Cutting Room for December 19

In a bit of fun, Charlie Sheen is going to reprise his brief role from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on ABC’s TV show “The Goldbergs.” The episode is going to be a tribute to the classic John Hughes movie. The only question is, after so long away from the part, how is Sheen going to be able to play a character that is drug-addled and in trouble with the law?

Creed is not an upcoming movie that examines Satan’s favorite band. It is, however, a spinoff of Rocky that will feature Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, who is trained by Mr. Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). I like Jordan, but I only really got excited when it was announced that Tessa Thompson would be playing the female lead. She was so good in Dear White People that I’d watch her in anything. Well, okay, I wouldn’t watch her in a movie called Creed that was actually about the band.

Let’s talk for a second about Sony’s decision to shelve The Interview in the wake of online terror threats. As surprising as this may be, I’ve seen some long-winded opinion pieces on the Internet that are downright ignorant. The issue at hand isn’t free speech. I don’t know why this is always hard for people, but impeding free speech is what happens when a government censors an outlet, not when a private studio makes a decision. Second, if you haven’t seen the full movie, which you probably haven’t, you can’t weigh in on the controversial scene of Kim-Jong Un’s death that’s circulating. Why? Because comedy, especially satire, requires context. Finally, it is irrelevant if the movie is funny or effectively skewers a corrupt regime that deserves to be skewered (literally for what it’s doing to the people of North Korea). The issue is how Sony gave in to a threat that the State Department said wasn’t credible. This gives every whackjob and freakazoid with Internet access an opportunity to try and block a film by making threats. It’s all fun and games until Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is benched because a goober who thinks Star Trek is the one true religion issues a cyber-jihad. This was a bad moment in film history, all the way around.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 12/19/14 at 09:50 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for December 12

I’m growing increasingly okay with this whole Ghostbusters 3 thing. The decision to hire director Paul Feig and cast the team as all women feels inspired, as the current number of movies anchored by a team of women this year stands at…hold on a tic, lemme check…zero. It stands at zero. News broke this week that Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Lawrence have both spoken to Feig about the film. The former is expected, but the latter is super promising. Lawrence is flat-out hilarious yet continues to choose roles where humor isn’t permitted. Seriously, has anyone even smiled in The Hunger Games? I can’t say I’m fully excited yet, but I have moved from “meh” to “maybe.”

If you haven’t heard, there’s a significant chance that North Korea hacked the Sony Pictures website in retaliation for the upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy The Interview. That’s a real thing; a movie by guys who make fart jokes may have prompted cyber terrorism from a corrupt regime. Less  awesome than that is the fallout for Sony, who has had to endure private and insensitive emails becoming very, very public. From execs calling Angelina Jolie a spoiled brat to others suggesting Kevin Hart is a whore, it’s basically like the Internet got their hands on Sony’s “Burn Book.” As intrusive and bad as that all is, let’s take just a second to put mansplainer Judd Apatow on blast. He took to twitter to state this: “Releasing private Sony e mails to hurt people is the same as releasing nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence.” No, Judd, having private correspondence leak is not the same as having your body violated by the eyes of every horny wanker with an internet connection. I look forward to Apatow’s next movie You’re Worse Than Hitler.

One bit of actual interesting movie news that came from the Sony leak has gotten a lot of deserving press. There’s a chance that the next Jump Street movie will also be a reboot of Men in Black. Yes, for real. Basically, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) would join the secret government agency that handles aliens in the next sequel. Considering how colossally bland and inert the Men in Black series has gotten and how inspired and fun the Jump Street series is, color me gleeful about this bizarre approach. Hell, let’s do this with more stuff! Like, they can reboot the valuable Driving Miss Daisy franchise with the 50 Shades of Grey sequel! 

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 12/12/14 at 10:23 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for December 5

Chris Pratt has become whatever culturally gendered, cloying term you’d like to use in place of “America’s sweetheart.” He’s beloved for his work on “Parks and Rec” and flipped millions an adorable middle finger in Guardians of the Galaxy. So, obviously, his next movie is likely a remake of a remake of a bloody film full of brutal killers. Antoine Fuqua is directing a remake of The Magnificent Seven, which is itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 7 Samurai, which is awesome. Pratt would join Denzel Washington in the remake remake. I’m just guessing here, but when told about Pratt joining, Washington probably said, “Alright. Okay. Okay.”

I don’t wish the documentary Dear Zachary on people lightly. Perhaps one of the most singular upsetting and deeply affective movies out there, I can literally say that the last thing I ever expected was to type the following sentence. They are making a Dear Zachary TV show. I don’t want to spoil the movie for any emotionally masochists out there who haven’t found their holy grail with this film, but let’s just say this adaptation is bananapants crazy.

Because comic books love to do team ups, here’s a dual dose of superhero news: Benedict Cumberbatch has signed up to play the lead in Doctor Strange while Ryan Reynolds has returned to the title role in Deadpool. As a grown man who recently dressed as Doctor Strange, I’m excited for one of my favorite actors to nail this role. As a grown man who watched RIPD, I’m excited to not watch Deadpool.

They held a big event broadcast worldwide to reveal the title of the new James Bond movie. That’s what we have become as a people: revealing the name of a movie is a watershed moment so anticipated several people I know got up at 3 am to hear the announcement from England. I don’t get out of bed for 3 am because of anything other than burning houses or bladder capacity. At any rate, the new movie is called Spectre and will feature Christoph Waltz as Blofeld. Sorry, as “Oberhauser,” which is totally not Blofeld in disguise but is so totally Blofeld in disguise. Let’s hope that character’s titular reveal doesn’t also come at 3 am.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 12/05/14 at 11:33 AM | read comments »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Happy, Little Clouded

Actual human beings made The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and you can tell. A water-colored rebuke of the robots who...

more »


No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

more »


Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

more »


Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

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