- The InSneider
- Exclusive: Charlize Theron Circling Sci-Fi Action Movie 'Courage' From Screenwriter Karl Gajdusek
Exclusive: Charlize Theron Circling Sci-Fi Action Movie 'Courage' From Screenwriter Karl Gajdusek
Plus, Brad Pitt joins Quentin Tarantino's final film, my review of 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith,' and a tribute to Carl Weathers.
Happy Friday, folks, and Happy February as well! This will be a super-sized edition, as I wasn’t able to publish the newsletter last night.
Before we dive in, I want to plug my Blogspot. Yes, I still maintain an active Blogspot where I keep track of every movie I see each year. I’m acutely aware that Letterboxd has come along to simplify (and monetize) list-making, but I’m old and set in my ways. Plus, if you truly know me, you know that I like to zig when others zag.
See, I don’t need Letterboxd because I’ve devised a system that works for me, and ultimately, that’s who this master list is for — me, not you. I need to be able to keep track of everything and this is simply the way I know best.
However, I truly believe that if you bookmark this link, it could prove immensely valuable to you. The #1 question I get asked more than any other is, “What should I watch tonight?” But if you check my annual Movie List, you’ll never need to ask that question again, for you’ll already have my answer.
There’s also nuance that goes into rating a movie and ranking it among all the others I see in a given year. Every reaction to a movie is really based on one’s expectations, and to ignore those expectations is foolish, as not all movies are created equal.
I divide movies into six categories — The Standouts, The Good, The Good… But Should’ve Been Betters, The Guilty Pleasures, The Underwhelming Disappointments, and The Bad.
My friend Drew McWeeny, who is one of the few film critics I really look up to, respect, and admire, hates the term “guilty pleasure” because he doesn’t think a critic should have to apologize or feel guilty for liking a movie. And he’s certainly entitled to his opinion.
But allow me to explain. Last year, God Is a Bullet led my “Guilty Pleasure” movies. It’s a great movie that stood out to me, and as such, perhaps it belonged among my list of “Standouts” or “Good” movies. Instead, I listed it as a “Guilty Pleasure” because it has a 24 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, that doesn’t mean shit to me, but is God Is a Bullet “good” in the same way that The Holdovers or American Fiction or Society of the Snow is “good?” Of course not, and I feel strongly that a distinction must be made between them, based simply on their ambitions.
There’s also a difference between a good movie and a movie that was good but probably should’ve been better (i.e. it’s just okay), just as there’s a difference between a movie that is an underwhelming disappointment and an outright “bad” movie for which no excuses can be made.
Now, I didn’t attend Sundance this year, so there aren’t as many titles as there normally are one month into the calendar, but I still managed to see 13 new movies in January, and in general, I typically see roughly 200 new movies a year — a combination of press screenings, online links, and good old-fashioned movie tickets paid for out of pocket since studios have begun to shun actual critics and journalists in favor of social media influencers — as if I don’t qualify for the latter. Ha! Elon Musk doesn’t own Twitter… I do.
In tonight’s edition, you’ll read about Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, Donald Glover, Maya Erskine, Carl Weathers, Melissa Barrera, Maika Monroe, Nicolas Cage, and The Messenger’s dumbass CEO Jimmy Finkelstein.
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