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6 articles


Baywatch movie review: sun’s out, dumb’s out

26 May 2017 12:37 PM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… A beach-slap to anyone with a brain. Embodies everything that is wrong with Hollywood today. It is proudly dumb. It is proudly sexist. It is proudly pointless. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

These are the shoals upon which critics are broken. Those gently susurrating waves? The bastard power of water to wear everything down. Those lovely soft grains of sand on the beach? Every one of them a thoughtful film lover who has dedicated her- or himself to considering cinema, now ground down into a tiny tiny pebble.

Baywatch is a beach-slap fuck-you to anyone with a brain. Your gonads may be engaged if you are a heterosexual man (or a homosexual woman, though that will be accidental) who has not graduated from a tween sexuality in which disembodied boobs »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Wakefield movie review: man of the house (emeritus)

26 May 2017 7:35 AM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… An appalling elevation of toxic masculinity to something poignant, radical, and heroic. As unpleasant and as passive-aggressive as its horrid protagonist. I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

I wish I could figure out just what the hell writer-director Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club) thinks she is saying with the appalling Wakefield, a movie as unpleasant and as passive-aggressive as its horrid protagonist. Because all it looks and feels like is an elevation of toxic masculinity — of emotional withdrawal, delusions about one’s own rationality, pretensions about one’s boldness, and disdain for women, among other nasty things — to a level meant to be poignant, radical, and heroic all at once. And it’s nothing of the sort.

Rather than face a momentary embarrassment, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, Us/Can, from May 23

23 May 2017 12:29 PM, PDT

A simple listing, duplicated from the dvd + vod Us and Canada page, of new releases and other stuff currently available, for the benefit of those playing along by RSS or keeping up via the Daily Digest emails (sign up here).

new dvd+vod John Wick 2 Raw A United Kingdom The Sense of an Ending Xx

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

recent releases Carrie Pilby The Founder Get Out The Girl with All the Gifts The Great Wall I Am Not Your Negro La La Land The Lego Batman Movie Logan The Most Hated Woman in America My Life as a Zucchini (aka My Life as a Courgette) Queen of the Desert The Red Turtle The Salesman The Survivalist Toni Erdmann Urban Hymn The Void We Are X Gold Kushuthara: Pattern of Love A Street Cat Named »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from May 22

23 May 2017 11:35 AM, PDT

A simple listing, duplicated from the dvd + vod UK and Ireland page, of new releases and other stuff currently available, for the benefit of those playing along by RSS or keeping up via the Daily Digest emails (sign up here).

new dvd+vod Denial Hacksaw Ridge T2 Trainspotting We Are X Spaceship Split    I’m planning to watch… A Silent Voice

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

recent releases The Birth of a Nation Carrie Pilby The Eagle Huntress Jackie La La Land The Last Laugh Lion Manchester by the Sea A Monster Calls The Most Hated Woman in America Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Sing Sour Grapes Sully Tanna The Void All We Had Kushuthara: Pattern of Love Silence Xx Aftermath Assassin’s Creed Ballerina (aka Leap!) The Bye Bye Man Collateral Beauty The Levelling Live »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (aka Dead Men Tell No Tales) movie review: yo ho no

23 May 2017 5:43 AM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… The franchise finally overstays its welcome with this cacophony of CGI spectacle, a contrived and confusing plot, and a newly cruel and stupid Jack Sparrow. I’m “biast” (pro): loved the original trilogy…

I’m “biast” (con): …but started to lose a little patience with the fourth film

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Okay, make it stop. This amusement-park ride has gone on long enough. It is no longer any fun. I’m feeling a bit nauseated, in fact.

I adored the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy: they were smart, fun popcorn flicks that worked as clever updates on the classic Hollywood swashbuckler, all adventure and movie-movie romance and total, wonderful nonsense. With the third installment, 2007’s At World’s End, the series even managed to whip up some satirical zing, in its plot about gig-economy independent-contractor pirates versus »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie review: well I didn’t vote for him

22 May 2017 8:27 AM, PDT

MaryAnn’s quick take… Derivative, rote, devoid of heart and hope. Guy Ritchie has found no reason to retell Arthur’s story, or to render a mythic hero as a self-serving thug. I’m “biast” (pro): big fantasy fan

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

There are no heroes anymore. There are self-centered bastards who accidentally stumble into heroics. There are sociopaths who abuse women and are lauded for it. There are criminals who receive official sanction for their antisocial behavior. And we’re meant to cheer for them all. But true heroes in the more traditional meaning of the word? Difficult to find onscreen at the moment.

There are no heroes anymore, just criminals and sociopaths we’re meant to cheer.

And now Guy Ritchie has engaged in an egregious de-heroing of cinema with his King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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6 articles



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