$5 Blu-rays? Blame Amazon overstocks

The critically-acclaimed, Oscar-winning movie “Birdman” was only released two months ago. I just bought this movie on Blu-ray for $5. The case was in great condition, had a blank label over the bar code, but had no shrinkwrap seal. The disc appeared in excellent order, with a little bit of minor scratching around the edge more »

A TIDAL wave of narcissism

So Jay-Z and the Justice League of Over-Produced Pop Stars have joined forces to fight the evil menace of streaming music services – by starting their own streaming music service. There have been many stories recently about the meek amount of royalties that services like Spotify and Pandora pay out. Work certainly needs to be more »

An Interview with “Black Sea” director Kevin Macdonald: There’s no substitute for a good “sub” genre… literally.

Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald’s newest film “Black Sea” manages to resurrect a long-forgotten SUB-genre (more on this particular pun later) — the submarine movie. While films like “Below,” “Das Boot,”Crimson Tide,” “U-571,” etc. frequently “surfaced” (sorry, I just can’t help myself) during the 1980’s, 1990’s and even the 2000’s, this forgotten style of action-thriller has more »


Selma, the controversy, and the importance of timing

Since the Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning, the biggest story has been the lack of nominations for “Selma.” Yes, it got a Best Picture nod. But aside from that, “Selma” was nominated only for Best Original Song (“Glory,” the Golden Globe-winning tune by John Legend and Common), and was shut out completely in more »

On “Selma” and the fine cinema of political strategy

Yes, “Selma” is everything you’ve heard it is, and more. It’s beautiful, emotional and resonant.   It’s wonderfully acted, expertly directed by Ava DuVernay, and very well written by Paul Webb, who not only assembled the film’s great structure but, due to the lack of access to King’s actual speeches, needed to write new ones more »

On the Charlie Hebdo murders and acceptable arguments

In what has come to be called the “PC wars” in popular culture, most arguments are, at heart, about the questions of “is this thing offensive” or “does this thing deserve to be criticized?” Some aren’t comfortable with even that, but those perimeters are generally where the argument lies. Do you know where the argument more »

On the Brooklyn police murders, social media and straw men

Over the weekend, not long after two New York City police officers were murdered in cold blood while sitting in their car in Brooklyn, an undergraduate from Brandeis University took to Twitter and stated that no, she didn’t feel any sympathy for the two dead officers. She added that “i hate this racist fucking country,” more »

Memo to Sony: Don’t pull “The Interview”

To everyone at Sony Pictures, I say this: You’ve had your lives turned upside down. You’ve had your emails leaked, everything from salary data to personal details to some very, very bad ideas for movies. You’ve had actual threats of bodily harm. For a whole lot of people, this is the worst thing that’s ever more »

In the spirit of “Big Hero 6″ — A cinematic tribute to “gentle giants” (Part Two)

As Baymax and “Big Hero 6″ slowly inches toward the $200 million mark (hey, it could happen) with a $137 million domestic box office take to date, here is, as promised, the continuation of my cinematic tribute to all those who are large and in charge and have hearts that are equally large as well. The more »


What I’m sick of hearing about Bill Cosby

If you feel bad for Bill Cosby, don’t. Sure, he’s being raked through the coals at age 77, getting the worst press of career, and may very well never work in the entertainment industry again. He won’t be getting any more honorary degrees, and his days of telling teenagers to pull up their pants are more »

In the spirit of “Big Hero 6″ — a cinematic tribute to “gentle giants” (Part one)

“Big Hero 6” is a touching techno-fairy tale about a boy and his squishy, blob-like, inflatable, robot healthcare companion. I guess the concept of “a boy and his dog” is just too boring these days and I, for one, am seriously glad that it finally is. Disney’s 54th animated film is loosely based around a more »

Artie Lange and the “but he’s a comedian” defense: 5 observations

I there’s one phrase in the world I’m sick to death of hearing, it’s “leave him alone! He’s a comedian!” It’s come up in the various controversies over the last couple of years, from Daniel Tosh’s comedy-club rape jokes to various radio show controversies to the Anthony Cumia firing to this week, the kerfuffle over more »