and Cinematical: 2010 in review

The organizations that keep me most gainfully employed are and Cinematical. The editors I work with — Laremy Legel at the former, Erik Davis and Scott Weinberg at the latter — are a writer’s dream: supportive, professional, laid-back, and easily amused. I consider them friends in real life, too, and I always enjoy hanging out with them in person at film festivals. Sometimes they pretend to fight over me, which is nice.

My arrangement at has me writing four articles a week: “Eric’s Bad Movies,” “What’s the Big Deal?,” a review, and a miscellaneous other movie-related feature. We usually try to make those “other” pieces funny. Below is a list of the ones from 2010 that I like. In every instance, the idea for the column was Laremy’s. This is great, because I’m terrible at coming up with premises, and once someone tells you, “Explaining ‘Machete’ to Aliens Who Have Just Arrived from Outer Space,” half the work is done for you.

My highlights from 2010
(My author page at

2/9: What to Expect from a George Lucas Musical
3/3: Circumstances Under Which I Would Willingly Watch ‘Little Fockers’
3/17: Pitch Meeting: ‘The Bounty Hunter’
4/19: ‘Furry Vengeance’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: How to Tell the Difference
6/1: Pitch Meeting: ‘Killers’
6/2: Imagining ‘Marmaduke’ As an R-Rated Horror Film
6/21: Pitch Meeting: ‘Grown-Ups’
6/28: Our Idea for a Smurfs vs. Garfield vs. Marmaduke Film
8/4: And Now We Imagine a Meeting Between Nicolas Cage and His Agent
8/30: Pitch Meeting: ‘Devil’
9/1: Explaining ‘Machete’ to Aliens Who Have Just Arrived from Outer Space
10/24: Things Which Could Theoretically Stop the Train from ‘Unstoppable’
11/1: Messages Left on Bill Murray’s Voice Mail
11/8: Pitch Meeting: ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’
11/15: A Dispatch from the Year 2020 on the State of Film
11/17: Relationship Advice from Severus Snape
12/15: A Scientific Breakdown of the Physical Comedy Presented in the ‘Yogi Bear’ Trailer

* * * * * * * * * * * *
My gig at Cinematical is much different. There isn’t a set number of items per week that I’m supposed to write, and no regular columns. (We’ve tried several times to establish a weekly or biweekly column for me there, and nothing has really taken hold.) I’m on the site’s team of critics, in addition to writing bloggy pieces about movie news and stuff. Occasionally I get an idea for something more feature-y, or now and then Erik or Scott will suggest something specific. Here are the pieces from this year that you might find amusing.

My Cinematical highlights from 2010
(My author page at Cinematical)

3/16: The Kind of Movie That Neil Marshall’s ‘Centurion’ Is
4/15: Cranky Chicagoan: ‘The Internet Is Ruining Film Criticism!’
5/12: Dan Aykroyd Thinks Space Aliens Might Be Angry Because of 9/11
5/20: Why Cutting Megan Fox from ‘Transformers 3’ Is a Mistake
7/14: The Time I Got Obsessed with a ‘Raging Bull’ Inaccuracy
7/27: Some Thoughts on the Trailer for ‘The Town’
8/12: Stallone-a-Thon: ‘Daylight’
8/13: The (Updated!) Obsessive-Compulsive’s Guide to ‘Friday the 13th’
8/26: Some Thoughts on the Trailer for ‘Life As We Know It’
9/5: A First-Timer’s First Impressions of the Telluride Film Festival
10/6: Zack Snyder or Darren Aronofsky: Who Would Be a Better ‘Superman’ Director?
10/20: ‘Red,’ As Written by David Mamet
10/27: EXCLUSIVE! Script Pages from the ‘Alien’ Prequel Gay Sex Scene!