Romeo and Juliet Balcony  Verona, Italy


When You’re a Remake

Like The Great Gatsby, the enduring fame of West Side Story is due to two factors: Many people encounter it during high school (because teachers show the 1961 movie when trying to get kids to read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet), and ...

Licorice Pizza


‘Licorice Pizza’: Local Boy Makes Good

Paul Thomas Anderson’s critically acclaimed Licorice Pizza is his response to Quentin Tarantino’s similarly nostalgic Once Upon a Hollywood. As you may recall, I was a huge homer for Tarantino’s 2019 movie set in the ...


‘Dune’: Old Spice in a New Age

Dune is an extraordinarily impressive (if not utterly enjoyable) adaptation of the first half of the epic 1965 science-fiction novel that George Lucas borrowed heavily from for his boys’ version in Star Wars. The book by Frank ...


The End Game

The wedding was marvelous, the weather superb. Crowds ten deep along the mall to Windsor Castle. An American bride for the warrior-prince. The pubs rang out with cheers “To the Royal Couple”! A breath of fresh air; the Brits are ...

Herman Mankiewicz


That Touch of ‘Mank’

The best movie comedies of the 1930s were largely written by former newspaper reporters who had also tried their hand at writing for the New York stage before being seduced by Hollywood’s sunshine and lucre. Today, we think of ...

James Norton in Mr. Jones


Keeping Up With ‘Mr. Jones’

In the biopic Mr. Jones, the insidious Peter Sarsgaard plays Walter Duranty, the sinister New York Times Moscow correspondent who covered up Stalin’s Ukraine famine of the early 1930s. Duranty, who won a 1932 Pulitzer Prize for his ...


Rise of the Crypto-Caucasians

There’s an old saying I just coined: “You can ignore the race war, but the race war won’t ignore you.” No matter how insulated you think you are, the people in this country who are dead-set on making everything about race will ...


‘Hamilton’: The Obama Administration on Stage

Before I finally watched Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s colossally popular Broadway musical depicting the Founding Fathers as rapping Men of Color, I had never heard that it’s so childish. I don’t know how to judge hip-hop, but ...


“Roast in Hell, Old White Man”

Hollywood’s moral compass points in only one direction—the wrong way. There is no better example of Hollywood’s inverted sense of morality than the fact that as our Tinseltown “betters” were defending and in some cases bailing ...

Ellen DeGeneres


America’s Lesbian Sweetheart

Ellen DeGeneres was born with this face, and that’s the plain truth. If you think there’s any more nuanced or complicated reason beyond that for why she “became” a lesbian, I strongly beg to differ. She was “born that way” ...



Bleeding Hearts and Bloody Whores

I’ll begin this week’s sermon, I mean column, with the Parable of the Hemorrhaging Mexican Whore. I used to have this friend—I won’t say his name because he’s an actor and you’d know him—who loved driving down to Tijuana ...


Call of Duty: ‘1917’

2019 turned out to be a good year for quality guy movies after all, as several veteran directors ignored the anti-male zeitgeist and just shot the films they’ve long wanted to make, such as Joker, Once Upon a Hollywood, The ...

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