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Recent Reviews & Whatnot

I assume anyone who reads this blog also follows me on Twitter, so you would know why I haven’t updated here recently. That’s because I’ve started a publishing company, The Critical Press, which will be publishing short and medium-length books on film criticism, history, and culture. The first titles will be published this fall, starting with Peter Labuza’s Approaching the End: Imagining Apocalypse in American Film, in October. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or the press blog!

I have still been doing reviews here and there for InReview Online, as well as very occasionally updating LetterBoxd. Here are some recent ones. I’ll try to keep this space better updated going forward:

At InReview Online:

Closed Curtain

Russian Ark

The Passion of Anna

Show People

On LetterBoxd:

Edge of Tomorrow



The American

The Butler


Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets

targets_orlok in target

Over at In Review Online, I’ve written about Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature film, Targets:

“All the good movies have been made,” laments Sammy Michaels, a young but creatively frustrated filmmaker played by Peter Bogdanovich in his own writing and directing debut Targets. He’s trying to convince classic horror-film star Byron Orlok (Boris Karloff, essentially playing himself) not to retire early, but is distracted by Orlok’s performance in Howard Hawks’s The Criminal Code (1931) on television. It is probably the most meta scene in a very meta-movie, one riddled with anxieties about the place and purpose of the cinema in an era that seemed to be moving past a need for its distractions and pleasures.

Read the whole thing here.

Review Archive

The blog now has an archive of reviews and scribblings (also accessible through the top or left sidebar) of films over the last year. As I note there, most are not real reviews, just brief thoughts I have about things shortly after I see them. Most are from Letterboxd. Anyway, they are there in the event anyone is interested in reading my opinions on Muppet Treasure Island.

The wait is over…

…because hopefully blogging will soon be resuming. New fatherhood has unsurprisingly limited my time to everything except the basics of my own survival, though our family is now on something of a schedule (and we are returning to work) so it will actually be easier for me to find time to write.

(Unexpectedly, I have been able to watch a fairly healthy number of films the past few months, since it’s about the only thing to do when holding a baby at 2:00 in the morning, especially when that baby needs white noise to fall asleep. Some of these I’ve chronicled on Letterboxd, but hardly all. There are a few things I’ve seen that I’d like to talk about here in the coming weeks.)

Here’s some pieces, most half-finished or otherwise sitting in a draft folder, that you can expect to see soon:

  • A short post on Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover, the most recent of the films I’d plan to write about as part of the Streaming Project
  • A review of Glenn Frankel’s book about the pre-history and production of The Searchers
  • Some thoughts on developing auteurist cinephilia through the use of streaming services
  • An essay on The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which I recently watched for the first time on Blu-ray

Obviously, some of these posts expand beyond the original mission statement of this blog, but as my time is fairly limited I’d rather write about things I’m currently thinking about than try to wait to come up with “on topic” posts.