And the Oscar goes to …

… Julianne Moore, for best actress, for Gloria Bell (4 stars on 0-5 scale). OK, I know it’s early, but Moore is spectacular in Sebastián Lelio’s remake of his 2013 Spanish-language Gloria. The redo might hold few surprises for those who have already seen the Chilean production, but it’s still worth watching, if only for […]

Take a bite out of these photos

Back from my latest photographic adventure, I present my new gallery: Jaws sights on Martha’s Vineyard (Amity Island). And for some new, non-movie-related photos, check out my Travel gallery. Enjoy!

‘Truman Show’ influences

I just rewatched the greatest film of the 1990s, The Truman Show. Though the Peter Weir movie is profoundly original, it — like all great art — had influences. For a quick summary of those influences, plus a photo gallery of the town in which it was filmed, click here.

Gilead by another name?

Republicans have rejected the Iran nuclear deal in part because of objections to Iran’s record on human rights. Meanwhile, in Ohio, Republicans have embraced a law that would force an 11-year-old girl to give birth to her rapist’s baby. In related news, I’m starting season two of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Remembering Jay Boyar

Jay Boyar, founding member of the Florida Film Critics Circle and respected Orlando journalist, died over the weekend. Please keep his friends and family in your thoughts. Here’s the FFCC’s tribute to him.

The best films of the decade

World of Reel has released its list of the 25 best films of the decade, with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life coming out on top. The list is available here. The results are based on a poll of industry professionals – mostly film critics – who were […]

Florida Film Festival wraps

The 28th annual Florida Film Festival concluded over the weekend. Here’s an index of my coverage of the 2019 event: Program announcement Richard Dreyfuss to screen The Goodbye Girl Programmers balance quality with variety A look at domestic narrative shorts Richard Dreyfuss interview It’s a (shorts) wrap Award winners

Don’t go back to the ‘Sematary’

Before seeing the new Pet Sematary, I thought I’d catch up on the old ones. Not a good idea. Time has not been kind to what were already bad films. Mary Lambert directed both the 1989 original and the unnecessary 1992 sequel (from which Stephen King had his name removed). Hey, I’m all for giving […]

Backing the wrong horse

No, this isn’t a post about next month’s Kentucky Derby. It’s a post of cinematic regret. I often have harsh words for Academy members who vote for the wrong film, and for critics who compile faulty “best of the year” lists. Well, now I can direct those harsh words at myself, as I made the […]

Thursday’s box office

Notice anything unusual about this week’s box office? (Image from BoxOfficeMojo.com.)        

Last-minute Oscar thoughts

With the 2019 Academy Awards just a couple of hours away, here are some final thoughts about the nominated films. Enjoy!

Top 30 movie villains

Feeling listless? Then you’ll rejoice that the listiest site on the world wide interwebs just got a whole bunch listier. Announcing another eclectic assortment of cinematic minutiae: my top 30 movie villains of all time. Enjoy the evil.

For Valentine’s Day: the 10 best romances

On this Valentine’s Day, I present my list of the 10 greatest romance movies of all time. Ironically, and sadly, only one of these films (The Graduate) ends well for the romantic couple in life, though not in the conventional sense. (But the characters’ ghosts achieve happiness in two (Wuthering Heights and Somewhere in Time) […]

‘GWTW’ returning for 80th birthday

Gone with the Wind, the highest-grossing movie of all time (adjusted for inflation), is returning to movie theaters for its 80th anniversary. But it will be playing just four days: February 28 and March 3, 17 and 19. For tickets and cinema information, check out Fathom Events. But make sure you see it in a […]

Running counter to the Tomatometer

I’m really not as disagreeable as some people think. Really. Hmm, well, OK, at least not until this last month, when three out of my four movie reviews have run counter to the Tomatometer. Here’s to the death of groupthink!

Before Beatles: ‘illustrated songs’ and ‘soundies’

While it’s generally accepted that the Beatles’ short “promotional films” from 1966 (“Rain” and “Paperback Writer”) were the first rock music videos, the genre has much earlier beginnings. For you music and film historians, I suggest checking out these fascinating Wikipedia articles on the “illustrated song,” which has its roots in 19th-century magic-lantern shows, and […]

History lesson: Who is the K in RKO?

Film buffs know RKO Pictures as one of the “Big 5” studios of Hollywood’s Golden Era, along with MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. (See this Wikipedia article for more on that.) Film historians might also know that “R” stands for “Radio” and “O” for “Orpheum.” But few can tell you where the […]

A series of firsts for Oscar

For me and the Oscars this year, it’s a series of firsts, or lack thereof. It’s the first time that not a single one of my choices for best picture (Ready Player One), best actor (Ethan Hawke, First Reformed) and best actress (Toni Collette, Hereditary) has been nominated. And throwing salt on the wound, the […]

A poem

We interrupt this regularly scheduled movie blog to bring you a political poem: “The Man of Steel Slats” by Cameron Meier Faster than a speeding bigot, More power-hungry than a loco fascist, Able to leap to terrible assumptions in a single bound. Look! Up in the White House! It’s a turd, it’s a bane. It’s […]

Quotas at the Golden Globes?

Congratulations to Regina King for winning best supporting actress at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk (directed by Barry Jenkins) was stellar, and her selection as best supporting actress was one of the few decisions by the Hollywood Foreign Press that I agreed with. But her acceptance speech […]

Misplaced enthusiasm

Bird Box is definitely a B-movie, but one with stars, some good acting (Sandra Bullock and particularly Tom Hollander, who practically saves it) and a cool premise. I almost feel a bit guilty for giving it a slight thumbs-up (2 ½ stars on 0-5 scale). But I really wish people could work up similar enthusiasm […]

New photo pages

Happy 2019! The new year begins here at MeierMovies with some additional photo galleries. Check out my visual tributes to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Truman Show, along with a revamped main photo page. And if you missed my page of travel photography that I created last year, you can see it […]

Going places

My five top films of 2018 all sent me places I can’t go in real life. Ready Player One embedded me in the virtual world, Roma allowed me to travel to Mexico City in the 1970s, First Man sent me to the moon, and Mary Poppins Returns whisked me away to a London that never […]

Year in review: 2018

My year-in-review article is now online. Read it here. Also check out my ranking of the best films of 2018. Ah, when you get caught between the moon and Mexico City … (Image by Tortoon)

My top 12 Christmas films

You didn’t want it. You didn’t ask for it. But I’m giving it to you anyway. I’m proud to present my top 12 list of the best Christmas films (features and shorts) of all time!

Five quick recommendations

I’m furiously catching up on 2018 films in preparation for my “year in review” article and voting in the Florida Film Critics Circle, of which I’m a member. Three I’ve seen in the past couple of days that I highly recommend are Puzzle (4 stars on my 0-5 scale), If Beale Street Could Talk (4 […]

Golden Glob

Dear Hollywood Foreign Press, I’d like to introduce you to a little movie that you apparently didn’t see. It’s called First Reformed. Also, in what universe is Black Panther and Blackkklansman better than Roma? (It actually seems like you might agree with me on that last point, as you nominated Roma for best director and […]

Four films to consider this week

It’s been a busy few days of new releases. Bohemian Rhapsody (3 stars) might be getting most of the media, but Beautiful Boy (2 ¼ stars) is attracting attention too. (Check out my reviews of those movies by clicking the title.) Two other films are also worthy of discussion. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (3 […]

‘The Guilty’ returns

The Guilty (4 stars on 0-5 scale) is back for a limited time at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida. If you’re not in Central Florida, look for it at other arthouse cinemas around the country. It was the best film I saw at the Florida Film Festival back in April, when I said the […]

The year of the doc?

In a year of good documentaries (Eating Animals; Won’t You Be My Neighbor?; Love, Cecil; RBG; The Sentence; Three Identical Strangers; Whitney), I think I finally found the best: Free Solo (4 stars). Although some of the others have received more press, it’s Free Solo (about death-defying rock climbing in Yosemite) that impacted me the […]

Malick’s teaser trailer?

I just watched the longest teaser trailer ever: Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder (1 star on 0-5 scale). If you haven’t experienced the pretentious, experimental drama-romance from 2012, don’t, as it’s probably the visionary director’s worst film. Starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem, the movie will leave you scratching your head, which is more […]

A cinematic god among children

Seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey at Regal Pointe Orlando IMAX on Friday was sort of like visiting a museum that has a single Leonardo da Vinci painting and 20 finger paintings by children. (The digitally remastered masterpiece is in limited release this week on IMAX screens around the country to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Yes, […]

J Law waited for ‘Red Sparrow’?

Jennifer Lawrence said she was reluctant to go naked until the right film and/or artistic opportunity came along. She also said that doing the nudity was about empowerment and taking control of her own body. I respect that. But she used Red Sparrow as her vehicle? What a hot mess of a film (1 ½ […]

The next Tom Cruise film

The next Tom Cruise movie has been announced. Mission: Impossible – Dorian will depart from the action genre and instead feature Cruise just staring at a portrait of himself in his attic.

Stinky fish

The Meg (1 star on my 0-5 scale) stinks like last week’s sushi. The best part of this film is when I got up to go to the bathroom.

R.I.P. Oscar (1929-2018)

Oscar died an undignified death this week at the age of 89. Read his obituary here.

Today we call it a movie

I just stumbled upon this description of a proposal for a patent on an invention in 1876 by Wordsworth Donisthorpe: “The taking of a succession of photographic pictures at equal intervals of time, in order to record the changes taking place in or the movement of the object being photographed, and also by means of […]

Leo Tolstoy meets Cecil B. DeMille

Leo Tolstoy meets Cecil B. DeMille in the latest Avengers flick. Cinematic excess accompanies more characters than even the Russian novelist would have attempted. Yet most Marvel fans will be entertained, and even I (a casual fan) recovered from the mind-numbing action in the film’s second and third acts enough to embrace the ending, which […]

Happy 30th birthday, Roger Rabbit!

Happy 30th birthday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit! Celebrate tonight with a screening at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Florida. (See https://www.gardentheatre.org/movies/). I first saw the movie on June 25, 1988, at Carmike 8 Cinema in Clarksville, Tennessee. I’ve seen it 15 times on the big screen since. Here’s my interview with Charles Fleischer for the […]

Best films of 2018 so far

When December rolls around, one invariably sees critics taking stabs at top-10 lists. I’m always a bit reticent, as my true “best of the year” list usually doesn’t take its final form until March or April of the following year, after I’ve caught up on foreign films and documentaries. So when some of my fellow […]

Bill Gibron

I awoke today to some extremely sad news: Bill Gibron, chairman of the Florida Film Critics Circle, has died, following a heart attack. Bill was two days shy of his 57th birthday. He was supportive of me in my career, and I regret that I never got to know him personally. Film journalists aren’t always […]

From film to Fringe

Now is the time of year when my attention briefly turns from cinema to my first love, theatre. Specifically, I’ll be reviewing nearly a dozen productions at the Orlando Fringe. Running May 15-28 (mostly in Loch Haven Park in Orlando, Florida), this is the oldest and largest Fringe festival in the United States. To read […]

1888

The number 1888 isn’t just the year that cinema was arguably born (see my Louis Le Prince page for more on that), but it’s also the exact number of short films I now have rated on my short-film lists. Check under the “Short Lists” tab on the menu bar.

Festival frenzy

If it’s March, that probably means I have just been to a film festival and am likely getting ready for another. I was lucky enough to attend Filmapalooza in Paris last week (for which I was a judge). Check out my wrap-article article here. And if you’re in Florida, you’re probably looking forward to arguably […]

BAFTA insanity

So let me get this straight: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won best British film at the BAFTAs tonight over films such as Darkest Hour and Dunkirk, which are so British they practically bleed tea. I realize Three Billboards was written, directed and produced by a British man, but doesn’t this seem kind of insane […]

Love Your Shorts Film Festival 2018

The eighth annual Love Your Shorts Film Festival begins tomorrow in Sanford, Florida, and runs through Sunday, February 11. Check out my Orlando Weekly article here, and also see my blog, which contains useful information and resources for filmmakers wanting to make scary movies. (That’s the topic of Thursday morning’s discussion panels.)

Florida Film Critics: ‘Dunkirk’ best of 2017

The Florida Film Critics Circle, of which I am a proud member, has selected Dunkirk as the best film of 2017. Christopher Nolan was selected as best director. (I voted for both.) For a full listing of all the awards, click here.

The “Game” is up, Molly

After 140 minutes of Molly’s Game (2 stars on 0-5 scale), I STILL don’t know how to play Texas Hold ‘Em. But I did learn one thing: Aaron Sorkin sure loves to listen to himself write. His screenplay has all the speedy dialogue of  a screwball comedy but not quite enough of the charm. Jessica […]

Enzian Theater dedicates new oak tree

The Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida, dedicated its new oak tree today, with servings of hot apple cider and cookies. Executive Director David Schillhammer also read The Giving Tree to the kids who had just watched the Enzian’s special screening of The Wizard of Oz. May this new tree last hundreds of years, just like […]

A brief thought on the Disney-Fox deal

There’s a lot to digest in the sale of most of 20th Century Fox to Disney, but I was struck by the fact that although Disney is taking over the movie production, the historic movie lot (begun by William Fox in 1928 as the first production facility in Los Angeles designed expressly for sound films) […]