Steven Hyden introduced his five-albums test more than a decade ago as a third way to judge a band, short of its popularity or its critical acclaim. While this one is not meant to stand on its own—for example, he’s not sure that either Bob Dylan nor the Rolling Stones had made five great albums… Read More The Five-Movies Test or: Which Director Has Had the Best Stretch of Consecutive Feature-Length Films in English?
Yesterday afternoon, while cheerfully taking my zillionth Twitter constitutional, I found Katey Rich’s tweet in which she noted her involvement in an article for Vanity Fair which named, in the eyes of critics K. Austin Collins and Richard Lawson (and presumably some assists from the rest of VF’s movie staff), the twenty-five most influential movie… Read More Better than Vanity Fair’s 25 Most Influential Movie Scenes
Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Starring Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart At the end of the movie, two final scenes find an ugliness in this movie’s heart that I’m not entirely sure the movie would think is ugly. In the first, Brockovich (Roberts) receives a check from Masry (Finney) which he “warns” her is not the… Read More Erin Brockovich (2000)
As any true -holic knows, a little grace goes a long way. As I read through and listened to dozens of Best of the Decade lists, I tried to apply a truth I’d always kept close about list-making: it’s about what’s not on the list as much as it is what’s there. To some extent,… Read More Top 100 Movies of the Decade (2010-2019): The Painful Cuts
Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Starring Laurence Fishburne, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet In the moment, Contagion is a rush. This is one of the virtues of its structure, one of the late legacies of the aughts fascination with multiple loosely connected story strands. (It’s like everyone in Hollywood watched Nashville on the same weekend in 1998 and spent the… Read More Contagion (2011)
One of the Grantland legacies I’m fond of, although I’m sure the idea didn’t start there, is the championship belt (RIP Grantland, long live Barnwell and Hyden). The purpose is to go year by year and create a list of who’s at the top of some field, which is a deceptively simple task, and one… Read More Anglophone Director Championship Belt, 1918-2018
Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Starring Andie MacDowell, James Spader, Laura San Giacomo Soderbergh’s camera sidles up to its targets in sex, lies, and videotape, like a bold young boy putting an arm around a girl whose name he doesn’t know. Perpetually on edge, always a little antsy, given to slow approaches into a character’s face from above or… Read More sex, lies, and videotape (1989)
Before going into straight review territory on this blog, I used to spend a lot more of my time making lists; I blame Buzzfeed for taking the joy out of the format. But recently, while I was reading Ben Lindbergh’s recent post at The Ringer about whether or not a movie should be remade, I… Read More Remakes I’m Asking For