Cutting Room for December 12

I’m growing increasingly okay with this whole Ghostbusters 3 thing. The decision to hire director Paul Feig and cast the team as all women feels inspired, as the current number of movies anchored by a team of women this year stands at…hold on a tic, lemme check…zero. It stands at zero. News broke this week that Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Lawrence have both spoken to Feig about the film. The former is expected, but the latter is super promising. Lawrence is flat-out hilarious yet continues to choose roles where humor isn’t permitted. Seriously, has anyone even smiled in The Hunger Games? I can’t say I’m fully excited yet, but I have moved from “meh” to “maybe.”

If you haven’t heard, there’s a significant chance that North Korea hacked the Sony Pictures website in retaliation for the upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy The Interview. That’s a real thing; a movie by guys who make fart jokes may have prompted cyber terrorism from a corrupt regime. Less  awesome than that is the fallout for Sony, who has had to endure private and insensitive emails becoming very, very public. From execs calling Angelina Jolie a spoiled brat to others suggesting Kevin Hart is a whore, it’s basically like the Internet got their hands on Sony’s “Burn Book.” As intrusive and bad as that all is, let’s take just a second to put mansplainer Judd Apatow on blast. He took to twitter to state this: “Releasing private Sony e mails to hurt people is the same as releasing nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence.” No, Judd, having private correspondence leak is not the same as having your body violated by the eyes of every horny wanker with an internet connection. I look forward to Apatow’s next movie You’re Worse Than Hitler.

One bit of actual interesting movie news that came from the Sony leak has gotten a lot of deserving press. There’s a chance that the next Jump Street movie will also be a reboot of Men in Black. Yes, for real. Basically, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) would join the secret government agency that handles aliens in the next sequel. Considering how colossally bland and inert the Men in Black series has gotten and how inspired and fun the Jump Street series is, color me gleeful about this bizarre approach. Hell, let’s do this with more stuff! Like, they can reboot the valuable Driving Miss Daisy franchise with the 50 Shades of Grey sequel! 

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, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 12/12/14 at 10:23 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for December 5

Chris Pratt has become whatever culturally gendered, cloying term you’d like to use in place of “America’s sweetheart.” He’s beloved for his work on “Parks and Rec” and flipped millions an adorable middle finger in Guardians of the Galaxy. So, obviously, his next movie is likely a remake of a remake of a bloody film full of brutal killers. Antoine Fuqua is directing a remake of The Magnificent Seven, which is itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 7 Samurai, which is awesome. Pratt would join Denzel Washington in the remake remake. I’m just guessing here, but when told about Pratt joining, Washington probably said, “Alright. Okay. Okay.”

I don’t wish the documentary Dear Zachary on people lightly. Perhaps one of the most singular upsetting and deeply affective movies out there, I can literally say that the last thing I ever expected was to type the following sentence. They are making a Dear Zachary TV show. I don’t want to spoil the movie for any emotionally masochists out there who haven’t found their holy grail with this film, but let’s just say this adaptation is bananapants crazy.

Because comic books love to do team ups, here’s a dual dose of superhero news: Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up to play the lead in Doctor Strange while Ryan Reynolds has returned to the title role in Deadpool. As a grown man who recently dressed as Doctor Strange, I’m excited for one of my favorite actors to nail this role. As a grown man who watched RIPD, I’m excited to not watch Deadpool.

They held a big event broadcast worldwide to reveal the title of the new James Bond movie. That’s what we have become as a people: revealing the name of a movie is a watershed moment so anticipated several people I know got up at 3 am to hear the announcement from England. I don’t get out of bed for 3 am because of anything other than burning houses or bladder capacity. At any rate, the new movie is called Spectre and will feature Christoph Waltz as Blofeld. Sorry, as “Oberhauser,” which is totally not Blofeld in disguise but is so totally Blofeld in disguise. Let’s hope that character’s titular reveal doesn’t also come at 3 am.

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, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 12/05/14 at 11:33 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for November 28

Not that I’ve watched the teaser for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens a lot, but this may be the longest that I’ve gone without replaying it. Actually, hold on a second, I have to do…something… Okay, I’m back. One of the only controversies about the gobstopping wonderment-inducing footage is whose voice that is dripping with Britishness and menace in the voiceover. Many thought it was Benedict Cumberbatch, which is what I thought too, but it turns out it’s Gollum. Seriously, Andy Serkis, best known for playing the “precious”-loving baldie is the teaser’s narrator, doing what can only be described as a “Cumber-pression.” It has been confirmed as Serkis, so now you can tell your friends. What? Your friends aren’t doing nothing but talking about this trailer? Get some new friends.

Talk about a movie going from off my radar to the top of my “gimme now” list: Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming Steve Jobs movie went from having Christian Bale as the turtlenecked guru to having Michael Fassbender turtling his neck. With Danny Boyle directing, that already sounds bad-ass before you tell me Natalie Portman is in talks to play Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, who Sorkin calls “the heroine of the movie.” How do you like them Apple?

“We finally really did it. You maniacs! Damn you. God damn you all to hell!” What? Is there another way to tell you they officially greenlit an Independence Day sequel without Will Smith?

Ridley Scott, who has done many things I admire and a few big things I don’t, added to the latter this week by responding to the “whitewashing” controversy surrounding Exodus: Gods and Kings. In a flippant response, Scott addressed his decision to have historic Middle East figures played by the whitest humans imaginable by saying he couldn’t have gotten the movie funded using racially accurate actors. Racism: It’s good for business!  

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, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 11/30/14 at 01:09 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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