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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

Critical Mass: Out of the basement

posted: 01/15/2017 2:07 a.m. Discuss

Robbie Robertson is having a moment.

Maybe you should be a little sad

posted: 01/15/2017 1:51 a.m. Discuss

Miniver Cheevy I am not; the last thing I want is to become one of those mandarins holding forth on how we used to do it back in the day, when legends walked and rewrite men dueled compositors in hallways with rusty X-acto knives and gleaming pica poles. Let someone else point out how noble and important is the work that's produced in newsrooms; I'll just say I've never been in a newsroom populated mainly by the clear-eyed and mentally hygienic.

MOVIE REVIEW: Just 'Jackie'

posted: 01/13/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Jackie Kennedy was one of the first icons I can remember.

ON FILM: Critics' range wide in 2016 top 10 lists

posted: 01/13/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

For the third week in a row, notable moviegoers tell us the best movies they saw last year. We'll have at least one more of these in the newspaper -- after that we'll run some lists on the blood, dirt & angels (blooddirtangels.com) blog.

Commentary: PHILIP MARTIN: "Hate crimes"

posted: 01/10/2017 5:45 a.m. Comments 2

I have often said I don't believe in "hate crimes," by which I mean I don't believe that one's motivation for committing an offense ought to be considered an aggravating factor at sentencing.

Critical Mass: PHILIP MARTIN: Stones show they've still got blues

posted: 01/08/2017 5:45 a.m. Comments 6

The new Rolling Stones' album Blue & Lonesome is pretty cool.

Columnists: I've known boys like you

posted: 01/08/2017 1:49 a.m. Comments 4

Dylann Roof, I have known you all my life.

Review: Flawed Figures

posted: 01/06/2017 1:51 a.m. Discuss

A nice enough message movie with a trio of fine performances at its core, Hidden Figures is nevertheless overly safe and inappropriately comforting, fitting squarely in the well-established minorities-overcoming-adversity-with-dignity genre. It's a good family film in the sense that it probably won't upset anyone, but it's hard to escape the suspicion the real people on whose stories it is based deserve a more nuanced treatment, one that's less slavishly devoted to the conventional notions of America's Cold War and civil rights mythologies.

Review: A Monster Calls

posted: 01/06/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

One of the things we try to stay away from in most of these reviews is a discussion of a given film's commercial prospects. We're not interested in how a movie might profit its makers or its stars, for we aren't writing for a trade publication but for an audience of what we imagine to be interested, alert but resolutely amateur moviegoers.

On Film: Week 2 of Top 10 lists: Folks in the biz

posted: 01/06/2017 1:45 a.m. Discuss

As has become our custom, we start off the new year with a look back at the past one. We've asked a few people in the Arkansas film community and beyond, to supply us with lists of their favorite movies of 2016. Here's what they sent us. (Oh, and there's more. This will continue next week.)

Commentary: PHILIP MARTIN: Love like lightning

posted: 01/03/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

I'm the sort of person who gets cut up by pop songs.

Columnists: Welcome to the everlasting now

posted: 01/01/2017 1:50 a.m. Comment 1

It's an arbitrary line we've just crossed, from one year to the next. The wind doesn't know it's a new year. Calendars are artificial as hash marks on AstroTurf, just another way human beings keep track. Another way we can pretend our rituals and mythologies matter, that the stack we've piled up that's maybe bigger than our neighbors' means something. But it's just an odometer; it rolls over and sometimes the numbers line up in ways we find interesting or significant.

On Film: Professionals, fan list top films of '16

posted: 12/30/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

As is our end-of-the-year custom, starting this week we're running a lot of moviegoers' lists of films of the almost-over year. This will continue on our blood, dirt & angels blog (blooddirtangels.com) until we either run out of lists or get bored.

Commentary: PHILIP MARTIN: That's a wrap for 2016

posted: 12/27/2016 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

It was a pretty lousy year. Prince and David Bowie and Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen died. Whether we wanted it or not, we all became participants in one of those surreal reality shows, and I'm not sure even the guy who won the thing is happy with how it turned out. Most of us are probably happy to see the year go.

Critical Mass: The best and the rest: 30 of our favorite films this year

posted: 12/25/2016 6:27 a.m. Discuss

There is a chance the name "Theodore Sturgeon" means something to you. If you are a fan of science fiction and fantasy novels, you might know him as one of those artists who -- despite at one time being the most anthologized writer in the English language -- was more influential than successful. Sturgeon's deep humanism impressed and influenced Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison and Stephen King. They've all cited him as an influence.

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