Classic Movie Review: Lust for Life
Our classic this week on the Everyone is a Critic movie review podcast is Kirk Douglas and director Vincent Minnelli’s portrayal of the life of troubled artist Vincent Van Gogh, Lust for Life. If the film illustrates one thing more than anything else it is that acting has changed a great deal since 1956. While Douglas and co-star Anthony Quinn, as fellow painting legend Paul Gaugin rage at each other, it’s not hard to see why the directors of the next generation began to strive for something more natural and genuine from their actors. Lust for Life seems to me to be among the last films for which theatrically trained actors were the vanguard of the cinema.
My Favorite Radio Story
Having been in radio for over 20 years now, I have accumulated my fair share of great radio stories. But, naturally, I have one story that I always tell. One story that is always my go to story when I want to get a laugh about the mores of my business and the silliest of silly ego battles. I have one story that I always tell when I am initiating my new employees and interns in the ways of our business. It’s a cautionary tale to remind ourselves that, sometimes, other people know better than you.
What I Learned Reporting on the Death of Princess Diana
I was 20 years old when I landed my first job in professional radio. I began work as what we called a board operator, the person in charge of making sure that syndicated programming, in this case the Leeza Gibbons Top 40 Countdown on Mix 96.1 FM in Davenport, Iowa, ran according to schedule. This was a time when satellite delivered programming was reserved for talk radio and before automation software began making entry level positions in radio obsolete.
Movie Review: 'A Boy Called Po'
I must be getting soft as I get older because movies like A Boy Called Po never used to get passed my ironic armor. As a younger critic, a movie like A Boy Called Po with a premise that reads like a Lifetime Movie and a cast lacking star power would have been one I would dismiss without a glance. Admittedly, I used to be kind of arrogant and quite snobbish. It could be I have become more evolved and mature or it could be that director John Asher’s inspired by true events movie is actually so good that I had no need for my emotional armor.
Movie Review: 'I Do Until I Don't'
Lake Bell is quickly proving herself as a jack of all trades. She started her career in the role of the slightly less gorgeous best friend in movies before taking a major U-turn from pursuing movie stardom. When her What Happens in Vegas co-star Rob Corddry pitched the idea of the then web series Children's Hospital, it was an unlikely choice, one I’m sure her agent wasn’t exactly excited about. Then the series became a cult hit, earning a place on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup it showed Hollywood that Lake Bell was more than just the pretty face.
30 Years of 'Amazon Women on the Moon'
One of the first movies I ever reviewed on my podcast, when it was still called I Hate Critics, now Everyone’s a Critic, was a disconcerting sketch comedy movie called Movie 43. The film was a series of appalling short films strung together with no narrative under a title that one could imagine it having been randomly assigned by a movie studio for storage purposes, not intended for theatrical release. That this series of short films starred such actors as Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Liev Schreiber, and Naomi Watts are the only reason Movie 43 ever saw the light of day.
Remembering Tobe Hooper Through His Masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Director Tobe Hooper died today, he was 74 years old. Hooper’s very first film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre became an iconic horror classic in 1974 without getting the credit it deserves as a film. People like my critical brethren to this day write off The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as just a slasher film intended to shock and appall. But there is so much more to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre than just hack n’slash. Whether he knew it or not, Tobe Hooper was directing the last movie of the Hippie Generation and capturing, in the most visceral and violent metaphor imaginable, the death of the ideals of an entire generation of people.
Movie Review 'Birth of the Dragon'
Birth of the Dragon has been marketed as the story of Bruce Lee learning to grow and become more disciplined, humble, and dedicated to his craft after being confronted by a famed Shaolin Master named Wong Jack Man. Instead, Birth of the Dragon is a ludicrously misguided combination of faux-history and one of the worst conceived Bruce Lee movies in history. It's as bad as the films that inserted old Bruce Lee footage after his death into different movies that were then marketed as Bruce Lee movies.