Happy Earth Day!

Let's go out and do something good for the planet

Happy Saturday, friends, and welcome to the many new folks who’ve signed up for my Saturday Matinee newsletter in the past couple of weeks. It’s so gratifying to know this is reaching people and perhaps giving you some weekend plans or something to watch or listen to that you hadn’t heard of before. As you read this, I’m out with Nic at an Earth Day service event through his school district. We’re lucky to live in a beautiful place, and it always feels good to give back and help keep it that way. Hopefully you can find a way to get out there and contribute a bit, too. But first, let’s talk about movies.

Just hangin’ out on a boat, being handsome and dangerous.

The biggie of the week is “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” the latest from Guy Ritchie. You know it’s a Guy Ritchie movie because it features a crew of hunky guys, sitting around in cozy sweaters, trading snappy banter before killing a bunch of people in brutal fashion. Alonso and I do not agree on this World War II action comedy, which is the case quite often this week: He liked this one, I didn’t. In theaters now.

  • ABIGAIL. Yet another movie about a ragtag band of misfits who come together on a mission, only this time the mission is kidnapping a little girl who … also happens to be a vampire. This horror comedy comes from the “Ready or Not” guys, and it has a very similar structure. I liked this one, Alonso didn’t. In theaters.

Go find the gorgeous “We Grown Now.” And bring tissues.

  • WE GROWN NOW. This story about two 12-year-old boys growing up in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects in the early ‘90s is ravishing visual poetry. It received Spirit Award nominations this year for best feature, cinematography and editing, and deservedly so. I found myself getting choked up several times along the way before sobbing at the end. In theaters.

  • SASQUATCH SUNSET. Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough get dressed up in head-to-toe fur suits and grunt their way through this entirely wordless movie about Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) traipsing through the forest. I love the ambition of this typically bizarre indie from the filmmaking Zellner brothers, David and Nathan, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. In theaters.

  • MOVIE NEWS LIVE!. It’s a thing we like to do on Fridays. Among the topics we discussed this week were Quentin Tarantino scrapping his 10th and final film, “The Film Critic,” the possibility of the Sundance Film Festival leaving Utah, and our favorite movie theater candy. Join us every Friday at Noon Pacific.

And as always, you can find all our conversations in podcast form here at Apple and in all the podcast places. We’d be honored if you’d give it a listen and maybe share a few stars and some kind words. It helps the world find us!

Also this week, I had the pleasure of appearing on both of the NPR film review shows I do. Give ‘em a listen:

Speaking of podcasts, I can’t recommend highly enough the show that Roger Deakins does with his wife and longtime collaborator, James Ellis Deakins. If you know me, you know my deep reverence for this legendary cinematographer, whose many, many films include “No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall” and “1917.” And if you love process, you will love the Team Deakins podcast, where they interview a wide array of people from the movie world about how they do what they do. This week, they talked with prolific composer Hans Zimmer about his decades-long career. Zimmer discusses working with Ridley Scott, Denis Villeneuve, Christopher Nolan and many other greats, and he’s a hilarious storyteller. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Finally, this week saw the much-anticipated release of Taylor Swift’s new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which is actually a double album because she released a bunch of surprise tracks at 2 a.m. Friday. But! This is relevant to our purposes here because Taylor wrote and directed the video for the first single, “Fortnight,” which features Post Malone. Once again, she’s working with Rodrigo Prieto, another legendary cinematographer who last year alone shot “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Barbie.” And it features film references galore, from Clara Bow to Jacques Tati to “Frankenstein” to a clever “Dead Poet’s Society” reunion of Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles. Plus, Taylor’s got a development deal with Searchlight Pictures, so I’m curious to see what comes from that. These new songs are hit-and-miss for me, but “Fortnight” is a good one. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Thanks so much as always for sharing some of your time with me this weekend. If you’ve found value in this newsletter, I’d be honored if you’d share it with a friend. Take care, enjoy the springtime, and I’ll see you back here next Saturday.