Can I Be Natalie’s Agent, Or: Wait, Does Natalie Portman Choose Bad Movies?

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As my friend Tessa can attest, I’m not someone who easily changes his opinion. Or regularly changes his opinion. Or, like, ever changes his opinion. And one of my bedrock principles has always been “Natalie Portman = amazing.” I mean, ever since I saw her in The Professional I was hooked. I have seen every major release of hers in the theater with one glaring exception: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. And that continued through this past Monday, when I saw Annihilation. Which made me yawn and left me angry and confused:

I told co-workers yesterday that I was disappointed in Annihilation, despite its cast (Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac) and pedigree (written and directed by Alex Garland, who wrote The Beach [the book], 28 Days Later, and wrote and directed Ex Machina). They acted surprised – what did I expect? And, what did I expect from a Natalie Portman movie anyway? They are never any good. And while my instinct was to rise to her defense, I realized something: they were right. Her movies, on the whole, are actually pretty bad. And while this may be an obvious statement to those reading this, that is akin to me realizing the sky is blue after thinking (knowing?) it was red all these years. How did I come to this game-changing realization? More after the jump… Continue reading


Star Wars Films, Ranked


Choosing the best “Star Wars” movie, for me, is what I imagine parents would feel when asked to choose their favorite child. It’s an impossible task; each has brought me hours of joy and escapism. But, having just walked out of “The Last Jedi” for the second time in 72 hours, this is my current ranking of the “Star Wars” filmography. Maybe upon subsequent rewatches, this will change. Let me know your personal order in the comments.  Continue reading

Oscars 2017: Who Will (and Should) Win

The morning of Oscar nominations is one of my favorite of the entertainment year. As always, I make my choices morning-of, so as to not be too swayed by narrative. The past few years, that’s become more difficult, as Oscar punditry has become more popular (and started earlier in the year to boot.) Some of these choices are shoo-ins, some of these are dark horses, and each contains who *should* win as well. As always, feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments.

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Winners and Losers, 2016

Well, as John Oliver rightly noted, 2016 was not a good year. And while I’ll do my best to keep updating this space, regular readers (if there is such a thing) can vouch that I’ve been lacking in posts; mostly because it feels like the world is falling apart. (I say this not as a wholly political statement; for instance, Alan Thicke and Florence Henderson and George Michael have passed while I’ve been working on this draft. Update: Carrie Fisher, too.) But with that said, entertainment is often a good way to express discontent with the current political and social climate, and can often serve as a distraction from, well, our impending doom. So enough prologue: I humbly submit the winners and losers of the entertainment world that were on my radar in 2016.

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Casting the new “Ocean’s 11” movie


News has broken that there will be an all-female reboot of “Ocean’s 11.” The remake will be headlined by Sandra Bullock, and produced by her friend George Clooney. For sake of argument, we’ll assume she’s playing the Danny Ocean role (Danielle Ocean?). But who should play everyone else? Let’s break it down. Continue reading

10 Years of The OC


It’s impossible for me to top the epic work being done by television critics this week in memory of the 10-year anniversary of the debut of The OC. Alan Sepinwall, Andy Greenwald and Vulture have great interviews with creator/show-runner Josh Schwartz, and/or discussions of the show, what it meant in the moment, and its legacy. But hey, I’ll give it a shot. Continue reading