So I’m doing something new that may go somewhere and may go nowhere, but it’s an idea I’ve been thinking about for a while and finally got a chance to try. I’ve wanted to do a series of reviews in which I sit down with a friend over a glass of wine, talk about a movie and shoot video of our conversation. It’s sort of a spin-off of What the Flick?! that I’m calling Wine the Flick?!
For my inaugural edition, I brought along the brilliant and beautiful Lauren Sivan, a longtime TV and radio personality, to see “American Made.” The latest Tom Cruise extravaganza — based on the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot who got insanely wealthy smuggling weapons and drugs into the United States during the ’80s — is as Tom Cruisey as we’d hoped. Please enjoy this (extremely rough) first effort, shot at the ArcLight Hollywood over a couple glasses of cabernet. More to come.
We are all fans of Paul Thomas Anderson around here, but none of us really dug his hazy, druggy, comic noir. Maybe it requires another viewing to appreciate it fully, but I just can’t bring myself to endure this slog once more.
Yet another opportunity to discuss how terrible Ridley Scott’s biblical epic is.
We all really enjoyed the shockingly great “Top Five,” the best film Chris Rock has made yet. The spirit, wit and bite of Rock’s standup work really shines through here.
The boys and I have some thoughts on Thursday morning’s Golden Globe nominations. It’s a lot of the usual suspects, but there also were some snubs and surprises.
The first half of the film adaptation of the third book in “The Hunger Games” trilogy feels like a stretched-out placeholder for the real finale. Jennifer Lawrence is strong as always, though, as Katniss, who’s now the reluctant symbol of hope for the revolution.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a powerhouse performance as a Rihanna-esque R&B singer on the brink of superstardom, and she has insane chemistry with Nate Parker as the member of her security detail with whom she falls in love. Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s film has its melodramatic moments, but Parker and Mbatha-Raw bring such honesty to their interactions that they keep everything grounded in an emotional purity. Go check it out.
“Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas” — or as I like to think of it, “Tyler Perry’s Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas” — is a holiday comedy for Christian audiences that’s hilarious in its ineptitude. Seriously, how did this get released? It’s “The Room” of Christmas movies. Alonso and I had a good time discussing it.
Matt, Alonso and I look back at the staggeringly diverse and consistently sharp career of Mike Nichols, who died this week at age 83. It’s hard to think of another director working today who matches his depth and range, and who draws such inspired work from established actors.