Shortly after penning my dual review of The Lost Daughter and The Tragedy of Macbeth and highlighting both the difficulty of raising children during the pandemic and the difficulties thrown into our path by fate, both of my kids wound up home from school. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
As a result, this is going to be a mildly truncated, link-heavy iteration of Screen Time. Let’s be honest, you’ll probably learn more reading these folks than you would reading me anyway. Please enjoy, and with any luck we’ll be back to full strength next week.
On to the links!
Some sad news to kick things off: comedian, actor, and game show host Louie Anderson died this morning.
Musician and actor Meat Loaf also died. Meat Loaf was a fine, potentially underrated actor (I don’t know if Fight Club is as effective without him; I do know Black Dog wouldn’t have been as effective without him). And the music video for “I Would Do Anything for Love” remains one of Michael Bay’s five best films.
Slightly happier news: John Carpenter is still with us and celebrated his 74th birthday last weekend. Bill Ryan wrote a very nice essay about the great director for us that I hope inspires you to check out one of his movies this weekend.
You’ve got to read this profile of Joss Whedon in New York Magazine. It is tremendously damning. And then after reading it, please listen to Alyssa, Peter, and I talk about the fallout on Across the Movie Aisle. (We also reviewed The Tragedy of Macbeth, and Alyssa got to show off her big Shakespeare brain, which is always fun.)
If you want to understand Netflix’s earnings call and why the streaming giant has given up all of its COVID-era gains, you have to read the Entertainment Strategy Guy’s thread on the disappointing earnings call. If Netflix has, in fact, maxed out its subscriber numbers, is Wall Street right to be spooked? Or are they overreacting given Netflix’s enormous revenue numbers? After reading that thread, make sure to check out his essay at The Ankler on the worst case scenario for Disney.
Speaking of The Ankler, I wrote a piece for Richard Rushfield’s burgeoning newsletter empire on China’s influence on Hollywood. Consider picking up a subscription if you want to read a newsletter beloved by the bold-faced names in Hollywood.
Folks at Pixar are bummed out about the mini-studio’s latest film, Turning Red, being dumped directly to Disney+. Why are Disney’s films (Encanto, Raya and the Last Dragon) getting at least some theatrical play while Pixar’s flicks (Soul, Turning Red, and Luca) are being treated as little more than fodder to keep Disney+ subscribers happy?
PaleyFest is returning to live, in-person status this year; listen to my interview with programmer Rene Reyes here.
Self-recommending: “Jon Bernthal’s Guide to Making It as a Supporting Actor.”
Nightmare Alley is a movie that’s well-worth watching on the biggest screen possible just to soak in the set design and costuming; say what you will about Guillermo del Toro’s films, they all look gorgeous.
If you found that compendium of links useful, please share it with the movie-lover in your life!
Assigned Viewing: The Warriors (Hulu)
This week I realized something fairly striking: Only one of the films directed by Walter Hill, Red Heat, is available on 4K Blu-ray. No 48 Hours, no The Warriors, no Streets of Fire. Just … Red Heat.
And look, Red Heat is fun! I like the pairing of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi. Good movie. But The Warriors is calling out for a pristine 4K release. Just imagine watching all those gangs prowl New York City in glorious 4K! The kids have to learn about Hill’s modern reimagining of Xenophon’s Anabasis some time, don’t they? One of these days Arrow or Criterion or someone needs to put out a proper 4K collection with Extreme Prejudice, Hard Times, Southern Comfort, Johnny Handsome, and The Driver.
That is an excellent piece on John Carpenter. Even the stuff he did I didn't like was Worth Watching (there wasn't that much, and on at least one I later changed my mind). Also "the Warriors."
As long as you're listing "under-rated" movies...
Here's something you should check out: "Matinee" - it was on one of the cable networks recently and I saw it again for the first time since opening weekend. I could never figure out why it didn't go the distance. The audience I saw it with that first Friday was everyone from teenagers to people who were then the age I am now, and at the end the entire theater stood up and applauded. As a former writer of horror movies, it is a love letter to them, by someone who knew what he was talking about, and a perfect demonstration of why we love them. John Goodman as William Castle doing "the tingler" routine is just superb. I've recommended it at my Substack after seeing it again, and a bunch of the readers took the recommendation and report they loved it too. It's a movie that leaves you scratching your head: who could dislike this? I even once talked to the guy who said "yes" to it and he couldn't figure it out. "It was the easiest yes I ever gave."
Man, it’d be fun to see Streets of Fire get the Criterion treatment. Had that one on vhs, then dvd, and now on blu-ray.