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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

 

Hail Satan? documentary review: the devil you say

Thu Apr 18 2019, 06:06pm | 0 comments

Hilarious, provocative look at the wonderfully profane rebels of the culture wars who, with tongue in cheek but seriously, too, are trolling fundie-Christian America with their delicious blasphemies.


Red Joan movie review: it doesn’t bomb, but it fizzles

Thu Apr 18 2019, 02:51pm | 0 comments

There’s a lot of hot-button stuff going on in this A-bomb spy drama — politics, sexism, scientific ethics — but it’s all surprisingly inert, given the literal fate-of-the-world stakes.


Dagenham movie review: lost in London

Wed Apr 17 2019, 07:52pm | 0 comments

There isn’t a likeable character in this parade of misery, nor even an intriguingly unlikeable one. An unfocused, random plot merely cuts through a messy ensemble of criminal working-class Londoners.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Apr 16-19

Wed Apr 17 2019, 01:40pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Apr 15-18

Wed Apr 17 2019, 11:53am | comments off

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


Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché documentary review: the movie pioneer you’ve never heard of

Tue Apr 16 2019, 09:39pm | 0 comments

Not only a portrait of the woman who made more than a thousand of the very first films, but a mystery detective story about how the achievements of a trailblazing woman were erased, and found again.


Nervous Translation movie review: home alone, with only her imagination for company

Tue Apr 16 2019, 02:30pm | 0 comments

Shireen Seno’s portrait of a remarkably imaginative and self-contained child at a specifically 1980s Filipino moment is full of both charming whimsy and a delicately observed, melancholy universality.


my top 10 films of 2019 (so far)

Mon Apr 15 2019, 06:24pm | 0 comments

With the year about one-third over, here’s a peek at my top 10 films of the year so far, out of the 71 2019 releases I’ve seen to date.


my latest sci-fi flash fiction is a teaser of the long serial project I’ve been gearing up for

Sun Apr 14 2019, 05:36pm | 0 comments

I didn’t plan this. My brain has a mind of its own, and it does not share its thoughts with me. But this crossover is a good sign that it’s time to start going big.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Apr 12

Sat Apr 13 2019, 02:41pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can Apr 12

Sat Apr 13 2019, 02:30pm | 0 comments

Jenny Gage directs and Susan McMartin writes romantic drama After, starring Josephine Langford; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Wild Nights with Emily movie review: the poetess with the mostest

Fri Apr 12 2019, 05:18pm | 0 comments

Like Drunk History but sober, a lively, arch, dryly comedic corrective to the traditional, heteronormative, patriarchal image of Emily Dickinson. Incredibly audacious and utterly delightful.


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Apr 08-12

Fri Apr 12 2019, 01:00pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Apr 08-12

Fri Apr 12 2019, 12:52pm | 0 comments

Nicole Taylor writes musical drama Wild Rose, starring Jessie Buckley; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Hellboy (2019) movie review: boy, this is hell

Fri Apr 12 2019, 11:22am | 0 comments

Bounces from one preposterous setpiece to another across an inexcusably flavorless magical, monstrous world, and borderline incoherent as it races through the plots of half a dozen different films.


Little movie review: small and slight indeed

Thu Apr 11 2019, 11:35am | 0 comments

Bullying tech CEO is cursed to revert to powerless kid-dom. The limp, desperate comedy that follows never figures out who its audience is and is often unintentionally obnoxious and disturbing.


Amazon Adventure 3D documentary review: historical jungle expedition, for science

Wed Apr 10 2019, 04:27pm | 0 comments

Stunning photography — perhaps the last time anyone will haul IMAX cameras into the Amazon — a bit of adventure, and a solid, simple, inspirational science lesson. Everything an IMAX doc should be.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Apr 09

Tue Apr 09 2019, 10:52am | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Apr 08

Tue Apr 09 2019, 10:12am | comments off

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


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Apr 05

Sun Apr 07 2019, 01:14pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can Apr 05

Sun Apr 07 2019, 01:12pm | 0 comments

Taraji P. Henson costars in historical drama The Best of Enemies; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


I am writing SF/F/H flash fiction for your amusement (and here’s some more)

Sat Apr 06 2019, 05:38pm | 0 comments

This latest one is solidly science fiction, with, perhaps, tiny ominous hints of sci-fi horror to come. I mean, encourage me with your Patreon patronage (which you need in order to read this) and maybe I’ll expand it. Could be fun and terrifying!


Missing Link movie review: unevolved throwback

Sat Apr 06 2019, 12:58pm | 0 comments

A quite literally cartoonishly awful protagonist, a plot that makes no sense, lowbrow humor, and terrible gender dynamics add up to an unpleasant retro mess.


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Apr 04-05

Fri Apr 05 2019, 10:14pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Apr 05

Fri Apr 05 2019, 04:40pm | 0 comments

Alice Rohrwacher writes and directs Italian drama Happy as Lazarro; and not much else… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


curated: explaining Captain Marvel’s vitally important, gamechanging character arc

Fri Apr 05 2019, 11:00am | 0 comments

I don’t expect the whiny manbabies to get it, but at this point, it won’t be for lack of trying.


Pet Sematary (2019) movie review: bad things happen when you leave the city

Wed Apr 03 2019, 05:27pm | 0 comments

A lazy adaptation of the Stephen King novel, manipulatively cheap when it isn’t provoking eye-rolls at its genre banalities. Why can’t someone find the right role for the charismatic Jason Clarke?


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Apr 02-05

Wed Apr 03 2019, 02:51pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Apr 01-06

Wed Apr 03 2019, 12:40pm | comments off

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


a teaser from my latest flash fiction (a body-horror fairy tale)

Tue Apr 02 2019, 08:44pm | 0 comments

Actually, this latest story is a little over 2,500 words, so I don’t think it qualifies as flash fiction anymore. But that just means more bang for your Patreon buck!


Shazam! movie review: unmarvelous

Tue Apr 02 2019, 03:00pm | 0 comments

Nothing matters in this literal adolescent-male power fantasy, a cheesy mishmash of nonsense and low stakes. Anyone who needs at least a bit of meat in their superhero tales will be disappointed.


Blowin’ Up documentary review: women getting shit done

Mon Apr 01 2019, 10:25pm | 0 comments

A fly-on-the-wall peek into a court in New York City where women work to help other women with realistic solutions to complicated problems. A wonderful ode to creative and compassionate thinking.


say hello to “(fictional) notes from The British Museum #12”

Sat Mar 30 2019, 05:40pm | 0 comments

A flash-fiction project, stories from which are available to all Patreon patrons at the $1/month level or above. Thank you for your support!


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Mar 27-29

Fri Mar 29 2019, 09:04pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can Mar 27-29

Fri Mar 29 2019, 08:53pm | 0 comments

Mary Kay Place stars in drama Diane; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Mar 29

Fri Mar 29 2019, 08:07pm | comments off

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


I’m on BBC World Service’s “The Arts Hour” again this Sunday Saturday, March 30th

Fri Mar 29 2019, 06:37pm | 0 comments

Unlike previous episodes of “The Arts Hour,” I’m the only in-studio guest. So you might hear a bit more from me this time.


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Mar 29

Fri Mar 29 2019, 03:23pm | 0 comments

Patricia Clarkson stars in writer-director Carol Morley’s noir Out of Blue; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


The White Crow movie review: nothing to crow about

Fri Mar 29 2019, 02:22pm | 0 comments

Elegant but dull, and so subtle it’s downright diffuse. If you don’t know much about Rudolf Nureyev going in, you won’t know much coming out, either. Weirdly, it doesn’t even feature much dancing.


The Brink documentary review: a nasty piece of work

Thu Mar 28 2019, 09:53pm | 0 comments

I feared a portrait of human dumpster fire Steve Bannon would humanize him, but he’s beyond that. Can we use this inside look at his political and cultural manipulations to stop his fomenting of hate?


Dumbo (2019) movie review: you will not believe an elephant can fly

Wed Mar 27 2019, 03:08pm | 0 comments

The most soulless of the live-action Disney remakes yet, weighted down by too many blah characters, too much convoluted plot, unconvincing CGI, and a message that doesn’t say what it thinks it does.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Mar 26-29

Wed Mar 27 2019, 12:21pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Mar 25-29

Wed Mar 27 2019, 11:17am | comments off

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


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Mar 22

Fri Mar 22 2019, 10:46pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can Mar 20-22

Fri Mar 22 2019, 10:39pm | 0 comments

Lupita Nyong’o stars in mystery horror thriller Us; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Out of Blue movie review: murder most muted

Fri Mar 22 2019, 09:19pm | 0 comments

A limp noodle of a cinematic noir that drains Patricia Clarkson of her usual eccentric charisma. And where it aims for intriguingly oblique pseudoscientific philosophizing, it ends up merely obtuse.


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Mar 22

Fri Mar 22 2019, 07:01pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Mar 22

Fri Mar 22 2019, 06:54pm | 0 comments

Mikki Daughtry cowrites teen romantic drama Five Feet Apart, starring Haley Lu Richardson; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


The Crossing (Guo Chun Tian) movie review: smuggler’s blahs

Fri Mar 22 2019, 03:35pm | 0 comments

This uninvolving coming-of-age crime drama tries to dazzle with visual tricksiness, but it cannot make up for its teen protagonist who is mere metaphorical symbol, and a bystander in her own story.


a Patreon thank-you video

Thu Mar 21 2019, 05:10pm | 0 comments

I’ve made a brief video to thank new patrons of my Patreon; you’ll see it after you make a pledge. (Existing patrons can see it, too.)


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