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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

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are you having trouble with email notifications of my posts at Patreon?

Thu May 30 2019, 12:06pm | 0 comments

A reader appears to have stumbled upon a bug at Patreon…


Rocketman movie review: what makes a rock star, and what unmakes him

Wed May 29 2019, 09:00am | 0 comments

Joyful and rowdy, self-deprecating and vulnerable, absolutely electrifying as it deconstructs the sex-drugs-and-rock’n’-roll story. Taron Egerton is chills-inducingly good. Sheer cinematic magic.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, May 24

Fri May 24 2019, 10:09pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can May 22–24

Fri May 24 2019, 09:59pm | 0 comments

Jill Magid directs documentary The Proposal, about her own performance-art project; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


curated: how has no one made a movie about Aloha Wanderwell yet?!

Fri May 24 2019, 08:11pm | 0 comments

How is it possible that I’ve never heard of this pioneering female filmmaker before? Oh, right: it’s because she was a female filmmaker.


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, May 22-24

Fri May 24 2019, 07:39pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire May 24

Fri May 24 2019, 07:32pm | 0 comments

Dominga Sotomayor Castillo writes and directs Chilean coming-of-age drama Too Late to Die Young; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


XY Chelsea documentary review: the truth will out

Fri May 24 2019, 05:14pm | 0 comments

Pensively melancholy, this jagged, humane portrait of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning is a massive challenge to the notion of soldiering as a good way for a lost young person to find oneself.


new flash fiction from me to you…

Thu May 23 2019, 10:28pm | 0 comments

…if you’re my Patreon patron, that is. (Only $1/mo to read this story and others!)


Trial by Fire and My Days of Mercy movies review: two (rare) new dramas about the US death penalty

Thu May 23 2019, 01:33pm | 0 comments

Two very different films, replete with emotionally engaging performances, examine the impact of the American death penalty from the large-scale legal and political to that of intimate personal grief.


curated: always be nyuk-nyuk-ing Nazis

Wed May 22 2019, 09:10pm | 0 comments

How have I never heard about these Three Stooges shorts before?


Booksmart movie review: these kids today, with their academic overachievement and their niceness…

Wed May 22 2019, 12:33pm | 0 comments

A rare treat: a perfect film. Smart, funny, wise, sparkling with wit both visually and in its snappy dialogue. A self-assured directorial debut from Olivia Wilde, confident and effortless. Pure joy.


Aladdin (2019) movie review: cave of blunders

Wed May 22 2019, 09:31am | 0 comments

The romance lacks chemistry, and the villain lacks bite. It seems embarrassed to be a musical, failing to embrace the necessary ineffable daydreaminess. Somehow even more cartoonish as live-action.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 21

Tue May 21 2019, 09:15pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 20–24

Tue May 21 2019, 08:49pm | comments off

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


new sci-fi/fantasy/horror flash fiction by me for your amusement

Sun May 19 2019, 07:38pm | 0 comments

Please support my Patreon — for which you get intriguing genre flash fiction — so I don’t have to get a real job, which will kill me.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, May 17

Sat May 18 2019, 03:47pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can May 15–17

Sat May 18 2019, 03:32pm | 0 comments

Ry Russo-Young directs romantic drama The Sun Is Also a Star, costarring Yara Shahidi; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, May 15–17

Sat May 18 2019, 11:27am | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire May 17

Sat May 18 2019, 11:18am | 0 comments

Tali Shalom-Ezer directs romantic drama My Days of Mercy, starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 14–17

Wed May 15 2019, 09:59pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 13–17

Wed May 15 2019, 09:30pm | comments off

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


John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum movie review: symphony in order and chaos

Wed May 15 2019, 07:31pm | 0 comments

Modern noir god Keanu Reeves again stalks a fantasy(ish) world of exhausting, inventive violence. But this time, the curtain is drawn back on the sham of seeming orderliness in its world (and ours).


Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé documentary review: Beychella inside and out (#Netflix)

Tue May 14 2019, 09:43pm | 0 comments

If you don’t get why Beyoncé is worshipped as a goddess, this glorious pop spectacle — part concert film, part myth-in-the-making — will fix that. Enormously entertaining, and absolutely landmark.


curated: were the works attributed to Shakespeare written by a woman?

Mon May 13 2019, 03:36pm | 0 comments

This is the first argument against William Shakespeare as the playwright that seems convincing to me. And it’s not only plausible but deliciously radical.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, May 08–10

Sat May 11 2019, 09:59pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can May 08–10

Sat May 11 2019, 02:11pm | 0 comments

Diane Keaton and Celia Weston star in comedy Poms, directed by Zara Hayes; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, May 10

Sat May 11 2019, 12:28pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire May 10

Sat May 11 2019, 12:20pm | 0 comments

Aretha Franklin headlines concert documentary Amazing Grace; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


A Dog’s Journey movie review: Does the Dog Die? The Movie

Thu May 09 2019, 03:49pm | 0 comments

Pure rerun of A Dog’s Purpose: Pooch Bailey returns again and again (again) in different bodies to love and serve his humans. A sappy tail, pleasantly daydreamy. I’m not crying you’re crying.


Tolkien movie review: it doesn’t wander, but it’s lost

Wed May 08 2019, 02:19pm | 0 comments

This infuriatingly reductive biopic of the Hobbit author renders him as stolid and dull, and removes all the mystery and the wonder from creative inspiration. Literal-minded and free of magic.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, May 06–10

Tue May 07 2019, 10:15pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, May 06–10

Tue May 07 2019, 08:29pm | comments off

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


Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie review: destined to be Legendary

Tue May 07 2019, 03:51pm | 0 comments

Designed to cash in on the popular mobile game, this kiddie noir nevertheless sparkles with charming originality. Gentle enough for tykes but with satirical bite for grownups, too. Downright adorable.


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, May 03

Fri May 03 2019, 02:34pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can May 03

Fri May 03 2019, 02:29pm | 0 comments

Sex therapist Ruth Westheimer is featured in documentary Ask Dr. Ruth; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


curated: a brief history of spoilers

Fri May 03 2019, 02:08pm | 0 comments

“Spoilers have been infuriating people since Victorian times” LOL…


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, May 03

Fri May 03 2019, 02:02pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire May 03

Fri May 03 2019, 01:55pm | 0 comments

Linda Cardellini stars in horror mystery The Curse of La Llorona, cowritten by Mikki Daughtry; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Long Shot movie review: not-so-radical romantic agenda

Fri May 03 2019, 12:33pm | 0 comments

House of Cards as a satirical workplace comedy, with just a touch of rom-com thrown in to render it genuinely sweetly sexy. Theron and Rogen share palpable chemistry, both comic and romantic.


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, US/Can, Apr 30–May 03

Wed May 01 2019, 10:26pm | comments off

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


new and ongoing dvd/blu/vod releases, UK/Ire, Apr 29–May 03

Wed May 01 2019, 09:47pm | comments off

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


Avengers: Endgame movie review: with a bang *and* a whimper

Wed May 01 2019, 05:16pm | 0 comments

A miraculous blend of grief and humor. Big, bold, brash, then sneakily meta. I am only starting to get my head around the emotional and creative right-hook of it. A fitting end (for now) to the MCU.


new sci-fi flash fiction by yours truly

Sun Apr 28 2019, 09:16pm | 0 comments

See the object at The British Museum that inspired this week’s story, and read the opening of the story itself.


which Netflix movie should I review next?

Sun Apr 28 2019, 07:17pm | 0 comments

Results are in…


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, Apr 26

Sun Apr 28 2019, 01:43pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening US/Can Apr 26

Sat Apr 27 2019, 04:37pm | 0 comments

Elizabeth Rynecki directs documentary Chasing Portraits, about her own personal family quest; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, Apr 25-26

Fri Apr 26 2019, 04:11pm | comments off

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


movies by or about women opening UK/Ire Apr 26

Fri Apr 26 2019, 04:04pm | 0 comments

Elsie Fisher stars in tween dramedy Eighth Grade; more… [This post is for Patreon patrons only for the first month.]


Bel Canto movie review: Stockholm syndrome, a love story

Fri Apr 26 2019, 12:17pm | 0 comments

This tonal misfire never hits the notes of drama and romance it aims for with its ickily problematic terrorist-hostage relationships. Facile and uncomfortably implausible, emotionally and practically.


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