Three films with nothing in common

So what do Collide, Modern Times and Manos: The Hands of Fate have in common? Absolutely nothing — except they were the subjects of my last three (unrelated) posts. If you missed them, check them out here by clicking the titles above. It’ll help you pass the time while waiting for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk to […]

‘Collide’ wastes a good cast

Congratulations to Eran Creevy, the director and co-writer of Collide (1 ½ stars on 0-5 scale). You took a movie with Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Felicity Jones and instead focused your cameras almost entirely on Nicholas Hoult and car crashes. At least the car crashes were impressive. The same can’t be said for the […]

‘Colossal’ returning to cinemas

After enjoying a nice festival run, including an appearance at the recent Florida Film Festival, Colossal (3 stars on my 0-5 scale) is returning to cinemas for a limited general release. The film is a unique blend of fantasy, science fiction, comedy and dark drama. That mix of genres isn’t always blended just right in […]

Enzian Theater to show ‘Bonnie and Clyde’

The Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida, will screen a 35mm print of Bonnie and Clyde (5 stars) at 9:30 p.m. tonight. The 1967 masterpiece, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in August, is part of the theater’s Cult Classics series. Directed by Arthur Penn and produced by Warren Beatty, the film is a landmark of […]

Florida students win filmmaker awards

From The Orlando Weekly, March 9, 2017 Thirteen high school and middle school students from Winter Park and Maitland, Florida, have won prizes in C-SPAN’s 2017 national StudentCam competition. Students were asked to create short documentary films answering the question: “What is the most urgent issue for the new president and Congress to address in […]

Worst film of 2016?

I still think Jackie (4 ½ stars) is the best film of 2016, but until now I wasn’t sure about the worst. It’s Dirty Grandpa (½ star), directed by Dan Mazer and starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron. Calling it a train wreck is an insult to train wrecks. Train wrecks are at least […]

Best-edited sequence of the year?

If you’re a director or editor, you must watch Manchester by the Sea (4 ¼ stars on 0-5 scale), if only for a 15-minute segment in the middle of the film (the 49-minute to the 64-minute mark).  I won’t ruin the surprise except to say it’s when we learn about the haunted past of the […]

Hidden truths?

Hidden Figures (1 ¾ stars on 0-5 scale), about the racial struggles of three extraordinary women, has been both a critical and commercial success. Directed by Theodore Melfi and based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, the film tells the story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary […]

Making noise about ‘Silence’

Gather up all your patience and maturity, forget you live in the 21st century and prepare yourself for an unexpectedly profound and hypnotic cinematic experience: Go see Martin Scorsese’s Silence (4 ¼ stars). Some critics have called it an unstructured slog, and they are right. The nearly three-hour runtime feels every bit that long, and […]

Wherefore art thou, Peter Cushing?

If you read my review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you will recall that I labeled the digital re-creation of Peter Cushing (and a young Carrie Fisher) as terrific, in all senses of the word. The technology that made it possible is both amazing and frightening, considering the effect it will undoubtedly have […]

BAFTA: Diversify, or else!

The decision by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to limit award eligibility to productions that embrace diversity is a scary one. (See http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/12/19/the_bafta_awards_will_exclude_films_that_are_not_diverse_starting_in_2019.html.) Though most of us recognize the value of diversity – racial, gender, social, cultural – enforcing diversity or condemning those who don’t embrace a “correct” point of view […]

Stupidity is Golden

The nominations for the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards are out (http://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees), and for the umpteenth year in a row, this odd assortment of journalists has gotten it wrong. In the spirit of the season, let me start with what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association got right. Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight clearly belong […]

Billy Lynn’s Half-Ass Walk

The only format that would make Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk good would be 0 frames per second. What a total crap fest and shocking embarrassment for Ang Lee, who previously used innovation brilliantly in Life of Pi. But his latest film, which he shot in 3-D and 120 fps, is almost a total failure […]

‘Michael Moore in TrumpLand’

I encourage every voter, regardless of party, to see Michael Moore in TrumpLand (2 ½ stars on my 0-5 scale). It’s difficult to review it as a film because it’s basically a 73-minute live monologue (with a couple of film inserts), but he offers some great food for thought. And, surprisingly, Moore makes the best […]

Enzian to host Duplass Q&A

From The Orlando Weekly, September 13, 2016 Blue Jay, written and executive-produced by, and also starring, Mark Duplass, opens at the Enzian Theater in Maitland on Friday. The 6:30 p.m. Saturday showing will be followed by a live, remote Skype Q&A with Duplass, who was a guest of the 2016 Florida Film Festival. Co-starring Sarah […]

Global Peace Film Festival continues

The Global Peace Film Festival continues through Sunday in Orlando and Winter Park, Florida. Last night the festival screened 10 films at six locations. I attended what was supposed to be the 5:30 p.m. screening of RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope at the Cobb Plaza Cinema Café, but, regrettably, things […]

What’s new at MeierMovies?

Some of you know I’ve been doing a lot of traveling over the last couple of months. You may also know I’ve been battling some health issues. (Don’t worry — I’ll be OK.) So I’m depressingly unfamiliar with many recent releases, including Snowden, Pete’s Dragon and others I had wanted to see. Nevertheless, I’m working […]

Carry on, Orlando

As I stood amid thousands of people in downtown Orlando on Monday remembering the victims of the unthinkable massacre the day before at Pulse nightclub, I couldn’t help thinking that the shooter would have hated this. He would have hated that life was going on as normal, that people were coming together from all walks […]

Film criticism as poetry?

Thinking of seeing Alice Through the Looking Glass this weekend? You might want to read a bit of poetry first.

Reviewing Orlando Fringe 2016

Switching gears slightly from film to theatre, I’ve been reviewing (as I do each year) the Orlando Fringe theatre festival in Orlando, Florida. It’s arguably the best art event in Central Florida as it brings together all types of live theatre from local, national and international performers. And even more impressive is the fact that […]

The two best films of 2016, so far

As we get into the heart of summer-blockbuster season, let’s reflect on the best films of the year so far. While I’m sure we all have our favorites, from general releases to little gems we’ve seen at film festivals, two stand out for me. My candidate for “Way-Too-Early Best Film of the Year” is Disney’s […]

NOT live action

The new Jungle Book film from Disney is getting pretty good reviews, including a 4-star one in The Orlando Weekly, the publication for which I write. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment. However, it’s important to remember that, except for Mowgli, this is NOT a live-action film. So we need to stop calling […]

How much did ‘The Force Awakens’ REALLY make?

The record-breaking theatrical run of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens is finally coming to an end, as the film will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and other platforms next month. By now, we all know that the movie broke Avatar’s domestic record of $761 million. In fact, as I predicted, it crushed that number […]

Filmapalooza wraps up in Atlanta

The 2016 Filmapalooza — the international finale to the previous year’s 48 Hour Film Project — has just concluded in Atlanta. Click here for my wrap-up article. And for a closer look at the Orlando winner, click here.

Love Your Shorts underway in Sanford

From The Orlando Weekly, February 12, 2016 The sixth annual Love Your Shorts Film Festival presented its opening-night movie block last night at the historic Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford, Florida, with Leo’s Love Letter taking home the audience award. It will move on to the “Best of the Fest” block on Sunday […]

My top 20 films of 2015

Six weeks into the new year, I’m finally read to offer my list of the top 20 films of last year. Of course, any list like this is only as good as the person creating it. And, in this case, it’s only as good as the films I’ve seen. This list is still woefully short […]

‘1941’ and a ranking of Spielberg films

The Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida, will screen Steven Spielberg’s 1941 (4 stars) tonight at 9:30 p.m., in glorious 35mm (or not so glorious, depending on the quality of the print). It’s arguably the genius director’s only cult film, thanks to its quirky, below-the-radar, love-it-or-hate-it appeal. See www.enzian.org/film/cc-1941 for more information. The comedy, which was […]

Thoughts on Oscar’s lack of diversity

Everyone is talking about the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees. I admit it’s a bit odd to have almost all-white nominees for the last two years, especially considering the outstanding quality of Beasts of No Nation. (And Bryan Cranston over Will Smith? Really?) But, honestly, I don’t care if the nominees are […]

‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ screening

Not doing anything Tuesday night, January 19? Reside in Orlando? Then why not come out to the “Creative Coterie” in Maitland for an outdoor viewing of the greatest Western of all time, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West? See Facebook for details.

Oscar nominations to root for

As we prepare for the Oscar nominations tomorrow morning (January 14), here are some things I’m hoping for: The Academy will finally take advantage of the larger group of best-film nominees (up to 10) to include a foreign-language film or documentary. I’m hoping for Among the Believers. Everest will get a nod for best cinematography. […]

How much $ will the new ‘Star Wars’ make?

For an analysis of the film’s financial potential, and a review, click here.

The best movie of the year?

If you’re looking for a movie to see this weekend, let me recommend Spotlight (4 ½ stars on my 0-5 scale), directed Tom McCarthy and starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci. I’m a bit late on this one, but it’s possibly the best movie of 2015 so far. […]

Enzian’s Brouhaha winners announced

The 24th annual Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase, at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida, concluded yesterday, and the winning films have just been announced. See http://www.enzian.org/festivals/brouhaha. Those films will go on to play in the “Best of Brouhaha” block at the 2016 Florida Film Festival. Brouhaha presents some of the best locally produced student, […]

Two films to see NOW

I’ve been traveling recently, so I’ve had to put movie watching and reviewing on hold, but I did find time recently to see two excellent films: Room (3 3/4 stars on my 0-5 scale), a unique and powerful examination of a family in crisis, and Bridge of Spies (4 1/4 stars). Arguably the best film […]

Reaching 3,000

I just added my 3,000th movie to my feature-film list(s). The first (that I remember seeing): Star Wars in 1977. The 3,000th: Way Down East by D.W. Griffith. Fittingly, both are classics.

My way-too-early top 10 of 2015

When you consider how densely packed the fall and early winter are with high-quality films, the movie-going year is really just half over. But that hasn’t stopped me from compiling my “way-too-early top 10 for 2015.” Please keep in mind I’m still catching up on many of the best festival films, including those from Sundance […]

Walk away

A Walk in the Woods (2 stars on my 0-5 scale) is likable, and Robert Redford and Nick Nolte have good chemistry, with Nolte being particularly funny. But, as another reviewer cleverly phrased it (with pun intended), it’s just too pedestrian. I also was bothered by the contrived humor and lack of detail. (For instance, […]

Interview the interviewee

If you’ve seen The End of the Tour (or read my review), you know that the film is the story of Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky’s (Jesse Eisenberg) five-day interview with novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel). Well, on Saturday, you’ll get a chance to interview the interviewee, as Lipsky will be conducting a live […]

Overrated Jean Vigo

I just watched all four films (two shorts, one mini-feature and one feature) of French director Jean Vigo. He made the films in the early 1930s and then promptly died. He’s regarded by some as a genius. However, I feel like this is a sick joke by misguided film historians, pretentious film critics and some […]

Box-office predictions

I now predict that Jurassic World will overtake Avatar as the highest-grossing (straight money) film in U.S. history: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/domestic.htm. However, it’s in 54th place on the adjusted-to-inflation list: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm. Internationally, it looks like it will not catch Avatar and Titanic: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/. Gone with the Wind still holds the adjusted-to-inflation record for both the U.S. and […]

Movie Brain Rot

Listen to my latest podcast with Jim DeSantis of Movie Brain Rot. We discuss 1970s cinema and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

See photos of Spooky Empire May-hem

I turned photographer briefly this weekend at Spooky Empire’s horror-movie convention, May-hem. Check out my pics at the Website of The Orlando Weekly.

Ultron, Ultrer, Ultrest!

To hate Avengers: Age of Ultron, one would have to be devoid of all childlike adventure. But, being an adult, I have to admit it’s an odd, ADD smorgasbord without much form, plausibility or mature storytelling. Still, it again raises the bar (which really didn’t need to be raised) on frenetic, CGI-infused, eye-popping visual design. […]

‘Age of Adaline’ not one for the ages

Thumbs-up (3 stars on 0-5 scale) for The Age of Adaline. It got me with its Romanticism and time-travel feel, though it lacked any real magic thanks to a just-there performance by Blake Lively, an odd script that failed to really capture the haunting passage of time, and its inability to challenge our notion of […]

19th-century vs. 21st-century love

I know everyone is talking about the new Avengers film, but let me say something about Ex Machina (3 1/2 stars on 0-5 scale) that no one else is mentioning: To pair Domhnall Gleeson with Alicia Vikander after they played Levin and Kitty in Joe Wright’s brilliant Anna Karenina is a real stroke of genius. […]

Florida Film Festival ends

The 10-day Florida Film Festival drew to a close yesterday. For a look back at my complete coverage, click here. And look for my on-camera interviews with Bob Balaban and Sam Rockwell on this site in about a week.

Film criticism is a dangerous business

My lawyer has now advised me that it’s OK to post this: Click here.

Sometimes I surprise myself

Sometimes I surprise even myself with my movie reviews. For example, I never would have predicted a slight thumbs-up for ANOTHER Liam Neeson kidnapping film, but nevertheless I’ve given 2 1/2 stars to the unoriginal and unchallenging yet surprisingly enjoyable A Walk Among the Tombstones. On the other hand, it’s a slight thumbs-down (2 1/4 […]

More Florida Film Festival coverage

My early coverage of the 2015 Florida Film Festival continues this week with a blog about the latest celebrity to join the event, Bob Balaban. See The Orlando Weekly for that. And see my tastemaster page at the Florida Film Festival’s Website for my early picks. Lastly, here is a short film I just shot, […]

My Florida Film Festival coverage begins

My coverage of the 24th annual Florida Film Festival in Orlando, Florida, has just begun with my first announcement blog on The Orlando Weekly‘s site. You can check it out here. And stay tuned to www.orlandoweekly.com and MeierMovies for all the latest information. The full festival schedule will be revealed on March 18.