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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

 

To Kid or Not to Kid and Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth documentaries review: childfree or child-bound?

Wed Jul 01 2020, 06:36pm | 0 comments

Two intimate documentaries about atypical paths to parenthood — or not — invite us to re-evaluate our assumptions, expand our thinking, and be more accommodating of the full spectrum of humanity.


the Flick Filosopher daily email digest is now the weekly email digest

Mon Jun 29 2020, 04:56pm | 0 comments

I have an email list. Did you know that? You probably didn’t: I haven’t had any signup forms around here prominently for a while.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Jun 23–26

Sun Jun 28 2020, 11:09pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Jun 22–26

Sun Jun 28 2020, 09:42pm | comments off

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


Fanny Lye Deliver’d movie review: birth of the modern woman (#EIFF2020)

Sun Jun 28 2020, 07:43pm | 0 comments

Maxine Peake is stupendous in this deliciously audacious period horror, ambitious in emotional scope and with monsters who feel unexpectedly modern: men who wield religion as a tool of oppression.


My Spy movie review: and you can keep him, little girl (#AmazonPrime)

Thu Jun 25 2020, 01:51pm | 0 comments

A “family” comedy about nuclear terrorism, the incompetent CIA agent on the case, and his 9-year-old sidekick. Desperately unfunny, thoroughly misjudged. We are in the worst and the dumbest timeline.


as I’ve been saying: YES, the cultural context and content of a film MATTERS

Thu Jun 25 2020, 11:53am | 0 comments

But now a man is saying it, so maybe someone will listen?


The Last Tree movie review: boy interrupted

Wed Jun 24 2020, 01:14pm | 0 comments

An astonishingly beautiful coming-of-age story of startling specificity and intense intimacy, yet universal in its compassionate depiction of a child’s perspective dawning on mature self-awareness.


I pledge not to review any new movie available only in cinemas as long as COVID-19 remains a danger

Thu Jun 18 2020, 07:40pm | 0 comments

This doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing film criticism! There are still plenty of movies, new and classic, that I can write about. But for the time being, I see no ethical way to cover films that will be available only in cinemas.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Jun 16–19

Wed Jun 17 2020, 09:04pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Jun 15–16

Wed Jun 17 2020, 06:33pm | comments off

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


Miss Juneteenth movie review: ordinary lives drawn with extraordinary grace

Wed Jun 17 2020, 02:52pm | 0 comments

A beautiful cinematic experience, delicately subtle and bursting with a gorgeous sense of place and character. There is wonderful intimate suspense in every moment of Nicole Beharie’s performance.


7500 movie review: never your in-flight movie (#AmazonPrime)

Tue Jun 16 2020, 08:34pm | 0 comments

Mundanity builds to almost unbearable tension, but this isn’t an action movie. It’s a drama grounded in emotional realism thanks to the Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s intense empathy and vulnerable humanity.


Artemis Fowl movie review: falls foul of itself (#DisneyPlus)

Sun Jun 14 2020, 10:20pm | 0 comments

A disaster of a kids’ fantasy caper; feels like it’s making up the plot as it goes. A mishmash of manufactured wonder: characters barely sketched, action seemingly setting up future DisneyWorld rides.


Sometimes Always Never movie review: only very intermittently

Fri Jun 12 2020, 01:57pm | 0 comments

Gentle kook and visual frolicking bury emotion in this tale of a man mired in grief. Little of its head-scratching whimsy makes a melancholy landing; most just floats away on wisps of insignificance.


I’m on BBC World Service’s “The Arts Hour” again this Saturday, June 13th

Thu Jun 11 2020, 01:46pm | 0 comments

Topics include new movies The High Note and Radioactive, and a lot more.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Jun 09–12

Wed Jun 10 2020, 10:58pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Jun 08–12

Wed Jun 10 2020, 10:30pm | comments off

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


Shirley movie review: lost girls gone mad

Wed Jun 10 2020, 06:46pm | 0 comments

A beautiful-ugly film, a work of domestic gothic grotesquerie, of women’s suffocation and sacrifice, pain and isolation. Elisabeth Moss’s performance is next-level glorious in its wackadoo intensity.


2040 documentary review: can we remake the world in 20 years? (spoiler: yes)

Mon Jun 08 2020, 08:41pm | 0 comments

A dash of eco-optimism to counter global-warming doom and gloom. Gameau is an enormously engaging fact-based dreamer offering a much-needed mindset refresh and proactive actions we can engage in now.


13th documentary review: American slavery never ended; here are the receipts (#Netflix)

Sun Jun 07 2020, 06:34pm | 0 comments

Brutal, necessary watch for all who want to understand why America operates with impunity re its horrendous treatment of Black people. Incisive and shocking, moreso now than when it debuted in 2016.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Jun 05

Wed Jun 03 2020, 10:11pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Jun 01–05

Wed Jun 03 2020, 09:35pm | comments off

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


The Vast of Night movie review: and vast of perspective (#AmazonPrime)

Wed Jun 03 2020, 06:43pm | 0 comments

Striking sci-fi mood piece, all eeriness and ookiness, wonder and dread. Explicitly Twilight Zone–esque, summoning a midcentury-America innocence in order to shatter its narrowness (and our own).


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 25–29

Sat May 30 2020, 07:02pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 25–29

Fri May 29 2020, 05:50pm | comments off

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


The Lovebirds movie review: breaking up on the run (#Netflix)

Thu May 28 2020, 09:19pm | 0 comments

The hugely appealing Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani share terrific comic and romantic chemistry and work their everywoman and -man charm to the max. Go-to goofy escapism for, say, a pandemic lockdown.


$1 and $3 Patreon tiers to be retired on June 1st (but join now and you can stay at that level)

Wed May 27 2020, 09:33pm | 0 comments

Wouldn’t you like to join my Patreon? I know you would…


flash fiction update: ebook coming soon, free to all Patreon patrons — join now!

Wed May 27 2020, 12:47pm | 0 comments

And there’s an extra incentive to get you to pledge to my Patreon before June 1st.


Inheritance movie review: ill fortune

Tue May 26 2020, 10:00pm | 0 comments

Nothing works in this ludicrous thriller, which fails to compel us with its roster of monstrous characters. Lily Collins is woefully miscast; Patrick Warburton and Simon Pegg are criminally wasted.


Lucky Grandma movie review: brittle old lady

Fri May 22 2020, 03:55pm | 0 comments

Wild sass, gentle comedy, shivs of poignancy, and instantly vivid characters add up to a wonderful riff on mob movies as a Chinatown granny faces off against gangsters. Tsai Chin is an absolute hoot.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 19–22

Thu May 21 2020, 06:38pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 18–22

Thu May 21 2020, 03:37pm | comments off

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


Scoob! movie review: Scooby dooby don’t

Tue May 19 2020, 07:42pm | 0 comments

A spectacularly scattershot, pandering mess of pulp junk, cheap-looking animation, and poisonous gender dynamics. A charmless cash-grab that can’t be bothered with the slightest stab at originality.


curated: how we look at art… and how we think about looking at art

Sun May 17 2020, 11:33pm | 0 comments

I suspect these essays hit me hard because how we see and think about the world is changing rapidly and dramatically as everything pauses during the coronavirus pandemic…


my 2020 film ranking is filling out… even with cinemas closed

Fri May 15 2020, 10:41pm | 0 comments

A peek at my ongoing ranking of 2020’s new movies — there are plenty! (The full list is now available to all Patreon patrons at all pledge levels. This post is free for all.)


Becoming documentary review: hope floats (#Netflix)

Tue May 12 2020, 09:39pm | 0 comments

Verges on an ad for Michelle Obama’s memoir, but a sincerely warm one. We glimpse a woman authentically funny, self-aware, down-to-earth. Like spending time with a friend you didn’t realize you had.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 12–15

Tue May 12 2020, 05:57pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 11–17

Tue May 12 2020, 12:15pm | comments off

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


Spaceship Earth documentary review: under the dome, and under a scrutinous eye

Mon May 11 2020, 10:09pm | 0 comments

Was Biosphere 2 scientific adventure or eco-entertainment? This is a gripping portrait of the billionaire’s folly/performance-art project, a hippie SF soap opera with unsettling resonance for today.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 05–08

Wed May 06 2020, 08:26pm | comments off

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


How to Build a Girl movie review: instruction manual not included

Wed May 06 2020, 06:19pm | 0 comments

The hypocrisy of the world’s expectations of girls gets a gently sardonic knock via an audaciously confident young woman battling to be herself. This is a lovely, goofy movie, easygoing and chaotic.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 04

Tue May 05 2020, 10:32pm | comments off

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


Capital in the Twenty-First Century documentary review: eat the rich (cuz they’re eating us)

Mon May 04 2020, 07:00pm | 0 comments

Attention, social justice warriors. French economist Thomas Piketty’s howl-of-rage academic treatise is now a hugely engaging documentary, eye-opening and brutally entertaining. Man the barricades!


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Apr 28–May 02

Wed Apr 29 2020, 10:32pm | comments off

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


Bad Education movie review: school for scandal (#HBO)

Wed Apr 29 2020, 09:53pm | 0 comments

A laugh-until-you-cry dramedy burlesque, brilliantly structured and horrifically compelling, about the endless grift that passes for an economy in America. Hugh Jackman is at the peak of his powers.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Apr 27–May 02

Wed Apr 29 2020, 03:28pm | comments off

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


The Assistant movie review: the realities of being a girl

Tue Apr 28 2020, 09:49pm | 0 comments

A quietly brutal film that shows the dark underbelly of an industry — of a world — dominated by often predatory straight white men. Could be an eye-opener on a larger scale… if only we listen.


Extraction movie review: meet the sociopathic white savior (#Netflix)

Mon Apr 27 2020, 10:01pm | 0 comments

Who are we rooting for in this accidental parody of the empty absurdity of modern action films? Everyone is awful, or a human macguffin. This is soulless technical wankery bereft of humor or humanity.


Planet of the Humans documentary review: we’ve done it, and we’ve been doing it for centuries

Thu Apr 23 2020, 06:26pm | 0 comments

From the warnings of the 1950s to the 21st-century corporate takeover of green energy, a grim look at humanity’s fate as the planet heats up. Is there any hope? This feels like only half the story.


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