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Latest Work

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Theatre of Pain: Woolly's Gloria and Round House's Small Mouth Sounds, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

 Megan Graves and Ahmad Kamal are two of the standout performers in  Gloria . (Teresa Castracane)

Megan Graves and Ahmad Kamal are two of the standout performers in Gloria. (Teresa Castracane)

After the customary late summer lull, I’m back on the theater beat. Last week’s Washington City Paper featured my reviews of two plays that first appeared in 2015, now making their regional premieres Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ stunner Gloria, at Woolly Mammoth, and Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl, at Round House.

FURTHER READING: My 2013 City Paper profile of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is here.

Anti-Monster Squad: The Predator, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

 Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguiliera. (Fox)

Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane and Augusto Aguiliera. (Fox)

Predator, directed by John McTiernan the year before he made Die Hard, has been a favorite film of mine ever since I biked home with the rented VHS cassette (I couldn't persuade my dad to take me, aged 10, to see it in the theater) and watched it three or four times in a weekend. It was the 12th highest-grossing film of 1987, a year when the box office top five was Three Men and a Baby, Fatal Attraction, Beverly Hills Cop II, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Moonstruck. One sequel and four original, not-based-on-preexisting material screenplays. Just in case you need a sense of just how long ago that was.

Anyway, I love Shane Black, so I wanted The Predator to be better than it is. My NPR review is here.

I Got Stripes: Peppermint, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

 If you want a wound dressed right, you'd better dress it yourself. Jennifer Garner tapes up. (STX)

If you want a wound dressed right, you'd better dress it yourself. Jennifer Garner tapes up. (STX)

"The title, with its slight echo of the 1973 Pam Grier vehicle Coffy, promises a sticky confection of feminism and violence, but the movie it's selling is a desultory drag. It's so dull-edged that even prospect of a white woman (named North!) whose family was afflicted by, um, economic anxiety before being murdered by cartel-affiliated outlaws doesn't carry the scab-picking provocation that it should."

That's me on Peppermint, a sweaty return to sweaty form for Jennifer Garner, from Taken director Pierre Morel. It's the kind of movie that doesn't get shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, where I currently am not. The full review is here.

Berg & Wahlberg 'Burg: Mile 22, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

 He's a Marky-marked man. (STX)

He's a Marky-marked man. (STX)

Mile 22 is essentially Mission: Impossible minus amazing stunts, jokes, joy, Tom Cruise running, Rebecca Ferguson felling dudes by getting her leg over their shoulders, or Henry Cavill's mustache. Also minus a great Iko Uwais fight scene or any sort of Ronda Rousey fight scene, which is odd because they're both in the movie. But! There are one or two actual ideas in this thing that deserve homes in better movies. My NPR review of Mile 22 is here.

Shark, Weak: The Meg, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

 They're gonna need a bigger beaker. (Warner Bros.)

They're gonna need a bigger beaker. (Warner Bros.)

Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon did me a solid with that headline. Of all the giant-shark thrillers that've been scaring us out of the water since Jaws invented the summer blockbuster, The Meg, starring the Fast & the Furious franchise's most talented chromedome, is without question the most recent. Here's my NPR review.

The Last Balcony: An Oral History of the Uptown

Chris Klimek


I wrote an oral history of my favorite cinema, the Uptown Theater on Connecticut Ave. NW here in DC, for the Washington City Paper. I love the oral history format. Cutting this down to publishable length tested me. My apologies to the various people whose comments were cut for length.

AMC Theatres declined to make attendance figures available for publication, but they told me they've ticket up slightly in the last year. I hope that means the Uptown will stick around a long time.

Appendix! A probably-incomplete list of films I saw at the Uptown, compiled from memory, by year.

1993: The Abyss [Extended Edition]

1996: Vertigo

1998: Godzilla (the awful Roland Emmerich one), The Thin Red Line

1999: Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, Sleepy Hollow

2000: The Perfect Storm

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

2004: Spider-Man 2

2005: Good Night and Good Luck, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, King Kong (the underrated Peter Jackson one)

2006: Mission: Impossible III, Superman Returns

2007: Spider-Man 3, Blade Runner: The Final Cut

2008: Iron Man, The Dark Knight

2009: Watchmen, Terminator: Salvation

2010: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

2011: Super 8

2012: The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Prometheus

2013: Iron Man 3, Jurassic Park (20th anniversary 3D rerelease), Gravity

2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2015: Tomorrowland

2016: Ali, Independence Day: Resurgence

2017: Close Encounters of the Third Kind 

2018: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Mission: Impossible — Fallout, and What's Making Us Happy

Chris Klimek

 Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise, and Ving Rhames.

Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise, and Ving Rhames.

Sure, he's a weird guy. But Tom Cruise is the greatest onscreen runner since that horse that Eadweard Muybridge photographed in 1872 to prove that all four hooves of a galloping stallion leave the ground. 

Here's our Pop Culture Happy Hour on the triumph that is Mission: Impossible — Fallout.  Any Cruiselike zealotry in my voice is purely intentional. To watch a two-star action movie with Linda Holmes is a five-star experience. To watch a five-star action movie with her is an M:I-6 star experience.