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Stories written by Jeff Meyers

36 stories found. Showing page 1 of 2.

Cinefeast!: The Ann Arbor Film Festival: Bringing indie film to Mitten masses for 48 years

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 3/24/2010

Types: Screens, Film

It's pretty safe to say that Michigan isn't exactly wanting for film festivals. In fact, the damn things are popping up like dandelions. Whether it's Jews, Palestinians, environmentalists or the GBLT community, if you throw a dart at a calendar, you're bound to hit a week when an ethnic or special i...[MORE]

Cut across shorty: 2009 short film Oscar nods telegraph deadpan geeks, corporate satire, social commentary and more

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 2/17/2010

Types: Screens, Film

There are two things that stand out about this year's crop of short-subject Oscar nominees: 1) There isn't a clunker in the bunch. In recent years there have always been one or two head-scatchers, films that were clearly outclassed by their competitors. Heck, one — 2005's West Bank Story &mdas...[MORE]

The decade's best in film: Our critics pick the tip-top of the last 10

By Jeff Meyers, Corey Hall

Published: 1/6/2010

Types: Screens, Film

JEFF MEYERS If the '70s were under the influence of angry cynicism and artistic rebellion, the rah-rah '80s an era of blockbuster egos and muscular populism, and the '90s consumed by ironic navel-gazing and fear of technology, how do we summarize the aughties? Virtual reality, the fragmentation of ...[MORE]

The year in lists : From apocalyptic fetishes and doc-a-lots to teen-dream vampires and why no one will see the year's best movie

By Jeff Meyers & Corey Hall

Published: 12/30/2009

Types: Screens, Film

COREY HALL Bromance is in the air  The dude-bonding genre really flowered in 2009. So too bad that the genre's Babe Ruth, Vince Vaughn, hit a slump. Elsewhere, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel were the funniest buds since Bert and Ernie in I Love You, Man, The Hangover took ritual male bonding to absurd ...[MORE]

Whip it good: Drew Barrymore talks of her directorial debut shot in Detroit, her family lineage, bonding and old boxing movies

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 9/30/2009

Types: Screens, Film

By Hollywood standards, Whip It is practically an independent film. Working with an $11 million budget, a large cast and the need for kinetic roller derby sequences, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut was no small endeavor.  What makes it work?  Well, the obvious chemistry between the cast members...[MORE]

Bastardized bliss: Meyers and Hall pick Tarantino's brain

By Jeff Meyers & Corey Hall

Published: 8/26/2009

Types: Screens, Film

Quentin Tarantino sure is an unpredictable bastard, isn't he? The Promethean video geek brain buzzing away in his massive forehead is continually charged, seeking new ways to delight and confound fans and critics. His latest is both a bare-knuckled spin on war flick tropes, while not really a war mo...[MORE]

Blood, sweat and tears: Talking horror with the creators of Saw and The Collector

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 8/5/2009

Types: Screens, Film

Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are the writers and director of The Collector, a low budget attempt to meld two popular film genres: the tense thriller and the blood-spattered horror flick. In it an unsavory jewel thief who needs to score money fast breaks into a house where a serial killer has ca...[MORE]

Backlot: Rob Reiner directs a coming-of-age story in Ann Arbor

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 7/15/2009

Types: Screens, Film

Flipped Who stars: Aidan Quinn (Michael Collins, Practical Magic), Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito's Way), John Mahoney (Frasier), ER's Anthony Edwards, Rebecca De Mornay (Risky Business), Kevin Weisman (Alias). The kids are played by Madeline Carroll (Swing Vote) and Callan McAuliffe. Directed by Rob...[MORE]

Backlot: Gangster film now shooting ... set in a Detroit pawn shop

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 7/1/2009

Types: Screens, Film

Pawn Shop Who stars: Garrett Morris (original SNL alum), Joe Torry (Poetic Justice), local radio (WJLB) jock Robert "MC Foolish" Spearman Jr. and Flavor of Love 2 winner London "Deelishis" Charles. What is it: A $525K, homegrown attempt to emulate the success of Barbershop set ...[MORE]

Over easy: Dave Eggers on Away We Go and how novels trump films every time

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 6/17/2009

Types: Screens, Film

While interviewing Dave Eggers a quote my wife told me pops into my head, "An artist is entitled to whatever meaning you give his work." As I prod at themes in Away We Go, the film he and his wife Vendela Vida wrote together, it’s clear Eggers is a little uncomfortable with my intellectua...[MORE]

Backlot: Where they’re shooting around town

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 6/10/2009

Types: Screens

Hung  Who stars: Thomas Jane (The Punisher, The Mist), Anne Heche and Jane Adams (Little Children). What it is: Jane is Ray, a distressed high school basketball coach beset with financial and personal problems — the Detroit house he inherited from his parents burns down, his wife (Heche) and...[MORE]

Backlot: Michigan — that's Hollywood Central to you, punk!

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 6/3/2009

Types: Screens, Film

Stone Who stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich. John Curran (The Painted Veil) directs.  What it is: A cat-and-mouse thriller that'll see comely co-star Jovovich — as arsonist Norton's seductive wife — schtupp prison guard De Niro. Does that mental image give you the...[MORE]

Critic vs. Critic : MT film reviewers Jeff Meyers and Corey Hall battle Hell

By Jeff Meyers & Corey Hall

Published: 6/3/2009

Types: Screens

With Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi decides to dance with the genre that made him, and he's ready to rumba with all sorts of devils, demons and things that go "boom" in the night. The film has most of the critic class foaming over with rabid praise, but is this really much ado about an old dog...[MORE]

Meyers, Hall talk big: The MT film critics go, uh, head to head and get all nerd porn on us in the process

By Jeff Meyers & Corey Hall

Published: 5/20/2009

Types: Screens, Film

While Corey Hall and I agree that the new Star Trek movie is the first official summer blockbuster worth seeing, our reactions differed in proportion to our geekdom. As a kid, I dutifully watched Kirk deliver flying kicks and double judo chops to alien adversaries each Saturday evening while e...[MORE]

Feasting flick fest: It's back, 47 years-old and ballsier than ever

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 4/1/2009

Types: Arts

Let's be straight here, OK? A few years ago the Ann Arbor Film Festival was less than fantastic. It had been lost in the experimental film wilderness, catering to the tastes of an old-school board and ignoring its dwindling audience. Neither metro Detroiters nor Ann Arborites considered the st...[MORE]

Ignore their roar: The Detroit Film Critics society has spoken

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 12/24/2008

Types: Screens

Ain't democracy fickle? Given the collapse of, well, just about everything lately, you have to wonder how many people would actually cop to voting for Bush four years ago. Similarly, you have to wonder how many Academy Award voters would confess to punching the ballot for Roberto Benigni as be...[MORE]

Close-up: Director Danny Boyle talks Bollywood and industrial cities

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 12/3/2008

Types: Screens, Film

Whether he's filming Scottish junkies (Trainspotting) or the zombie apocalypse (28 Days Later), Danny Boyle is an unabashed stylist. His films overflow with arresting images, and no two are alike. Slumdog Millionaire, his latest, is a crowd-pleasing multilingual kaleidoscope of genres that of...[MORE]

Can't jail a revolution: Brett Morgen talks about introducing Abbie Hoffman, Yippies and political theater to a younger generation

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 4/23/2008

Types: Screens, Film

Can a movie change the world? Probably not. But it can inspire conversation, which is exactly what former eBay president Jeff Skoal hoped to do by forming socially minded Participant Films. Since 2004, the studio has produced an impressive roster of documentary and mainstream movies with a decidedly...[MORE]

Masterworks: Remembering author-turned-director Ousmane Sembene

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 2/20/2008

Types: Screens, Film

When was the last time you saw an African film shelved at your local Blockbuster or Hollywood Video? Uh, The Gods Must Be Crazy doesn't count. Fact is, most Western film fans tend to focus their attention on European and Asian cinema (with glimpses into South America and Bollywood). Even adven...[MORE]

Democracy in action : Detroit Film Critics Society announces 2007 winners

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 12/26/2007

Types: Screens, Film

This year marks the founding of Detroit's own film critics society … which only puts us 72 years behind New York, 18 behind Chicago and — aw, geez — 20 behind Cleveland. Alongside critics from the Freep, The Detroit News and a half dozen other publications, MT film critics Michael Hasti...[MORE]

Free France: Nazi genocide, domestic deceit and troubling whodunits to land emotional punches at Oakland U film fest

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 1/10/2007

Types: Screens, Film

There's a sublimely hilarious moment in the computer-animated hit Flushed Away where the amphibian assassin Le Frog (voiced by Jean Reno) accepts his mission with the declaration, "We leave immediately!" When his Franco-henchman queries, "What about lunch?" Le Frog announces, "We leave in five...[MORE]

Ground zero: Could a Detroit-based DIY film company launch its sci-fi series on a major network?

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 12/20/2006

Types: Culture, Media

It's a bitter 22 degrees on a Sunday in late November. Six actors in dark leather coats trudge up eight flights of stairs to what's supposed to be a rooftop shoot at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit. One floor from the top they're told they're in the wrong place; the shoot is below. An ...[MORE]

Made up: The story of the Granny Tranny gets an uneven staging

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 8/9/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

In 1992, celebrated playwright Doug Wright (Quills) met with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a 64-year-old transvestite who turned her East German home into a loving museum for antique phonographs and priceless furniture. Already the subject of a German documentary and the author of a popular autobio...[MORE]

Short-circuited?: Filmmaker charges GM pulled the plug on the EV1

By Jeff Meyers

Published: 7/5/2006

Types: Culture, Travel

It’s easy to see how the conspiracy theories got started. The commander in chief is an oilman. His vice president is an oilman. His former chief of staff was a former VP of General Motors. His secretary of state was on the board of Chevron. Is it really a surprise that oil industry profits...[MORE]

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