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"A Simple Favor. It starts out as Gone Girl meets Bad Moms with the gloss of a trashy CW show, but somehow ends up as Clue? " - Chasm301

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"Colette. The reviews seem overblown; it’s a very standard, by-the-numbers biopic. " - ER

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Entries in NYC (102)

Thursday
Aug092018

Months of Meryl: Prime (2005)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

Meryl Streep as therapist with Uma Thurman as her client in Prime (2005)

#32 — Lisa Metzger, an Upper West Side therapist whose client begins dating her much younger son.

JOHN: The most depressing thing about Prime is that director Ben Younger reportedly spent eight years writing it. Equally depressing is the sight of Meryl Streep, Actress of Her Generation, wasting her time on this insipid project, and the subsequent dearth of roles for actresses over fifty that her involvement signifies. Here’s a fun kernel for a comedy skit: a kooky, Upper West Side therapist learns that the 37-year-old woman she is treating has begun dating her 23-year-old son, ensuing comic hijinks, oversharing, and ethical quandaries between therapist, son, and client. Now, imagine that idea stretched out for nearly two hours, sans comedy or romance, and you’d have Prime, easily one of the worst movies in Streep’s filmography...

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Monday
Jul162018

Stage Door: "Teenage Dick" and "Boylesque Bullfight"

Stage Door is our intermittent theater column because there is more to live than cinema and also because cinema and the stage frequently interact...

Teenage Dick (Public Theater)
This very cheekily titled show -- so embarrassing to say or type! -- is actually Shakespearean. (What isn't when it comes to theater? We'd love playwrights and directors to leave Shakespeare behind for a few years and discover vast untapped realms, but they're all Bard addicts who perpetually need a fix.) If you're going to riff on the Bard, please have as much fun with it as Teenage Dick does! This comic interpretation of Richard III recast the disabled king as a teenager in hate with his boring high school and the jock star and Christian activist classmates he aims to take down via an upcoming student election...

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Friday
Jul062018

Links: Nutcracker and the Two Directors, Schrader on Selfishness

Gr8ter Days Terence Stamp makes rare US appearance to talk about this career and push his new memoir. The great actor is about to turn 80...
TFE ...so he's still too young for this 100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees list.
THR Movie attendance has been steadily rising in Russia but the UK and France remain the top European movie markets
/Film Hmmm, The upcoming Disney spectacle Nutcracker and the Four Realms will now have two directors credited after reshoots. Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) will be credited after the original director Lasse Hallström
Vulture Director Susan Seidelman on her 80s NYC classics Smithereens and Desperately Seeking Susan 

MNPP Luca Guadagnino has shown Suspiria to Quentin Tarantino who loved it
Moviemaker Paul Schrader on our selfish legacy and environmental disaster (DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SEEN FIRST REFORMED)
Playbill if you're in NYC in the second half of July there's a lot of 15th anniversary happenings for Avenue Q including an original cast concert
Pajiba Sofia Vergara's ex is making an anti-abortion movie about Roe v Wade and the news about it gets worse and worse
i09 The legal system in The Incredibles 2 is confounding
Pandemonium this video is 90 minutes long but if you're studying to be a screenwriter it's worth a look since Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) maps out what makes for a great third act of a story
Coming Soon Keri Russell joins Star Wars: Episode IX. Her role is unknown but will involve fight scenes so I'll guess she'll have more to do than Laura Dern did.
Awards Daily the Limited Series race at the Emmys is wide open this year (with 44 programs eligible)  since no single series has been especially dominant with critics or the public this time around 
Film School Rejects the best movies of 2018 thus far
Nick Davis Nick does his beloved "fifties" to detail the best of the movie year thus far 

Thursday
Jul052018

Months of Meryl: Music of the Heart (1999)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

#27 — Roberta Guaspari, a real-life violinist and instructor who brought music education to the classrooms of Harlem.

MATTHEW:  One of the pitfalls that tends to come with occupying such a prominent position in the highly public realm of moviemaking is a gradual inability to disappear into the most straightforward of roles. I’m not talking about the magical acts of self-vanishing that allow Daniel Day-Lewis to seemingly become figures as disparate as Bill the Butcher and Abraham Lincoln nor the larger-than-life personas achieved through virtuosic, full-scale deglamorizations by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Charlize Theron, but rather the everyday characters who may achieve great things but whose lives are decisively rooted in reality, their appearances neither remarkable nor particularly conspicuous. No matter how hard a performer tries to shed her star persona and immerse herself in distinctly un-Hollywood settings, it is often up to us, the viewers, to forget everything we know about a star in order to actually believe her as, more or less, one of us...

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Monday
Jun252018

Marcia Says "Hi"

by Nathaniel R

Putting the Gay Harden in Gay Pride! Just a brief note from a slammed day to share the wonderful news that yours truly met Tony and Oscar winning Marcia Gay Harden at New York City's pride parade yesterday. How perfect is it that the original Harper Pitt in Angels in America was out to see the festivities with her kids... and sporting rainbow colors, too!?! 

We didn't speak for long but she seemed delighted when I mentioned her brief comic genius in Grandma (2016) -- it's probably not the title most people bring up first! She was so warm and friendly. One things for sure: This was much a happier outdoor parade moment than her despairing final scene in Mystic River (2003)

Thursday
Jun142018

In New York, A Repertory Film Renaissance

by Murtada Elfadl

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant

A film I desperately wanted to see that had eluded me for a long time was Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972). I promised myself that I wouldn’t succumb to watching it at home;  I’d wait and hope that it would eventually appear soon in a repertory theater. And sure enough it did, three months later. I got the full theatrical experience of the classic film, screened in celluloid glory. I’m glad I waited. My first screening of A Place in the Sun (1951) happened only last year, and was so exhilarating it was my favorite film I’ve seen in a cinema in 2017. Ditto Claire Denis’ Beau Travail (1999). I enjoyed all these films and more without distraction, in the dark, projected big and among fellow cinephiles...

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