Dirty Jobs

Dirty Jobs

The Assistant's brutal efficiency

(July 30, 2020) THE ASSISTANT. Jane (Julia Garner) is often just trying to eat. Arriving at the office in the dismal Manhattan pre-dawn, she finally gets a second to wolf down a bowl...

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Trouble Man

A documentary portrait of civil rights giant John Lewis

(July 23, 2020) JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE. A friend at work turned to me yesterday, unprompted, and said "Well, are you ready to become a martyr in the second American revolution?" He asked...

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Resourceful People

7500 and The Vast of Night

(July 9, 2020) 7500. In the first review I ever published in this vaunted publication — years before the collapse — I wrote of Shia LaBeouf that I would "rather watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt...

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An Eye on the Competition

Eurovision Song Contest, Irrisistible and Balle Perdu

(July 2, 2020) EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA. Sometimes — almost always, these days — comedy feels like the only chance we've got. Not as escapism, really, but as a...

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Hail to the King

Apatow's Davidson bio-comedy ascends

(June 25, 2020) THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND. Nobody could accuse me of being on trend or up on what the kids are into. But even I know Pete Davidson is a pop-cultural...

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The Things They Buried

Da 5 Bloods

(June 18, 2020) DA 5 BLOODS. I have long been fascinated by the American War in Vietnam. This is partly due to having cut my teeth on the bombastic, irresponsible, large-scale action movies...

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Nothing in the Vault

Capone's pointless spectacle

(June 11, 2020) CAPONE. From what I gather, Josh Trank had big plans from the beginning: to spring forth fully formed and become a big-budget big deal, a Director of Note. Given only...

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Dirty Magazines and Antiquarian Books vs the Internet

Circus of Books and The Booksellers

(June 4, 2020) CIRCUS OF BOOKS. Even owning a prominent gay-porn bookstore and social hub is, at the end of the day, just a job. So goes one object lesson from Rachel Mason's...

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In it Together

The Lovebirds' wild ride hits a bump

(May 28, 2020) THE LOVEBIRDS. There's a lot to unpack here, both in terms of the movie itself and pandemic-related shifts in the industry. I'll briefly address the latter before belaboring the former....

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Southern Noir

The shallow graves of Arkansas

(May 21, 2020) ARKANSAS. Clark Duke first registered on my radar in 2010, when Kick-Ass and Hot Tub Time Machine were released (both classics, incidentally). With his self-aware charm, wry delivery and beyond-adroit...

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Crip Camp and the Possibility of Revolution

(May 14, 2020) In its ongoing re-creation and refinement of the history of movie production and distribution, Netflix has leaned heavily on documentaries. Especially in the early days, when nine-figure budgets and international...

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Men on the Rebound

The Way Back, Greed, Spenser Confidential

(March 12, 2020) Reviews THE WAY BACK. A friend asked, after initially mistaking it for The Way Way Back (2013), if this is "that remake of Hoosiers." It's neither but fair enough for...

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Modern Monsters

The Invisible Man

(March 5, 2020) Reviews THE INVISIBLE MAN. When news filtered down that Universal Pictures had big plans to reach back into its rich history and recast itself as the home of the monsters,...

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The Power to Disappoint

The Last Thing He Wanted and Call of the Wild

(February 27, 2020) Reviews The inverse of the formidable power of movies to surprise, vex, confound, titillate and excite us lies in their capacity to disappoint. We know enough about the tricks, the...

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Love and Disaster

The Photograph and Downhill

(February 20, 2020) Reviews THE PHOTOGRAPH. The story is based on love and romance, as its Feb. 14 release date might suggest, but The Photograph, written and directed by Stella Meghie, takes a...

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Squad Goals

Birds of Prey flies high

(February 13, 2020) Reviews HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY. Gratitude is ... a good thing, right? Of course it is. And we should probably count ourselves grateful. Because even as the facade of...

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