Planet Dearth

Here’s a hot take that’s been baking in my brain oven for 25 years: Simba sucks. Hard. For the first hour of both Lion Kings, he acts like the savannah wildlife equivalent of a rich kid who can cut in front of you in line because “you know who his daddy is.” He then Houdinis […]

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Glasgowdy, Partners!

If Lady Gaga got an Oscar nomination for A Star Is Born, Jessie Buckley gets two for Wild Rose. That’s just fair market value, folks. Audaciously unoriginal, the film is a breezy excuse to let Buckley do her stunning thing, a rousing celebration of a flawed ma, and a petty “woe is me” ballad with […]

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Will You Unbury Me?

Some art is a scream, whereas other art is but a whisper. The Proposal is a scream buried inside a whisper, basically the kinkiest of all ASMR. Jill Magid’s documentary identifies huge questions inherent to artistic ownership and then just kinda points at them. She doesn’t try to actually answer those complex queries as much […]

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In Service of Streaming

“What are you binging?” is the new “How’s it going?” Except people actually want to hear your answer, if only so they can tell you what they’re watching. I used to get asked “Seen any good movies lately?” all the time. Now it’s pretty much “What should I stream next?” and “Can you stop with […]

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Cutting Room for July 2019

Paul Giamatti, who is remembered best (by me) as the bad guy from Shoot ‘Em Up, is reteaming with Alexander Payne. Oh, not for something as pedestrian as Sideways 2: The Ways of the Side. The duo will be reunited for Feature VIII, the annual fundraising event for Film Streams. Tickets are on sale for […]

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Paganorrhea

Things that made me tense during Midsommar: People sitting at a table waiting to eat A single pubic hair Public urination Sex cheerleaders Competing thesis projects Of all the pagan nonsense involved here, writer/director Ari Aster’s ability to summon intense emotion during mundane, well-lit, ostensibly boring sequences has to be the clearest display of old-timey […]

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Peter Parker Picks a Peck of Papa Problems

Long, long ago (like 2004) in a galaxy (Hollywood) far, far away (in terms of diversity), studio suits feared the odder, cornball elements of superhero schtick. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) looks like his costume was assembled by Steve Martin in The Jerk. “I don’t need you! All I need is this […]

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Okay Okay

Filled with silly, sprawling anecdotes about beloved bands, viewers who grew up beneath the sunshade of The Beach Boys, in the care of their Mamas and Papas, are going to love every reverberation of Echo in the Canyon. As music docs go, it sounds and looks just totally aces, and at less than 90 minutes, […]

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The Woman Who Invented Movies

I took two film history courses in college that never once mentioned Alice Guy-Blache. It’s not a huge deal, I guess. Unless Guy-Blache just happens to be—oh, you know—the French filmmaker who invented narrative film, close-ups, and the very concept of film editing at the turn of the 20th century. No big deal, right?! It’s […]

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