | PG-13 |
"Lion" is the incredible true story of why you should never have children in India. Based on Saroo Brierley's memoir "A Long Way Home," the film, an inspiring drama that earns tears without jerking th...

Friday movie roundup – Dec. 16

Happy holidays, friends! There's been a lot going on here at EDS.com lately, which we'll get to in a minute. But first, here are all the reviews I've posted since the last update. "Arrival" (PG-13)...

Fences

B+ | PG-13 |
As any seasoned pro will tell you, there's a difference between stage acting and movie acting. In the theater, your performance must reach every seat in the house, your physical gestures big enough to...

Collateral Beauty

D | PG-13 |
"Collateral Beauty" is soggy garbage intended to make you cry, but it's so clumsy in its manipulations that you almost feel sorry for it, the way you would if you realized the mugger trying to take yo...

Rogue One

B- | PG-13 |
Since the "Star Wars" prequels were successful, beloved by all, and in no way a blemish to the franchise's reputation, the new owners of George Lucas' toybox figured they should make another one. "Rog...

Miss Sloane

B+ | R |
The title character in "Miss Sloane," played by Jessica Chastain, is a Washington D.C. lobbyist known for her tactical brilliance -- "the smartest operative on the Hill," someone calls her. That's all...

Office Christmas Party

C+ | R |
"Office Christmas Party," like many actual office Christmas parties, is poorly organized, runs too long, and isn't as entertaining as it thinks it is. You can't say there weren't red flags, though. Th...

Jackie

A- | R |
The first thing we hear in "Jackie" is Mica Levi's groaning, indispensable musical score, which conveys sonically the sensation of having the ground fall out from under you. It accompanies our first s...

Yes, EricDSnider.com has had some work done

EricDSnider.com turned 18 this past July, which is fairly old for a website. No surprise it needed a facelift. And now, finally -- only several years after realizing the need for it -- we've delivered...

Rules Don’t Apply

C | PG-13 |
Warren Beatty has been thinking about making a Howard Hughes biopic for 40 years, yet somehow the creaky, lurching “Rules Don’t Apply” is what he came up with. Though rife with glossy Hollywood charm,...