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I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for Michael Kahn's final Hamlet, starring Michael Urie, or for Sovereignty, an Arena Stage World Premiere entry in the Women's Voices Theater Festival written by Mary Kathryn Nagle, who knows whereof she speaks but not how to make it sing. Those reviews are in this week's Washington City Paper.
Here's something I mean with all the generosity of spirit that I hope I possess in my heart: Den of Thieves, a new—well, newly released—crime movie, is not as bad as one might expect the directorial debut from the screenwriter of A Man Apart and London Has Fallen to be. That's because writer-director Christian Gudegast has taken the greatest Los Angeles cops-and-robbers movie ever made and replicated it as closely as one can while filming in Atlanta, with a growling Gerard Butler standing in for an ad-libbing Al Pacino.
My NPR review of Den of Thieves is here. I believe the phrase "coffee-table action flick" is a Klimek Original.
I'm on today's episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, weighing in on the new season of Netflix's cautionary-tale tech anthology Black Mirror. One thing I should've said had there been time is just how much the open format of the show contributes to its ability to build tension. Two of my favorites among the six new episodes are "U.S.S. Callister," which runs a nearly feature-length 76 minutes, and "Metalhead," which clocks in at around 40 minutes—not even long enough to fill a network hour. Anyway, I was happy as always to join Linda and Glen, and especially glad to get to speak with Brittany Luse, whom I had not met previously. You can hear the episode below, or on whatever smart device you've got. Or both. I mean, we're all cuffed to our digital appendages now, despite the warnings of Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.
In the "What's Making Me Happy" segment, I plug my latest Christmas mixtape, Noel Means Noel, which remains available for your halldecking, merrymaking edificaiton, along with most of its predecessors. Merry Eight More Days of Christmas.
The alarming lesson of Netflix's new Will Smith-toplined, David Ayer-directed human-&-orc buddy cop thriller Bright is that I am, apparently, not Too Old For This Shit.
I'm exhausted, but this thing is finally finished.