Disappointing ‘Don’

Despite a remarkably self-assured directorial debut by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote and stars, Don Jon is not a film I can recommend. It’s as crass as the pornography it depicts, and ends up being to sex what Natural Born Killers was to violence, although the latter film survived on style points alone, which Don […]

Expanded Short Films list now online

My updated and expanded Short Films list is now online. It contains ratings of more than 400 movies from 1888 to today. Most of the recent additions are films by groundbreaking French filmmaker Alice Guy, the industry’s first female director, from 1896 to 1907.

‘Act of Killing’ one of 10 best docs of all time

The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive-produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, is a powerful and unforgettable addition to the family of documentaries that attempt to expose the atrocities of the past through painfully honest interviews with those who committed those atrocities. But it’s so much more: a surreal exercise in […]

Peace in the City Beautiful

The Global Peace Film Festival opened in Orlando tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 17) and continues through Sunday. Check out my cover article in this week’s Orlando Weekly.

FilmSlam this Sunday at Enzian

September FilmSlam is this Sunday, the 15th, at the Enzian Theatre in Maitland. Come out to support indie and student filmmakers in Central Florida. Although the selections always vary widely in quality, it’s a great place to network with fellow filmmakers and film fans while keeping tabs on what new moviemakers are up to. Click […]

Final thoughts on the “48”

Now that the Orlando edition of the 48 Hour Film Project is over, it’s time to reflect. First, I need to thank Erin Sullivan, my editor at The Orlando Weekly, for giving me a chance to cover this. (See my story at www.orlandoweekly.com.) I also should thank Rob Ward, who had the difficult and often […]

Not “Spectacular” but still quite good

The Spectacular Now isn’t spectacular, but it’s quite good and a realistic, welcome break from the typical coming-of-age film. It gets 3 ¼ stars (on my 0-5 scale). Refreshingly non-formulaic in parts, it does lurch toward contrivance toward the end, but it still leaves an emotional impact. Miles Teller is good at playing “dead behind […]

New Disney short to star Walt – yes, Walt!

I haven’t been this excited to see a new short film in, oh, ever? Check out this link talking about the cartoon, which will be debut with Frozen in November, 2013.

Best silent films of all time?

What are the top 10 silent films of all time? Yes, I’ve added yet another top-ten list to my genre page . (It’s the second list from the bottom.) Spoiler alert: Chaplin has half the films on the list, but there are a couple of surprises that slip in. I’m just sorry I couldn’t get […]

Best film series of all time?

If you were to make a list of the best movie series and/or franchises of all time, where would you start? Sure, most of us would place The Godfather Trilogy up there, along with the Star Wars films. But what comes after those? I believe you have to consider the quality of each movie in […]

‘The Conjuring’ possessed by … other films

Under the category of better late than never, I finally saw The Conjuring. (I often wait to see horror movies at home, in the dark, by myself, because, after all, isn’t that the creepiest way to watch them, instead of having to listen to the giggles of all the moviegoers around you in a cinema?) […]

‘Harlan County U.S.A.’ best doc of all time

After finally seeing Harlan County U.S.A., Barbara Kopple’s amazing 1976 documentary about coal miners in Kentucky, I’ve placed it atop my all-time doc list. It’s now one of just two docs on my list to achieve masterpiece status (4 ¾ or 5 stars). The Sorrow and the Pity is the other. If you haven’t seen […]

Something missing from ‘The East’

Was anyone a bit disappointed in The East? It’s Brit Marling’s latest, and though the story is intriguing, uniquely presented and tight, it just couldn’t get over the proverbial hump, quality-wise, for me. Maybe it was the contrived episode by the lake in jam #2, or the overuse of handheld camera, or the over-emphasis of […]

I recommend Woody’s latest, ‘Blue Jasmine’

I recommend Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen’s latest drama (3 stars on my 0-5 scale). While it might be considered a commentary on the financial collapse of the last decade, or societal and class divisions, at its core it’s a great character study and a wonderful vehicle for Cate Blanchett to show off her talents. In […]

Bad is never good: the lesson of ‘Sharknado’

Tonight the connoisseurs of crap will gather at the Falcon in Thornton Park, near downtown Orlando, Florida, to watch a special showing of Sharknado, the latest piece of junk that the SyFy Channel and Asylum Studios have thrown at the small screen. I and many of my friends are going, looking forward to a good […]

I couldn’t wait for ‘The End’ to end

A lot of people, including many of my friends and the majority of film critics, seem to like This is the End. I found it self-indulgent, pretentious, overly crude and just plain unfunny. Though it’s not the worst comedy I’ve seen in the last couple of years, it’s another one in a long line of […]

Entertainment Weakly

By now, many of you have perused Entertainment Weekly‘s odd collection of top-100 lists. In their latest issue, they have lists for movies, albums, plays, TV shows and books. First, let me commend them for attempting this. As a list lover myself, I was eager to see what they would select. With that said, the […]

‘The Lone Ranger’ an exhilarating ride

Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger is the best action/adventure movie of the summer so far. It’s everything Man of Steel wasn’t. It’s true to the spirit of the characters while giving them a unique reworking, packed with action and adventure without being too heavy on CGI, and filled with life and humor. Yes, it’s a […]

‘Monsters University’ beats ‘World War Z’

Monsters University has scared away the competition this weekend, beating out World War Z. Box office results here. Click here to read my review.  

For the religiously skeptical among us

I’ve recently discovered – and highly recommend – two doc films dealing with religion: Marjoe and Jesus Camp. If you aren’t frightened by organized religion now, you will be after watching these.

Welcome to the new MeierMovies!

I hope you all enjoy the much more user-friendly MeierMovies! As always, I welcome feedback.