April 2019 archive

Tribeca 2019: The Projectionist, You Don’t Nomi

It’s fascinating to watch two Tribeca documentaries back-to-back that not only use literally the same scene from “Taxi Driver” (and not the mirror one) but almost feel like they’re in conversation with one another. They’re both movies that are fueled by a love for the communal aspect of moviegoing. After all, you can’t really appreciate …

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Moving Past Compton: How O’Shea Jackson Jr. is Taking His Long Shot

O’Shea Jackson Jr. instantly shot into public consciousness playing his father, Ice Cube, in the mega-hit “Straight Outta Compton,” but that success was double-edged. As he shared with us last week on a press tour for “Long Shot,” opening this week, the popularity came with the false impression that he could only do one thing. …

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Jonathan Levine on Long Shot, the Physical Comedy of Charlize Theron, Making Seth Rogen a Romantic Lead and More

Jonathan Levine’s “Long Shot,” coming out Friday, is a bit of a throwback in today’s terms. Instead of being a studio project that sells moviegoers a familiar property, “Long Shot” offers the boundless charisma of its stars, Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, in a way you haven’t seen them before. She plays the presidential candidate Charlotte Field, he …

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#353 April 30, 2019

Matt writes: Considering that the movie of the moment is inarguably “Avengers: Endgame,” the Russo Brothers’ culmination of the 22-film Marvel Cinematic Universe launched in 2008 with Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man,” we’ve decided to open this edition of the Ebert Club newsletter with our coverage of the record-breaking mega-blockbuster. You can read Brian Tallerico’s three-star …

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Looking Back at the Films Directed by the Late John Singleton

On the sad occasion of John Singleton’s passing, we wanted to take a look back at the legendary American filmmaker’s work, guided by Roger’s reviews and interviews. Below is a chronological collection of the pieces Roger wrote about Singleton’s work, starting with the film that introduced Singleton’s talents to the world: “Boyz N the Hood.”  Roger …

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John Singleton: 1968-2019

The multiple Oscar-nominated film “Boyz N The Hood” opens with a stunning statistic placed onscreen by its writer-director, John Singleton: “One out of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their own lifetimes.” It’s a jarring way to begin a picture, one that is at times raucously funny and filled with paternal love. But that …

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Talk Easy Podcast with Chaz Ebert

RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert recently sat down with acclaimed critic and filmmaker Sam Fragoso to record the latest episode of his popular podcast, Talk Easy. The recording took place recently in Los Angeles. Earlier this month Fragoso screened his short film, “Sebastian” at the Ebertfest Film Festival in Champaign, Illinois.  Fragoso is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, and programmer who …

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Tribeca 2019: What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali, A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem

I’m a sucker for a good sports documentary. I’ve seen every “30 for 30,” and have loved movies like “When We Were Kings,” “Hoop Dreams,” and “Tyson.” Great figures from sports are inherently cinematic, and there’s arguably no greater figure in sports history than Muhammad Ali, the subject of one of Tribeca 2019’s best documentaries, …

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Tribeca 2019: Something Else, Swallow, Only

Some of the best films at every year’s Tribeca feel distinctly like they don’t quite fit your typical fest fare. What I mean is there’s sort of a brand to a “Sundance Movie” or a “SXSW Movie,” and while “Tribeca Movie” isn’t really a thing, it’s always most interesting to see films from this festival …

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Avengers, MCU, "Game of Thrones," and the Content Endgame

“Avengers: Endgame” is not just the culmination of the 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also represents the decisive defeat of “cinema” by “content.”  The word refers to a piece of entertainment that can be delivered any number of ways, and that’s defined less by its story, characters, source material, or presentational medium (cinema or TV) than by its brand identity (Marvel), its corporate parentage (Disney) and …

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Tribeca 2019: After Parkland, 17 Blocks

The Tribeca Film Festival has been a launching pad for topical documentaries, and a pair of them premiered over the first couple of days of this year’s event that highlight the harrowing danger that face the youth of this country. The other day, I saw a major outlet on Twitter refer to the 20 years …

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Tribeca 2019: Rewind

Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s “Rewind” is a deeply personal, revealing, and unforgettable piece of filmmaking. It contains revelations as harrowing as those chronicled in HBO’s “Leaving Neverland,” but imagine if the interview subjects in that film were directing their own documentaries and using their own home movies to tell their stories. There’s a raw immediacy to …

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Tribeca 2019: Crown Vic, Burning Cane, Come to Daddy

A trio of narrative films premiered this weekend at Tribeca that star actors I’m always interested in seeing – Thomas Jane, Elijah Wood, and Wendell Pierce. They’re underrated performers who take risks with their projects, often attaching themselves to indie films in a way that helps elevate new filmmakers. Sadly, all three films have issues …

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Home Entertainment Consumer Guide: April 25, 2019

3 NEW TO NETFLIX “Band Aid””The Hateful Eight””I, Daniel Blake” 5 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD “Alien: 40th Anniversary” One of the best films of all time is having a resurgence in 2019 thanks to its 40th anniversary. There are restored 4K DCP screenings planned later this year, a 35MM presentation is going down (with Tom Skerritt!) …

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Breakthrough | Behind the Scenes: Chrissy Metz "I’m Standing With You" Music Video

Source: 20th Century Fox

Tribeca 2019: Martha: A Picture Story, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

Selina Miles’ “Martha: A Picture Story” is the kind of documentary that bestows upon you a new hero—that is, if you weren’t already hip to the groundbreaking photos and graffiti culture influence of Martha Cooper. Directed with infectious zeal, it’s a photographer bio-doc that always feels to be in motion, especially given its excellent editing, fascinating …

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2019 Summer Movie Preview: 10 Films We’re Excited About

The Thursday night crowds have now seen “Avengers: Endgame,” so you know what that means—the summer movie season has officially started. And what a summer it might just be, featuring the latest from Quentin Tarantino, a whole heap of festival-adored films, a Godzilla-kaiju bash, another Spider-Man movie and much more.  To cut through the massive list …

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J.T. LeRoy

“You know what the difference is between you and me, Violet?” “No.” “Me neither.” This classic exchange between the lovestruck heroines in Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s deeply satisfying 1996 thriller, “Bound,” is more than just clever wordplay. The film was released long before its writer/directors, who previously identified as male siblings Larry and Andy, publicly …

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I Trapped The Devil

In 1960, Charles Beaumont adapted his short story “The Howling Man” for the second season of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone.” In this clever chapter of arguably the most influential TV show of all time, a man is wandering through post-WWI Europe when he comes upon a castle occupied by a religious order. Surprisingly, they …

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Okko’s Inn

I don’t, as a rule, tend to associate kid’s anime with teachable moments. Not to say that it (in my experience) encourages bad behavior (although you might argue that some adult-oriented anime does just that); it’s just that its priorities generally tilt toward whimsy, excitement, and sentimentality more than pedagogy. For lessons along the lines …

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