Orlando welcomes its fall fests

The fall is a good time for fans of film festivals in Orlando. Actually, any time of year is. But the autumn tends to be particularly packed. The Global Peace Film Festival and the Enzian Theater’s South Asian Film Festival just wrapped, and it will soon be time for the Spooky Empire Horror Film Festival, […]

Bill Maher on movie casting

As he has done on countless other topics, Bill Maher offers his valuable take on today’s movie casting while diffusing the political tension with humor. Even if you don’t concur with Maher, I hope you’ll agree that his perspective is important. I put this out here without editorial comment, except to express my desire that […]

Introducing my “New Views” page

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What has Cameron watched recently?” Well, even if you haven’t, you now have an easy way of finding out. Check out my New Views page, which lists all the stuff (feature films, shorts and TV/web shows) that I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, plus their star ratings. […]

Into the ‘Outer Limits’

I’ve spent the last several months watching (or, in some instances, rewatching) all 49 episodes of The Outer Limits, the classic science-fiction television show from the 1960s. Check out my end results here.

Odd movie pairings

I’m fascinated with interesting and weird movie groupings, such as films that share actors, directors, writers, themes or stories. And I recently experienced perhaps the oddest pairings ever. I watched two of the original screwball comedy/horror films (directed by Michael Curtiz), from the early 1930s (in two-strip Technicolor): Doctor X (1 star on 0-5 scale) […]

Top 10 directorial debuts

Undercutting the conventional narrative that a novice helmer cannot create a masterpiece, I present my list of the top 10 feature directorial debuts of all time. Surprisingly, all of these movies are in my top 200, which you can find here. Just missing the top 10 (but still in my top 200) are additional masterpieces […]

Farewell to Paul Sorvino, David Warner

The recent deaths of character actors Paul Sorvino and David Warner conjure up very different memories for me. Warner was a fixture of my early movie-watching, with three of his memorable roles haunting my childhood: Henry Niles in Straw Dogs (1971), Jennings in The Omen (1976) and Evil Genuis in Time Bandits. His prolific career […]

Catching up on some classics

Thanks to Netflix discs and Turner Classic Movies (both of which I highly recommend), I’ve been catching up on some classics that I’m ashamed to admit I had never seen: Here Comes Mr. Jordan, (1941, 4 ¼ stars on my 0-5 scale); Rachel, Rachel (1968, 3 ¾ stars); Paris Blues (1961, 3 ¾ stars); and […]

7K

While most people are talking about 2K, 4K or 8K, I’m more concerned with 7K. Specifically, I’m celebrating the rating of my 7,000th movie. That total includes 4,234 features and 2,766 shorts. So, what was the 7,000th? The 1958 Chuck Jones cartoon Robin Hood Daffy. As is the case with a lot of classic shorts, […]

Last call, Joe

I learned today of the passing of the world’s favorite movie bartender, Joe Turkel, who departed this realm on June 27 (Somewhere in Time day), at age 94. Known principally for his performances as Lloyd the drink slinger in The Shining and Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner, Turkel has the distinction of being one […]

‘Judgment Night’ for Nehemiah Persoff

In 2020, I wrote of the connection between iconic character actors Nehemiah Persoff and Norman Lloyd, and marveled at the fact that both centenarians were still alive. Sadly, Lloyd passed away last year and Persoff just three weeks ago. (See Deadline.com.) I encourage you to revisit my original post from two years ago and join me […]

Florida Film Festival movie reviews

The 31st annual Florida Film Festival begins this Friday, April 8, and runs through April 17. Go here for my full coverage, including brief reviews of 12 features.

Everything in Hollywood is a remake …

Florida and Sarasota fests reveal lineups

The Florida and Sarasota film festivals revealed their lineups this week. Often considered two of the three best movie events in the state (the other being Miami), the two fests will overlap slightly this year, with Sarasota being held April 1-10 and Florida April 8-17. The Sarasota fest will screen more than 200 films in […]

Why I won’t watch the Oscars

I’ve watched every Oscars ceremony since I was a child, except the 2018 show, when I was in Paris. It was televised during the middle of the night there, but I still tried to watch, frantically flipping from channel to channel at 2 a.m. but failing to find it. So I gave up and went […]

Oscar noms go to the ‘Dog’

Congrats to Jane Campion and the cast and crew of The Power of the Dog on your 12 Oscar nominations, the most of any film this year. I’d also like to commend Fran Kranz and the cast and crew of Mass, the best American film of the year. You don’t need Oscar noms (or lack […]

‘The Iceman’ finally cometh to my house

I just watched all four hours of director John Frankenheimer’s 1973 version of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (2 ¼ stars on my 0-5 scale), starring Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Fredric March and and 23-year-old Jeff Bridges. It’s the first American movie with two intermissions. I’m happy (and ashamed it’s taken me this long) to […]

Getting short at Sundance

Though it saddens me that the Sundance Film Festival went completely virtual this year, the silver lining is more people are able to see the movies. As for me, I’m binging the shorts. If you want some quick recommendations, I suggest Bestia, a darkly disturbing but visually arresting animated tale of suffering, directed by Hugo […]

TV/web films join theatrical releases

Frequent visitors to MeierMovies will notice a big change today. In a sign of the times, I have merged my small TV/web/streaming film list with my big theatrical-release one. This means you will no longer have to view a separate list to find films that never received a cinematic release. Instead, all movies will be […]

Best films of 2021?

As 2021 comes to a close, all movie fans — especially film critics — feel pressure to reveal their lists of the year’s best films. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: Many critics haven’t seen enough good films by December 31 to form an accurate list. And, sadly, that includes members of […]

FFCC anoints ‘The Power of the Dog’

The Florida Film Critics Circle, of which I am a proud member, recently declared Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog the best film of 2021. I’m also glad that Fran Kranz’s Mass and Paolo Sorrentino’s È Stata la Mano di Dio (The Hand of God) were recognized. All three films are excellent. For full […]

Revisiting the best (and worst) Christmas films

You weren’t waiting for it. You didn’t ask for it. … Yes, it’s that time of year when I again force my Christmas movie lists upon you! Created in 2018, here is my list of the 12 best Christmas films of all time. That list was preceded, ignominiously, in 2017 by my grinchy ranking of […]

New film reviews … and Beatles doc

With the rising tide of good films, it’s no surprise that the creative output of film critics is finally getting back to normal. My own output is slowly returning to pre-pandemic normal. For my latest, visit my Movie Reviews page or my list of the top films of the year. And for a foray into […]

What the Buzz!?

Dear Disney, I appreciate the talented craftspeople behind the upcoming Lightyear movie. But Buzz is a toy. His origin story is his manufacture in a factory. (Didn’t you see the first Toy Story movie?) And Buzz is voiced by Tim Allen. Please stop messing up great movies and theme-park attractions. Sincerely, Your Pal, Cameron

Short films from Manhattan to Mumbai

Last night I attended the Manhattan Short Film Festival at Maitland, Florida’s Enzian Theater, one of the hundreds of cinemas worldwide screening the event from September 23 through October 3. (Go here to learn more about the fest and find a cinema near you.) Manhattan Short began in 1998 with a screen attached to the […]

Catching up on classics

Though I’m still taking a break (sort of) from film criticism, I continue to watch a lot of films — mostly older ones. (Thanks, TCM and Netflix discs.) Two I’m ashamed to admit I had never seen are Silkwood and Performance. The former (4 stars on 0-5 scale), from 1983, proves once again that director […]

Telluride: Gotta be vaxxed

The Telluride Film Festival announced yesterday that it is requiring that all attendees at indoor theaters at the 2021 festival show proof of a COVID vaccination. Festival passholders are being asked to upload their vaccination cards in advance. There’s no word yet on whether the festival will accept medical exceptions and/or proof of a negative […]

A nod to Ned

When I learned of the passing of Ned Beatty earlier this month, at age 83, I couldn’t help feeling that a large part of the 1970s had died. That might sound odd considering Beatty never rose to the level of Pacino, Hoffman, Nicholson or the other male actors who defined that decade. Beatty instead carved […]

4,000

Though I’m taking a sabbatical from film reviewing, I’m still watching movies. And I’ve just reached a milestone: 4,000 theatrically released feature films. Of course, it’s impossible for any individual to know the exact number of films he or she has watched during a lifetime. But I’ve done my best. And my feature lists now […]

Goodbye, for now

I’ve decided to take a step back from film criticism, at least for a while. For more on my decision, go here. As always, thanks to all of you who have supported my writing.

Bill Maher’s take on the Oscars

The Academy Awards will be held on April 25 in Los Angeles. Eschewing other recent awards shows’ Zoom formats, the ceremony will be in-person, at both the Dolby Theatre and Union Station in Los Angeles. However, it will be intimate, with the only attendees being nominees, presenters and their guests. The in-person format seems to […]

30th Florida Film Festival underway

The 30th annual Florida Film Festival has begun at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida. It continues through April 22. Click here for an overview of the festival. And don’t miss my reviews and analysis of the feature films and the shorts.

Stop monkeying around with Kong

In the inane tradition of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and following in the giant footsteps of 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla, Warner Brothers and director Adam Wingard are giving us the film we never knew we didn’t need: Godzilla vs. Kong. But to make the contest more fair, Kong is being upsized, ridiculously […]

Regal reopening in April

Regal Cinemas — which, as part of London-based Cineworld, is the world’s second-largest cinema company — will begin reopening its theaters in the United States in April, the company announced today. Regal, which has been closed since early October, will finally be joining the other two “big three” cinema chains, AMC and Cinemark, which have […]

Thoughts on Woody Allen

With a new HBO documentary series rekindling interest in Woody Allen, I have some thoughts on the legendary writer-director. Though I confine those thoughts mostly to his filmmaking career — and his 2019 film A Rainy Day in New York — I felt it was important to comment on the larger issues raised by the […]

Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy

The Alamo Drafthouse movie chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. For more information, see my recent article.

‘Excess within control’

“Remember, stay ahead of them. Keep the mystery, always the mystery. Excess within control.” Rest in peace, Christopher Plummer, a.k.a. William Fawcett Robinson, one of our finest actors. 1929-1912-2021.

2020: The year in review

Before finally bidding farewell to 2020 and ushering in a new (and I hope better) year, let’s take a look back at the last 12 months in film with my annual year-in-review article.

FFCC announces awards, honors Enzian

The Florida Film Critics Circle has released our annual awards. Click here for a full list of the winners. For our Golden Orange award, we have selected the Enzian Theater, in Maitland, Florida. The press release reads: “The Florida Film Critics Circle also awards the Golden Orange each year to a person, film, or organization […]

Love/hate relationship with ‘Mank’

David Fincher’s Mank (2 stars on 0-5 scale), a largely imagined retelling of Herman Mankiewicz’s life (and relationship with Orson Welles during the writing of Citizen Kane), is now streaming on Netflix following a limited theatrical release earlier this year. I can’t remember ever disliking a film so intensely while simultaneously loving the look and […]

Christmastime is here again

In this weird, unconventional year that has seen movie releases delayed and cinemas closed, we still can rely on some old holiday standards to see us through. For my list of the top 12 Christmas films of all time, go here. But if you’re in a nihilistic mood, you might check out my four worst […]

A historic podcast

As a film historian, I’ve always been fascinated with the dawn of cinema. But this month I turn my attention to the dawn of recorded sound, as I was proud to be a guest on my dad’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast. We discuss, along with Patrick Feaster of FirstSounds.org, the earliest recordings of […]

A picture is worth …

Darkness, accompanied by a fittingly titled movie poster, greets passersby of a Regal cinema in Winter Park, Florida.

Halloween: The Ranking of Michael Myers

Ready for a Halloween marathon? Before you indulge, check out my ranking of all 11 films in the franchise here.

I was MIFFed

I got really MIFFed last weekend. Specifically, I attended the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival (MIFF), in Melbourne, Florida. Read my summary of the festival here.

Love (of film) in the time of coronavirus

Can we love film and theatre like we love sports? I ponder that question here.

Regal closing again

With the continued postponement of major studio releases and audiences reluctant to return, Regal Cinemas — the second-largest chain in the United States — has announced it is closing all 536 American locations temporarily, again. Regal’s parent company, Cineworld, will also be shuttering its 127 cinemas in the United Kingdom. The timetable for reopening is […]

Short takes on three recent films

As we reflect on the year in cinema that should have been, let’s take a closer look at three films that deserved bigger releases: Onward, The Hunt and Waiting for the Barbarians. Check out my short takes on each of these films here.

AMC reopening, turning back time

AMC, the world’s largest chain of movie theaters, will begin reopening its American cinemas on August 20. And to entice moviegoers back — and to commemorate a piece of its own history — the chain will sell tickets for just 15 cents, which was the average ticket price in 1920, the year company founders Maurice, […]

Florida Film Festival underway

The 29th annual Florida Film Festival — the first major movie event in the Southeast United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — runs August 7-20 in Maitland, Florida. For details, go here. And click here for my reviews. Update: The festival has added an additional day. It will now run through August […]