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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Dec 15

Fri Dec 15 2017, 07:09pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 14-15

Fri Dec 15 2017, 07:05pm | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

2017’s films ranked

Fri Dec 15 2017, 07:03pm | 8 comments

I rank films on the fly as I see them during the 2017 awards year.

The Unseen movie review: when the see it/skip it recommendation is right in the title

Fri Dec 15 2017, 09:26am | 0 comments

A portrait of grief and guilt that’s only mildly engaging, until it morphs into a wannabe psychological thriller and turns limp, laughable, and just plain icky.

I, Tonya movie review: a woman at war with herself

Thu Dec 14 2017, 04:53pm | 0 comments

A black comedy about domestic violence, parental abuse, and low self-esteem (and it works!), one that challenges our appreciation of how true based-on-fact might be.

curated: Salma Hayek’s Harvey Weinstein horror story

Wed Dec 13 2017, 07:15pm | 1 comment

This one is really bad…

Menashe movie review: the unhappy nonconformist

Wed Dec 13 2017, 03:16pm | 0 comments

A bittersweet, deeply human tale, one with a documentary sense of discovery to its setting: a little seen, highly insular ultraorthodox Jewish community.

new ways to support my work: Patreon, Ko-Fi, Liberapay (PayPal still works, too)

Tue Dec 12 2017, 10:52pm | 2 comments

You may have noticed some new links around the site through which you can financially support my writing.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Dec 12

Tue Dec 12 2017, 10:17pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 11

Tue Dec 12 2017, 09:05pm | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

Ferdinand movie review: no bull, it’s wonderful

Mon Dec 11 2017, 10:52pm | 3 comments

Goofy, charming, faithful to its sweet source material, and all while advancing the standard “Be yourself” message with fresh challenges to gender expectations.

The Rape of Recy Taylor documentary review: meet the unheralded badass black women of recent American history

Sun Dec 10 2017, 09:55pm | 0 comments

Enraging, and eye-opening, the beginning of the antidote for how black women’s lives get erased in America. Tells a story that we should recognize as epic.

curated: ‘Star Wars’ meets ‘The Florida Project’

Sun Dec 10 2017, 07:15pm | 0 comments

The stars, that is: Daisy Ridley interviews Brooklynn Prince, who couldn’t be happier to meet her idol.

A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven) (4K restoration) movie review: paradise on Earth

Fri Dec 08 2017, 05:46pm | 8 comments

One of the most beloved British films ever is now even more lush, more gorgeous, more humanist in a glorious new restored edition.

curated: “make the movie dumber”

Thu Dec 07 2017, 09:12pm | 4 comments

I don’t belong on this planet.

curated: even the “contrarian” film critics are white men

Thu Dec 07 2017, 09:10pm | 7 comments

So many white men…

11/8/16 (aka November 8th) documentary review: too soon, too soon

Wed Dec 06 2017, 04:28pm | 2 comments

An important portrait of America on the day that changed it for the worse… but difficult to watch, with the impact of the election still spiraling out of control.

The Disaster Artist movie review: a view on ‘The Room’

Tue Dec 05 2017, 02:56pm | 14 comments

A hilarious ode to talentless passion. James Franco gives the bizarre Tommy Wiseau depth without solving his mystery, but skips a deserved zing at Hollywood.

I’m doing National Novel Writing Month! (updated)

Fri Dec 01 2017, 04:39pm | 11 comments

My book is tentatively entitled The Righteous Guild Conspiracy, and it’s a Dan Brown–style mystery adventure set on a human-inhabited planet that is not Earth.

Love Is Thicker Than Water movie review: so, love is a sludge, then?

Fri Dec 01 2017, 02:57pm | 1 comment

This would-be modern Romeo-and-Juliet tale is little more than a pile-on of class stereotypes, contrived dialogue, and one whopper of a coincidence.

The Fencer (Miekkailija) movie review: en garde against yourself

Thu Nov 30 2017, 10:28pm | 4 comments

The true story of an Estonian sports hero offers a lovely twist on a familiar tale. A cinematic triumph from a nation that’s been missing from the global film stage.

‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie

Thu Nov 30 2017, 12:18pm | 7 comments

In our troubled times, it’s important to stand up for what you believe in.

at the 20th anniversary of ‘Titanic,’ where are all the knockoffs?

Wed Nov 29 2017, 05:08pm | 10 comments

We should be absolutely sick to death of all the cash-ins, pseudo-remakes and imitators. Where are they?

curated: white man who wrote for Marvel under Japanese pseudonym is its new editor in chief

Tue Nov 28 2017, 10:22pm | 3 comments

White men: Always failing up.

Daddy’s Home 2 movie review: the father away, the better

Tue Nov 28 2017, 05:58pm | 3 comments

Goes well beyond the typical mindless array of slapstick and humiliation to reach disgusting new depths of coarseness. Not just appalling, but actually dangerous.

Jane documentary review: “girl” does a science, changes the world

Fri Nov 24 2017, 02:10pm | 3 comments

Combines new insight from famed primatologist Jane Goodall on her early work with astonishing vintage footage to craft a portrait that is simple yet profound.

curated: John Lasseter is part and parcel of Pixar’s problem with women

Fri Nov 24 2017, 09:55am | 47 comments

It’s not a complicated connection.

Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge movie review: so hot she’s radioactive

Thu Nov 23 2017, 07:53pm | 3 comments

With more sexy baths than any movie about a male scientist has ever seen, this biopic undermines the battle Curie fought to be taken seriously that is depicted here.

curated: Amazon doesn’t have to mention its name anymore…

Thu Nov 23 2017, 12:59pm | 1 comment

…it’s that ubiquitous.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story documentary review: beauty is a beast

Wed Nov 22 2017, 01:46pm | 11 comments

The infuriatingly tragic true story of the Hollywood superstar whose brain was ignored because she was beautiful. A stupendous tribute to a remarkable woman.

The Man Who Invented Christmas movie review: but would Charles Dickens approve?

Tue Nov 21 2017, 01:53pm | 18 comments

There’s charm and wit in its fanciful depiction of the creative process, but the film downplays the social activism that Dickens fully embraced in his work.

Justice League movie review: grab ’em by the fanboy

Fri Nov 17 2017, 09:40pm | 72 comments

The cinematic equivalent of Trump and Brexit as awfulness brought upon ourselves. Incoherent and cheap-looking. There are no heroes, and everything is broken.

curated: $450 million would support a *lot* of art…

Fri Nov 17 2017, 11:44am | 3 comments

Instead, an old canvas will sit in a vault, unseen by almost everyone.

curated: British immigration lawyer Colin Yeo reviews ‘Paddington 2’

Fri Nov 17 2017, 11:25am | 0 comments

And finds a helluva lot of fantasy…

film review comment bingo (updated for 2017!)

Wed Nov 15 2017, 10:20pm | 32 comments

Sourced from only the finest trolls here at FlickFilosopher.com.

Wonder movie review: learning to be nice to a paragon

Wed Nov 15 2017, 02:45pm | 1 comment

Reminders to be kind are all very well, but it’s time to move past the idea that it’s up to people who are different to inspire everyone else to be better people.

Only the Brave movie review: the men who tame wildfires

Tue Nov 14 2017, 02:27pm | 4 comments

Familiar in its overall storytelling arcs about risktaking and redemption, but also a sincere tribute to our new firefighting heroes for a warmer planet.

curated: on the power and the danger of art

Tue Nov 14 2017, 11:09am | 0 comments

Fascinating read about the real-life Monuments Men…

curated: ‘Wonder Woman’s Amazons got sexed up for ‘Justice League’

Mon Nov 13 2017, 09:45pm | 11 comments

Because of course they did. Everything is broken.

A Murder in Mansfield documentary review: a reconciliation with tragedy (#DOCNYC2017)

Mon Nov 13 2017, 09:25pm | 0 comments

An honest and brave portrait of the trauma and grief of those in the immediate periphery of a terrible crime. A simple, intimate film, and a powerful one.

I’m on BBC World Service’s “The Arts Hour” again this Sunday, November 12th

Fri Nov 10 2017, 10:04pm | 1 comment

I am back for more! They like me at “The Arts Hour”! They really like me!

curated: setting the record straight on ‘Professor Marston’’s portrayal of Josette Frank

Fri Nov 10 2017, 09:08pm | 8 comments

Josette Frank’s granddaughter on how the way her grandmother comes across in the film isn’t her whole story…

curated: why women onscreen never seem to have any women friends…

Fri Nov 10 2017, 08:54pm | 3 comments

…even though women in real life rely on their female friends.

Paddington 2 movie review: wrap yourself up in this bear hug

Fri Nov 10 2017, 06:38pm | 4 comments

There is such kindness here, such humanity, such warmth and optimism. This is a fantasy of unique scope and astonishing emotional depth beneath the silliness.

curated: Louis CK? #HimToo

Thu Nov 09 2017, 06:20pm | 4 comments

The list of creeps grows longer.

Lady Bird movie review: flights of adolescent angsty (#LFF2017)

Thu Nov 09 2017, 02:21pm | 50 comments

An emotional feast full of humor and pathos about the audacity, the wonder, the horror that is female adolescence. Beautiful, bittersweet, and very generous.

curated: Jodie Whittaker’s ‘Doctor Who’ costume revealed

Thu Nov 09 2017, 01:49pm | 3 comments


Inconceivable movie review: nanny dearest

Tue Nov 07 2017, 09:26pm | 2 comments

This preposterous, stilted, often hilariously terrible domestic thriller twists maternal yearnings into a toxic parody of femininity.

curated: LA, NYC, Boston and Nat’l film critics boycott Disney films in year-end awards

Tue Nov 07 2017, 12:32pm | 1 comment

The relationship between the studios and critics has always been a contentious one, for obvious reasons, but what might have been previously called a cold war has hotted up this year…

curated: women have been speaking out about Hollywood misogyny since forever

Mon Nov 06 2017, 08:03pm | 0 comments

And it hasn’t made a lick of difference.

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