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 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 […]


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) […]

Golden Globe noms are pear-shaped

The nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards have just been released, and, as usual, they are eclectic mix of mistakes and well-deserved recognitions. But should we expect anything less from this odd collection of roughly 90 foreign journalists whose tastes range from the staid to the sleazy to the sublime? For a complete list […]

Misplaced comedy

Fancy a comedy about assault, child abuse and spousal beatings, all scored to your favorite classic rock tunes from the ‘70s and ‘80s? Then I, Tonya (1 ¾ stars on 0-5 scale) is your film. Directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Million Dollar Arm) and written by Steven Rogers, this is a […]

‘Daddy’ deserves to be seen

I started watching Louis C.K.’s I Love You, Daddy (2 ¾ stars on 0-5 scale) with trepidation. Would I be able to forget the recent deeds of the man and instead concentrate on the art? Could I ignore the (masturbating) elephant in the room? At first I could not, and that bothered me, as I’ve […]

‘The Peacemaker’ to screen at UCF

From The Orlando Weekly, November 6, 2017 The University of Central Florida will present a free screening of The Peacemaker (4 stars out of 5), an award-winning documentary about an influential peace negotiator, on November 14 at 6:30 p.m., at the UCF Visual Arts Building Auditorium. Tickets are not required. The film might just have […]

Reasons to (not) visit Jewish Film Festival

The Central Florida Jewish Film Festival began tonight and will continue through Monday at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida. Read my article. Although I strongly encourage you to attend, there are, admittedly, a few reasons for not attending. Let me address each one individually: Reason #1: You don’t like movies. Rebuttal: This festival might […]

Audience vs. critics

The psychological thriller It Comes at Night (1 ¼ stars on 0-5 scale) is a rare example of the public getting it very right and the critics getting it completely wrong, except for this modest critic, of course. The film is at 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes but received a D grade from audiences on […]

Are they worth the hype?

The Florida Project (3 stars on 0-5 scale) and Baby Driver (1 ½ stars) have little in common except the fact that they are critical darlings. The former has been well received on the festival and limited-release circuit while the latter was lauded by critics as one of the best action films of the summer. […]

Manhattan Short Film Festival

The Big Apple meets Maitland as the Enzian Theater will host the 20th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival on October 2, at 6:30 p.m. But Central Florida’s leading art-house cinema is not alone, as the 20-year-old event – which bills itself as the largest global film festival – will screen in more than 250 theaters […]

Mixed doubles

Pairing a film set in the 1890s with a film set in the early 1970s may seem like an odd objective for a blog, but Victoria and Abdul (4 stars on 0-5 scale) and Battle of the Sexes (3 ½ stars) actually have quite a bit in common. They both address themes of either racism […]

Florida Film Critics Circle

I’m happy to announce that I’ve just been accepted into the Florida Film Critics Circle. Thank you to all at the FFCC who supported me, and to all my other friends, particularly those at The Orlando Weekly, who encouraged me.

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 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 ½ 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 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 (, 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 ¾ 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.