This Blog’s New Address

Thousands of dollars, countless hours in committee meetings, and all kinds of consumer testing later... we have a decision. This blog now has a convenient new address. Pay attention. You ready? … [Read more...]

“The Master”: So Many Thoughtful Examinations and Interpretations, So Little Time!

The Master poster

Do you feel the tremors? Yeah, that's the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie in theaters. In-depth reviews are popping up everywhere. Craig Detweiler at Doc Hollywood has begun a three-part series called "The Master in Context." It's well worth your attention: Part One, Part Two, Part Three (coming soon). I'll offer several more thought-provoking links, but first, here's what I wrote in response to Detweiler's piece... … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Jim Henson!

the Jim Henson office

"Dear Jim, this is awkward — I doubt that you can hear me. But I'm willing to risk embarrassment, and that's partly your fault." … [Read more...]

Can’t Stop the Signal: Flashback to a Meeting with Joss Whedon and the Firefly Cast

Serenity05

Seven years ago this week, I stepped into a room in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for what would become one of the most memorable experiences of my film-reviewing career. I'd been invited to a press event for the release of Serenity, the long-awaited feature film written and directed by Joss Whedon that would give fans of the prematurely canceled television series Firefly a last, bittersweet visit to that fantastic galaxy far, far away. I joined a small group of journalists for … [Read more...]

The Master (2012) – A Long Post-Viewing Conversation

JOAQUIN PHOENIX and PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN star in THE MASTER

October 2012 Update: I have written two commentaries about The Master. The first is posted below. The second (which is much shorter) was published later at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image. Both are written as conversations between moviegoers. - Imagine three moviegoers — Mr. Judge, Fangirl, and Mr. Long-winded — emerging from a screening of Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie, The Master. They're quiet at first, as they find their way to the lobby and sit down with their … [Read more...]

On “Difficult” Movies

themaster - suspended above the water

As we're in a season busy with film festivals, I'm reading reviews of what sound like extremely challenging movies. Some of those reviews sound like the kind of comments that might provoke filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami to repeat what he said here... … [Read more...]

Religion, Fuel, Fathers, Sons, Egomania, America: A Look Back at “There Will Be Blood”

therewillbeblood1

Five years ago, on September 27, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood screened for the first time. And a sure-thing Best Actor Oscar-winner came into... plain view.  Daniel Plainview, to be precise. Playing the ferocious "oil man," Daniel Day-Lewis lived up to his reputation. Some thought the film might win Best Picture — it was easily my choice at the time, only recently surpassed by In the City of Sylvia — but it lost the award to another nightmare about evil in America: No … [Read more...]

How to Take A Hobbit Journey Again… For the First Time

AHobbitJourney

The new trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has arrived! What do you think? I suspect that you've read The Hobbit already. How many years ago? I first read it when I was 7 years old, and moved right on up to The Lord of the Rings at age 8. If you're like me, you'd love to have the thrill of discovering a world as awe-inspiring as that again. I think we can. We just need to find a way to see Bilbo Baggins, The Shire, the dwarves, Gandalf, Mirkwood Forest, and the … [Read more...]

Now We Can Call Him “Emmy-Winner Pete Horner” (for Hemingway and Gellhorn)

A few weeks ago, I shared my recent two-part interview with my friend, my fellow Glen Workshopper, and my fellow Thomas Parker Society member Pete Horner. As of today, we can now refer to him as "the Emmy-winning Sound Designer Pete Horner"! … [Read more...]

Abraham Lincoln: A Trailer, A Speech, and “Divine Providence”

lincoln-spielberg-poster-1

Yes, the trailer is here. And it looks... well... huh. To me, this preview makes it look like a big sappy Spielberg movie that is reverent to a fault. It looks like it takes place in the same world as Amistad, where the themes are louder than the details, and everything is filmed so that characters look more like noble wax museum representations than living, breathing human beings. Of course, this is just a trailer. Perhaps the film will be better than this trailer makes it look. Since … [Read more...]


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