New Substandard Features ‘Silence,’ Me Getting Trolled


In the latest episode of The Substandard (subscribe here! Leave a review!), JVL, Vic Matus, and I discuss Silence and Martin Scorsese. I’ll be honest: I may or may not have lost my cool when JVL revealed that he thinks Martin Scorsese is overrated.

There’s Still (Almost) Another Month of Christmas


A lot of people take me for a Scrooge, a label I am happy to embrace. I despise “the holidays” and make a point of never acknowleding Thanksgiving* or New Year’s Eve, and I refuse to say “Merry Christmas” to anyone until the evening of December 24, the earliest juncture at which I will tolerate …

Sorry, But Not Killing Babies Is Bad for Business


What does the Democratic Party stand for in 2017? The bottom lines of insurance companies? The unfettered operation of our intelligence services? Neo-McCarthyism? Let’s ask the governor of Virginia: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a “socially divisive” proposal hurts the state’s image.… McAuliffe, …

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Voters

This would be a much better 'Check Your Privilege' card btw.

Over the Christmas break*, I stumbled across the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Via New York magazine, tremble before the power of the Check Your Privilege Card:

NFL Week 17 Picks, with Fishing


I grew up in New York City and only went fishing once or twice as a kid, without ever catching a fish. Then I read Matthew Walther’s review of Fishing with Roland Martin and was convinced to give the show a chance. Watching the veteran angler wield his rod like a Jedi wields his lightsaber permanently changed my …


And I took it.

The thing you have to remember about major cinematic awards —the Oscars, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, etc.—is that they’re not a particularly good measure of artistic accomplishment. They’re fun and they’re glitzy and they offer an approximation of what’s good in any given year, but, well, most films don’t really win on the merits. They win because producers and directors and stars lobby and schmooze with voters, by placing big ad campaigns in the trades, by talking up Oscar bloggers and other lesser creatures. Some movies are nominated, and some win, because they flatter a certain sensibility more than because they’re particularly good.

New Substandard Tackles ‘Rogue One’

Rogue One

If you’ve seen Rogue One and you like listening people talk about things you’ve seen on a movie screen, you should probably listen to this week’s Substandard. I don’t want to raise expectations too high, but it’s the greatest hour-plus of recorded material in the history of mankind.

New Trailer Watch: Blade Runner, John Wick, and Dunkirk

omg omg

So, as I mentioned in my Rogue One review, I happened to see the new Star Wars Story at an IMAX theater that was playing the five-minute prologue for Dunkirk. This was different from the trailer released the other day—different, and better. I don’t know if it’s the first five minutes of the film but I kind of hope they are: we start right in the middle of the action, with a pair of young soldiers running a stretcher up a pier to a departing ship. Interwoven in this little mini-drama—will they make it before she leaves? Or will their wounded friend be stuck on the French shores?—are shots of Mark Rylance getting ready to depart for France and, most importantly, Tom Hardy doing some dogfighting in the skies.

The NYT Is Having a Meltdown Over Trump’s Israel Nominee

David Friedman

For a moment this week it felt as if the sneering, embittered media hysteria surrounding Donald Trump was starting ever so slightly to subside. But not so fast. The New York Times, the paper of record of urban liberal contempt for Deplorable America, discovered a fresh new outrage: Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel.