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"G.I. Joe," Jean-Claude Van Damme, Painful Childhood Memories — Yes, It's Time For Another CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION!!!

For today's edition of the Condition, I speak to another film writer who I know for a fact listens to the podcast. The guest is John Lichman, online producer for "The Rotten Tomatoes Show" on the Current channel and contributor to The House Next Door. Some of you may be aware of the joyfully inebriated, film-critic podcast he also used to do for the site.

We discuss the fine art of moderating podcasts (whether you're drunk or sober), our love for Armond White, the new Paul Giamatti movie "Cold Souls," the ever-growing need for studios to drop senseless summer blockbusters based on toys and Lichman's love for the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie "Bloodsport." The mention of this movie brings up an unfortunate, painful, childhood memory for me. I won't get into detail here (I go into much graphic detail on the podcast), but there's a good chance you'll never look at Vicks VapoRub the same way again. You can also download it here.

I'm taking a brief online break, so check back the week after next for podcasts. Besides, I'm sure you'll need to take a breather from me after the VapoRub story.

1250244063 "G.I. Joe," Jean-Claude Van Damme, Painful Childhood Memories — Yes, It's Time For Another CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION!!! The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION Where I Speak to Another Newspaper Film Critic (You See, I'm Not the Only One!)

On this installment of the Condition, I speak to Michael Sragow, film critic for the Baltimore Sun and a veteran of the film-reviewing frontlines. We discuss his days working for Rolling Stone (he drops a pitiful-but-hilarious story involving "E.T." that explains why that magazine is always the last to pick up on what people are talking about) as well as the work of the late filmmaker Victor Fleming, who is the subject of a recently-released autobiography Sragow has written. (BTW, all you Triangle residents can catch one of the movies he's famous for at the end of the month.) We end the podcast talking about the cinematic legacies of Budd Schulberg and John Hughes, who both passed away last week. You can also download it here.

FRIDAY: Me and another film writer bond over drunken podcasts, "G.I. Joe" and Jean-Claude Van Damme. I also talk about a rash — seriously.

1249927320 A CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION Where I Speak to Another Newspaper Film Critic (You See, I'm Not the Only One!) The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The 25th Edition of CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION! (aka The One Where Harry Lime Finally Comes Out the Shadows!)

For this edition of the Condition, the 25th installment so far, I talk to someone whose name has popped up more than a few times on this podcast. And, after weeks of scheduling, I finally get him in the hot seat. Today, I talk with Mike D'Angelo.

To the novices who don't know who he is, he's quite powerful in the film-criticism game. His meticulous Web site, The Man Who Viewed Too Much, has been a major source of influence in the movie-reviewing blogospehere. Holla at any online film critic or blogger (as I have with this podcast) and you'll learn that Mike D'Angelo is The Man — even if he says he's not, which he does here. But, anytime people you don't know give you money to go to France, so you can write dispatches from the Cannes Film Festival, you have to think of yourself as The Man just a little bit.

Since I was shocked to get him on the phone, we spend most of the time talking about him: his Cannes exploits, his tenure as an Esquire columnist, his rather mathematical approach to reviewing movies, his new column over at the Onion's A.V. Club. It was quite entertaining all around. I'm sure this will be a heavily-listened-to edition of the Condition. But that's what happens when you talk to someone who has The Man-type qualities. You can also download it here.

MONDAY: Discussing the life of a golden-age movie master with the film critic who recently wrote his biography.

1249655133 The 25th Edition of CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION! (aka The One Where Harry Lime Finally Comes Out the Shadows!) The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A Special Birthday Edition of CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION!!! (AKA The One Where A Friend and I Wonder Where Our Lives Went!)

As of last Wednesday, I am officially 33 years old. (Please hold the applause.) And man, do I feel old!

Yeah, some of you are saying, "Oh Craig, you're still young!" I just spoke at a college function with a bunch of teenage, mostly female, aspiring journalists — and all they could talk about was "Harry Potter" and "Twilight." Every time I name-checked some old movie, they looked at me like the RCA Victor dog. To all these Robert Pattinson-loving kids, I'm a geezer! I might as well have my own condo up in Boca! Thank you for being a friend, dang it!

For this edition of the Condition, I needed to talk to someone who understood my pain. Fortunately, another friend of mine just celebrated his 34th birthday on Saturday. His name is Jason Shawhan, a Nashville-based film critic for these publications, a blogger, an employee at this awesome movie theater and a man of many aliases. (He'll always be Jean Genet Ramsey to me.)

We basically talk about our current lives as aging, desperate film critics, bad movies we clean the house to and moviegoing birthday memories. We also talk a bit too much about Prince — most specifically, stuff involving bootlegs (one of us may get a call from Prince's lawyers soon), the whereabouts of Prince's female associates(especially that one who purified herself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka) and why he won't get a hip replacement. It's another one of those installments where movies kinda take a backseat to, well, everything else.

I hope you enjoy me kvetching for thirty minutes or so. As Jason says, "It's just a rich tapestry of sad." You can also download it here.

FRIDAY: The Man Who Viewed Too Much finally comes out of the shadows and makes an appearance on the Condition.

 

1249319073 A Special Birthday Edition of CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION!!! (AKA The One Where A Friend and I Wonder Where Our Lives Went!) The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Another Outdoor Movie Series Is Coming!

Dang, I forgot to slide this into my film picks. Oh well. As always, click on the poster. 

Another Episode of CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION Where I Sound Drunk (But I Swear I'm Not! HONEST!!!)

I don't know whether it was because I was kinda out of it on this particular day, I was participating in this while lying down or I just have trouble using those things called words. But I sound more unintelligible (read: drunk) than usual on this installment of the Condition.

Or maybe it was because I was talking to someone who knows how to use words — and use them well. Today's guest is Chuck Tryon, Fayetteville State University professor, film & culture blogger and author of "Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence."

We discuss that book, along with the so-called subversiveness of "Bruno," the significance of the "Harry Potter" movies and why film critics shouldn't beat themselves up about keeping audiences away from "Transformers 2."

Well, I should say he talks. I just ramble, stagger and make impersonations of those people on the N & O comments section who say I'm a terrible writer. They're wrong; I'm a terrible conversationalist — at least, on this podcast. You can also download it here.

MONDAY: Me and another film critic celebrate our birthdays the only way we know how — by trying to figure out where did Apollonia go.

1249016291 Another Episode of CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION Where I Sound Drunk (But I Swear I'm Not! HONEST!!!) The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

It's A CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION That's Too FUNKY For Words!!!

On this special musical edition of the Condition, I talk to Jason Woods, better known as Houston-based DJ/photographer/podcaster/renaissance man Flash Gordon Parks. We basically go back-and-forth on both movies and movie soundtracks, specifically why there doesn't seem to be any good, contemporary ones out there. We also indulge in one of my favorite recreational pastimes, called "Have You Heard of This?!," where me and Flash play choice snippets from some of our favorite soundtracks to each other. (And yes, the funky-beyond-belief theme from one of my favorite films makes an appearance.) You can also download it here.

FRIDAY: Talking about "Bruno," "Transformers" and "Harry Potter" — in that order — with a Fayetteville State University professor/film-festival drinking buddy.

CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION (or The One Where I Somehow Found Myself Defending the Acting of Ben Affleck!?)

As always, I don't know how it happened. But I did.

That's what happens when you spend 35 minutes or so talking to Jenny Sekwa (not her real name), a middle-aged, self-deprecating, New England chatterbox with a wacky personal blog (check out the URL), a Twitter page with a misleading albeit titillating avatar and an insatiable love of movies.

In this whirlwind edition, we talk about the weird things she posts on her blog (including a YouTube clip that I thought for sure had her dancing in a tube top), how she turns into that cute talking dog from "Up" when she's around celebrities she loves (especially Mickey Rourke — yeah, she's crazy like that) and the on-the-side reviews she's done for a Web site or two. One of them, a review of that long-lost classic called "Gigli" (sarcasm, folks!), spawned a nice little debate that ended up with me doing the aforementioned Affleck-defending.

I now await all the snarky comments from my colleagues. You're welcome. You can also download it here.

MONDAY: Playing soundtrack selections over the phone with a crate-digging, film-loving DJ.

1248457694 CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION (or The One Where I Somehow Found Myself Defending the Acting of Ben Affleck!?) The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Defending Armond White & Dissecting Roger Ebert's Pimposity? Yeah, it's CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION Time Again!!!

On today's installment, I talk to Daniel Johnson, Chapel Hill film blogger and former employer of a recently shut-down independent theater in his neighborhood. I talk to him about the closing of that theater as well as his not-yet-finished book of conspiracy movies. And, somehow, I also manage to explain Armond White to him, which, somehow, ends up with me defending the man. I don't remember how we got there, but it happened.

We also establish that Roger Ebert is still a pimp. Just thought you should know. You can also download it here.

FRIDAY: Getting into it about "Gigli" with the former owner of a lower-back tattoo.

1248277197 Defending Armond White & Dissecting Roger Ebert's Pimposity? Yeah, it's CRIZZLE'S CRITICAL CONDITION Time Again!!! The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I Truly Cannot Win! (First In A Possible Series)

Regarding my Katy Perry-Beth Ditto column (which I thought was kinda positive) yesterday:

"Craig,
I have to tell you I found your Gossip/Katy Perry piece straight up depressing. Beth Ditto is actually widely known as being a queer advocate and a feminist--she's been iconic for that for a solid 5-6 years. I know this in part because I was the Gossip's publicist for their first few records and she has been out and vocal about it since the bands inception. I would say she is the best known queer female icon in independent music, period.

Also, in your article, the way you write about KP's body (boobs in the lede--c'mon, man!) and that every single time you describe Beth you mention her weight--how little you talk about the music or their actual skills or charisma--you might want to consider how discouraging and depressing that is for young female musicians who might be anxiously reading the story because they love Katy Perry or are anxious to get their hands on whatever info they can about women making music. I am on a book tour right now for my book, 'Girls' Guide to Rocking,' which is for girls 8-16 who are interested in playing music and starting bands. Every night, after the reading I spend about an hour talking to these young girls, and you cannot imagine the impact stuff about weight and appearance and how it is written about--women musicians looks being criticized and not their music (i.e. not being taken seriously, not being treated in the same way as their male peers)--how that makes them view the music world, how discouraging it is, what a road block that feels like as a 15 yr old girl who is not Katy Perry hot and wants nothing more than to rule the world from her drum kit.

I am sharing this with you in hopes that you will, in the future, consider the implications of how you criticize female artists."

--Jessica

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