MCN Commentary & Analysis

Movie Content Scoreboard: Episode 3a – After The Fall, The Films

September 16, 2020

Let’s start again with… THE UNTOUCHABLES (alphabetical order, as of July) A Quiet Place II Black Widow Coming 2 America The Conjuring 3 Connected The Croods 2 Dune The Eternals Free Guy The King’s Man The Last Duel Mulan No Time To Die Soul Tenet Top Gun Maverick West Side Story Wonder Woman 1984 Okay. […]

Movie Content Scoreboard: Episode 2 – Tenet & Mulan

September 16, 2020

I have avoided writing constantly about the immediate prospects of exhibition and studios because we didn’t get to the next significant event between the last Movie Content Scoreboard in July and the Tenet/Mulan experiments of the last couple weeks. I will deliver “Episode III – After The Fall” soon. But I wanted to keep the […]


September 8, 2020

The Academy under Dawn Hudson continues to be a slow-motion car wreck. It does one thing really well. It covers its ass. African Americans raged on Twitter about #OscarSoWhite. So The Academy responded by announcing its 2020 effort to bring more women and people of color into The Academy. Without getting into the problems of […]

Review: Mulan (spoiler-free)

September 3, 2020

The opening of Mulan, after a magic drone ride through the lush, green Chinese countryside with some wise male voice over about the story we are about to embark on, reminded me of Beauty & The Beast. The camera swoops into a Hakka walled village, establishing the town of personalities and, indeed, Mulan, who is […]

Review: The Comey Rule (spoiler-free)

September 2, 2020

Now and again, after a lot of digging – and we are doing more digging than ever – you find a simple, perfect gem. Such is The Comey Rule. We have been down this road before. And not without some real aesthetic value. There is an entire series of films by Oliver Stone, but the […]

Box Office – Unhinged, 8/23

August 23, 2020

I thought it would be worth doing a deeper dive into Unhinged‘s weekend “win” because the trades are being indulgent in their coverage and this is the start of a few weeks, at least, of the effort to reopen theatrical. The most generous reading of the Unhinged weekend is that the film did $2,195 per […]

The Year Of Festivaling Dangerously

August 3, 2020

With the release of the Toronto International schedule a couple weeks ago, the unveiling of the Telluride un-schedule today, Venice’s refusal to do any streaming for media or anyone else, and New York announcing that it will open with a TV series (not unlike TIFF opening with a movie The Academy apparently won’t qualify as […]

Movie Content Scoreboard, as of July 2020

July 23, 2020

I am beyond sick of reading about every minor move by any studio with any theatrical movie being hailed as a paradigm-changing event. It’s absurd. But I realized I haven’t broken down what there is and where it is likely to land. So here we go. I made a list of 107 studio releases (Disney […]

Why Write?

July 14, 2020

I started writing this two weeks ago. I was interrupted and never finished… for all the reasons I started writing it. I am not afraid to shoot off my mouth. I have strong opinions. And even if you disagree with my analysis, I have educated, researched opinions. But all the thoughts cascading through my mind […]

Review: Irresistible

June 24, 2020

I love Jon Stewart. He is earnest and smart and funny and on the same side of politics as me. But he’s not a very good director. Not everyone has that skill set. And it shows in the most basic ways. How he frames a single, a two-shot, a joke. How he likes his films […]

Whys & Hows

June 15, 2020

What’s playing at the Roxy? Nothing’s playing at the gawd-damned Roxy. A video stream sharing revenue with an indie exhib that can’t pay the rent  That he rationalizes because they can see the film all the way in Biloxi. That’s what’s f-ing playing at the Roxy. What’s in the frickin’ trades? I’ll tell you what’s […]

Review: The King of Staten Island

June 8, 2020

This movie should have been called, “The Non-Graduate.” That’s what it is… a 2020 take on another era’s Ben Braddock. There is no Mrs. Robinson, because the faux stability of the suburban household is long gone. The closest we get to that character is the ex of our hero’s mother’s romantic interest… who our hero […]

Reviews: Trilogy of Shame (AKA Jane Roe, On The Record, Filthy Rich)

May 29, 2020

The horror of 100,000 American dead (and counting) from the Novel Coronavirus and the grotesquerie of watching a man murdered before our eyes by a white policeman applying the pressure of body weight and a knee to the neck of an already under control black man will certainly bring us a wave of documentaries to […]

“If Your Fall Festival Wants To Live, Come With Me.”

May 25, 2020

It’s almost June 1. And frankly, the festivals (Venice/Telluride/Toronto… and New York) are running out of time. What are they going to be in only three months? We all have the same desire. For the festivals to go on, safely, with people sitting in theaters, watching movies. But circumstances are circumstances. The situation is not […]

Quibi Review: Dummy

May 14, 2020

I never thought it would happen to me. I wandered through Quibi’s programming selections the week it launched. A few minutes here, a few minutes there. A laugh or two. Pun titles all over, like Gayme Show and Dishmantled and Barkitecture. But nothing I felt compelled to stick with. After jumping on the app a […]

42 Weeks To Oscar?

May 12, 2020

The single most significant public event in the possible Oscar season to come happened today. Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda moved Hamilton into 2020. No, I am not saying that Hamilton is a lock to win Best Picture. It is possible that it won’t be nominated. It is possible that it will be nominated and lose. […]

Paul Schrader’s Call For Big Fests Online Exposes What Fests Mean… & Don’t Mean

May 11, 2020

Paul Schrader is a brilliant man. But… myopic. Festivals have a narrow value beyond the experience to be had at the festivals. And every one of the major festivals has a different purpose that extends beyond those events. Cannes is many festivals. There are two major competitions, a few other platforms, and then a major […]

Misunderstanding The Future of Streaming & Theatrical Exhibition

May 5, 2020

“Theatrical is over.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have been listening to this bullshit for decades. And if you read David Puttnam‘s “Movies & Money” (from 1997!), you will see that this line of gloom & doom and hipster pronouncements about The Future started coming up a century ago. This morning, Indiewire published a piece by […]

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The Guardian

"As with McQueen’s previously premiered Small Axe film, Lovers Rock, there is real fervour and real meaning in Mangrove: it is filmmaking with visceral commitment and muscular storytelling."

The Guardian | September 25, 2020

"Black Death Does Not Happen 'In the Greek Sense': Aaron Robertson Responds to a Very Bad Tweet By Thomas Chatterton Williams"

September 25, 2020


Diana Krall: "Stanley Donen and I were friends. We used to hang out quite a bit in New York. You didn’t know that about me. There are clues. We would go to the same restaurant, talk and have the most delightful time. He sent me all of his movies. That’s part of the reason why I play that song, to remind me of that time, one of my favorite parts of being in New York. [My producer] Tommy [Lipuma] introduced me to Stanley, and I felt very sad when he passed, so perhaps this is my way… a tribute to be paid. Somebody told me, though: It should be more upbeat. Nah. I think it should be just like this: minimalist."

Variety | September 25, 2020


“Half a century ago, my father made a body of work that shocked the art world. Not only had he violated the canon of what a noted abstract artist should be painting at a time of particularly doctrinaire art criticism, but he dared to hold up a mirror to white America, exposing the banality of evil and the systemic racism we are still struggling to confront today.My father dared to unveil white culpability, our shared role in allowing the racist terror that he had witnessed since boyhood, when the Klan marched openly by the thousands in the streets of Los Angeles.”
Four Museums Postpone Philip Guston Career Retrospective, Saying His Anti-Klan Imagery Does Not Belong In This Moment

Artnet | September 25, 2020

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Mrs. America, Uzo Aduba

David Poland | September 8, 2020

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