On Mission: Impossible, Edge Of Tomorrow, and the morbid star power of Tom Cruise

One of these days, Tom Cruise is going to seriously hurt himself. It’s kind of inevitable, isn’t it? Cruise, who just turned 56 but still throws himself into every role like a teenager certain of his own invincibility, has a new Mission: Impossible movie out, the terrifically exciting Fallout. The star’s insistence on…

Want to join me for this 6 a.m. dance party experie—HEY COME BACK HERE

It’s 5:47 a.m. and I’m surrounded by people wearing all white. To be fair, we were supposed to wear all white to this event, in keeping with its “white hot” theme. I’m fashion-challenged on my best days, and the idea that I own white pants is laughable. I would rather be kidnapped than draw attention to myself in…

Stephen King isn’t made for TV—but he could be

On Wednesday, Hulu will premiere Castle Rock, the new series “based on characters and settings” by Stephen King. If that sounds an awful lot like “here’s a bunch of Easter eggs referencing the work of Stephen King,” that’s because it is. But the show is obviously trying to do more than just work in some…

Red Faction: Guerrilla embraced players for what we are: total assholes

Playing the recently released remastered—excuse me—“re-mars-tered” edition of Red Faction: Guerrilla hammers home just how radical that 2009 cult classic was all those years ago. At that point, big-budget games had barely explored their ongoing obsession with open worlds, a design style so uniquely predispositioned to…

Hooked on Hereditary’s spooky power? Check out director Ari Aster’s fucked-up short films

Mark your calendars, because Hereditary season is upon us. More like a vicious remake of Robert Redford’s Ordinary People than any studio-built jump-scare obstacle course, writer-director Ari Aster’s frightening feature debut is the feel-terrible movie of the summer: a shocker about a family slowly descending into…

The thrill and the tragedy of Jonathan Fire*Eater's Stewart Lupton

The very first photo in Lizzy Goodman’s recent oral history, Meet Me In The Bathroom, is of Stewart Lupton smoking a cigarette, framed by enormous angel wings. It’s a fitting image to begin Goodman’s story of New York’s rock rebirth in the early 2000s—a story that really began several years earlier, when the…

Somewhere in the Super Mario Bros. movie is a vision that’s weird enough to work

It’s a miracle the Super Mario Bros. movie is as barely coherent as it is. That much is clear from reading the many interviews and in-depth reports about its nightmarish production that have been published in the 25 years since it hit theaters. As they tell it, the husband and wife directing duo of Annabel Jankel and…

Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison made anthems out of agony

“I guess that’s what life has come to mean to me: It’s not ever quite right, but that’s okay,” Scott Hutchison told us in 2016. Josh Modell, our devoted ambassador to Frightened Rabbit, had asked him what he liked best about his job. Scott (forget journalistic practice; “Hutchison” doesn’t feel right for someone who’s…

Atlanta, Westworld, and the episode-description revolution

There’s always too much good TV to keep up with, but in a packed spring—The Americans, Westworld, The Terror, Legion, sigh—Atlanta’s second season has felt like uniquely essential viewing. Comedies go “dark” all the time, but few manage to delve all the way into horror, as Donald Glover’s has, while still retaining…

This season, The Handmaid’s Tale is making the connection between Gilead and present-day America explicit

Premiering three months after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t help but feel significant. The relevancy hits because Margaret Atwood pulled every detail about the controlling and punishment of women in her dystopian novel from real-world examples, mostly historical (going as far…

The rainy, smoky, lovesick world of Alan Rudolph, the last of the romantics

Alan Rudolph, recently unretired film director and slept-on romantic of American movies, is speaking to me by phone from Bainbridge Island in Washington’s Puget Sound. The seaplanes are taking off, he says, and he’ll move if they get too noisy. His voice is an older man’s, reedy and sweetish with a California sound.…