A wild whirlwind of a mess, without any coherence, without even a guiding principle.
"Say this for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: Compared to the amateurish, montage-heavy All This And World War II and Beatlemania, it’s practically A Hard Day’s Night. Director Michael Schultz—who also helmed Car Wash and the underrated Cooley High—knows how to move a camera and stage a scene, and the overall brightness and hugeness of Sgt. Pepper’s has some inherent appeal. But the musical performances are as flaccid as most of the ones on All This (even though original Beatles producer George Martin helped record the soundtrack), and the songs run under dialogue-free sequences that traffic in the oldest clichés about how Hollywood sucks the soul out of talented, hopeful young artists. The movie is essentially a two-hour music video with cruddy music, and there’s no small amount of cynicism in a mega-budget, star-studded film pretending that money-grubbing showbiz types are villains."
"Terry Gilliam: My Life in 8 Movies." The brilliant and mercurial director of "Brazil" and "12 Monkeys" inaugurates a new feature at The Playlist. Jessica Kiang has the interview. Kiang: What’s the film that everyone hates that you love?
"The Wrestler." New York Times columnist and recovering addict David Carr remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman spontaneously wrestling actor Rainn Wilson at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2008. See also: Seth Mnookin in Slate on "The Ever-Present Danger of Relapsing."
Some more links on you-know-what: "Woody Allen vs. Dylan Farrow: The Court of Public Opinion is Now in Session." By Dalia Lithwick, for Slate. Wherein a smidgen of common sense is applied to the vast unruly thing this has become. See also: "Woody Allen and Young Girls: A History," from Vulture, and Esquire's "Re-watching Woody Allen: The Newly Chilling Themes You Can See in His Movies," to which Lithwick's piece might as well be a response (even though it wasn't; not specifically anyway). Finally, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan says Allen may respond to Dylan Farrow's "open letter" via the Times itself.
"Investigative journalism is one thing. But the Court of Public Opinion is what we used to call villagers with flaming torches. It has no rules, no arbiter, no mechanism at all for separating truth from lies. It allows everything into evidence and has no mechanism to separate facts about the case from the experiences and political leanings of the millions of us who are all acting as witnesses, judges, and jurors. So go ahead and tweet your truth or publicly shame someone who is tweeting hers, but don’t believe for an instant that this is how complicated factual disputes get resolved or that this will change hearts and minds about our woefully anti-woman, anti-victim culture."
From the blog of Janice Poon, the food stylist for NBC's Hannibal.
The 2020 Oscar nominations.
A review of Netflix's Dracula, from the creators of Sherlock.
A review of the new Netflix crime docuseries about former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez.
A collection of the reviews given our highest possible grade in 2019.