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Latest Work

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Monsters, Ink: "Hellboy," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

David Harbour is the new Ron Perlman in Hellboy, also starring Sasha Lane. (Mark Rogers)

David Harbour is the new Ron Perlman in Hellboy, also starring Sasha Lane. (Mark Rogers)

It's a shame about Hellboy (Neil Marshall, 2019). But we'll always have Hellboy (Guillermo del Toro, 2004). My NPR review of the former is here. None of these movies is as rewarding and reading Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics in bed, if you ask me.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: "Shazam!" and What's Making Us Happy"

Chris Klimek

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in an enthusiastically punctuated superhero comedy.

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in an enthusiastically punctuated superhero comedy.

I had a nice time joining the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew this week to discuss Shazam!, a lighter, brighter DC Comics movie that is also… a nice time. Doubtless I got invited on this episode because of the profile I wrote for the Ventura County Reporter waaaaaay back in January 2003 of Shazam! star Zachary Levi, a Local Boy Made Good for whom God has opened many doors, such as co-starring with Bob Newhart and the modern rhythm-and-blues singer Sisqo ("The Thong Song," peak position No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100). He admires men of integrity like Tom Hanks and Mel Gibson. The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Three, friends.

Shazam! is the polar opposite of The Shield, the early-aughts post-Sopranos, pre-Breaking Bad cop show I’m currently revisiting, which is what’s making me happy this week and shall be for many weeks to come, because I bought the big doorstop blu-ray set with all 88 episodes.

Only the Elephants Will Remember: "Dumbo," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Colin Farrell and some kids in  Dumbo . (Disney)

Colin Farrell and some kids in Dumbo. (Disney)

No critique of a long-lived artist is lazier or more boring than “I liked the early shit.” What can I say? I’m enough of a partisan of enough of the movies Tim Burton made back in the prior century that I’m always rooting for him to get his groove back. Alas, his new Dumbo shows no evidence of groove restoration. It’s fine, but any number of hacks like the ones who make Dwayne Johnson vehicles might’ve made this movie for all the personality it’s got. My NPR review is here.

How Do You Talk to a Battle Angel: "ALITA," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Rosa Salazar is  Alita , an amnesiac cyborg super-soldier in the 26th century. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Rosa Salazar is Alita, an amnesiac cyborg super-soldier in the 26th century. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Panzer Kunist is, as I’m sure I need not tell a cinephile and aesthete as refined and discerning and educated as you are, an ancient cyborg martial art that has largely died out by the mid-26th century. More importantly, Panzer Kunst has the satisfying hard consonants of words that were forbidden on 20th century television. It seems like it could work as any part of speech, which makes it especially panzer to kunst as kunst as possible. Panzer Kunst!

On the new Alita: Battle Angel. My full review is here.

How Men Crumbled: Arena’s "Kleptocracy" and Ford’s "Twelve Angry Men," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Christopher Geary is Vladimir Putin in Kenneth Lin’s world-premiere at Arena Stage. (C. Stanley Photography)

Christopher Geary is Vladimir Putin in Kenneth Lin’s world-premiere at Arena Stage. (C. Stanley Photography)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something... something. In this week's Washington City Paper, I review Kleptocracy, an imperfect but intriguing Vladimir Putin origin story by Kenneth Lin at Arena Stage, starring the guy in the cast who looks the second-most Putinlike as Putin. Plus a puzzling new production of Twelve Angry Men at Ford's.

Raging at the Sea: "Serenity," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

“Remember when we were in  Interstellar  together? That movie was underrated.”

“Remember when we were in Interstellar together? That movie was underrated.”

Serenity is a soapy, dopey thriller from Steven Knight, who's made some very good ones. Nolanesque ambition, Shyamalanesque skill. With Matthew McConaughey as Baker Dill, a fisherman/tour guide/gigolo who lives in a shipping container and dreams of tuna. Here’s my review.