Cutting Room for September 21

  • Despite earlier reports, Kevin Costner has passed on a role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. In related news, I am now really looking forward to seeing Django Unchained.
  • Although a whole generation may have grown up knowing Spike Lee only as an annoying sports fan, those who remember his early films know the power hiding in that man’s directorial toolbox. So break out the bubbly, because in 2012, Mookie’s back, baby. That’s right, Lee’s new film, Red Hook Summer, has some measure of relationship to Do the Right Thing, one of the most important American movies ever made. Although it definitely features the return of Mookie, the pizza delivery man played by Lee, it is unclear whether this is a straight-up sequel or more likely simply related to the classic film. Either way, it’s refreshing to see an artist returning to the canvas he once mastered. I got me the goosebumps, I do!
  •  One million people are officially pissed at Netflix. Everyone was wondering what kind of bite the new price hikes would take out of membership to the popular video service, and the answer is about a million frustrated folks. As many as 80% of those quitters were only using the DVD aspect of the service, not the streaming option. That’s funny, because the price increase was actually only for people who wanted to do both. Either way, someone at Red Box is smiling.
  • My favorite writer, Harlan Ellison, is suing folks again. This time, he’s accusing the makers of the new sci-fi movie In Time, claiming they ripped off my favorite short story ever, “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman.” Given that this is a Justin Timberlake movie, Ellison stands to gain literally dozens of dollars.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast (movieha.libsyn.com/rss), catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 (cd1059.com) on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 (KVNO.org) at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).


entered on 09/21/11 at 04:14 PM | read comments »


Movieha - Omaha’s Movie Podcast!

Here we go again! Sorry for the delay in getting this here. I'm going to blame my Contagion-induced phobia of touching anything. Keyboards looked like petri dishes for like a full week. But better late than never, right? In this installment, Matt and I dish about Mel Gibson's hilarious career choice, contemplate things On Your Radar and in our Netflix Roulette wheel, and still have time to drop some hot haikus. Give us a listen and meet me on the other side for trailers and whatnot.

On Your Radar: The Raid

Sometimes you want detailed plots and intense storylines and characters. Sometimes, you want action that, as Matt puts it, threatens to "kick your kidney out through your butt." And doesn't that sound like a treat?! Check out the kidney punching glory below.

Netflix Roulette: Intacto

The trailer describes this movie as involving a game where "Winning is surviving." That sounds kind of like how we feel about Netflix Roulette itself. Often, we aren't looking for full-on enjoyment, we're looking just to make it through to the other side. This one looks like a potential treat, though. I heard buzz about it ages ago and never had a chance to check it out. We'll be remedying that this week. Join us, won't you?

That's it for this week. Thanks again for all your support! Please sign up for our RSS feed HERE, download our podcasts and rave about us in the comments section of iTunes HERE, follow us on Twitter HERE, and become a fan of us on Facebook HERE! You can also listen to our bit we do for KVNO radio HERE.

And as always, email any comments and concerns to movieha@gmail.com And remember, when you comment about us in any of these formats, you are INSTANTLY awarded 10 cool points on your permanent record.


entered on 09/17/11 at 11:17 PM | read comments »


Cutting Room for September 14

  • For years, the only thing that stood between me and the Nike Air Mag, the auto-lace-up, glowing shoes Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future Part II, was the tiny fact that they didn’t exist. Now the only thing that stands between me and these monuments to capitalist excess is thousands of dollars. You see, Nike is auctioning off the only 1,500 pairs of these shoes that will ever be made, with proceeds going to Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson research organization. So not only do I get to be mad that I don’t make phat rapper money and can’t afford to plop down the $10,000 that this footwear has demanded, but I get to feel bad about feeling mad because it’s going to such a good cause. The future is such a tease.
  • Please know, this is the sort of story you can’t make up. Mel Gibson is lining up to direct a movie based on a script from Joe Ezterhas, the writer of Showgirls, about Judah Maccabee, who as a legendary Jewish leader led a revolt around 160 BCE. Again, that’s the guy who told a cop “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” buddying up with the Showgirls author to direct a movie about a revered Jewish hero. This is a real thing. Sometimes, the set-up is so funny, I don’t even need to write a clever take on it.
  •  While Hollywood may be celebrating a summer box office that exceeded last year, there’s a catch: attendance was the lowest in almost 15 years. Inflated 3D ticket prices masked the fact that only 543 million tickets were sold, the lowest total since 1997, when 540 million were sold. Clearly, Hollywood needs a congressional bailout. I mean, it’s that or make better movies, and we know that’s not likely.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast (movieha.libsyn.com/rss), catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 (cd1059.com) on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 (KVNO.org) at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).


entered on 09/14/11 at 04:50 PM | read comments »


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The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

more »


Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

more »


Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

more »


The Burden of Actual Christianity

Most praise for writer/director Jesse Moss’s documentary, The Overnighters, has rightly been focused on its Steinbeckian...

more »


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