An Expression of Gratitude! + A Poll

I want to give my most heartfelt thanks to all of you who’ve helped make this the most successful month at If You Want the Gravy… to date. September is traditionally a slow month for movies¹, and I figured after reaching a record high in July and seeing a drop-off in August, September would likewise fall short…

THE EQUALIZER Review – ***½

How do you discuss a film like The Equalizer? Before you get too excited by my rating, let me say: it’s not a great film. But as badass action films go, as September films go, as films from semi-forgotten TV shows go–it’s very good. Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua may not have topped Training Day, but they’ve made a…

THE ZERO THEOREM Review – ***

The name Terry Gilliam and the words “checkered career” seem to go hand in hand. After Time Bandits was a hit, both Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen fell victim to studio politics, and the latter, which had gone well over-budget, was a massive bomb. But The Fisher King was a success (even winning an Oscar for Mercedes Ruehl’s performance), and 12 Monkeys became…

China Cola Review (with Bastard Cinnamon)

I’d seen China Cola on the shelf at my local soda shop for a while, but had never gotten around to trying the stuff. I must admit, the prospect of a herbal cola worries me, but I’ve seen this in other stores, suggesting it’s a decently well-established drink. Plus, it’s got a cool, 80s-style label….

Cheerwine Review

Who doesn’t like Cheerwine? Even Cheerwine knows how good it is–it says “Soft Drink Legend” right on the bottle! Now, it’s been a while since I’ve had it, so let’s see if I can’t bring some fresh perspective to a beloved soda. Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of the Carolina Beverage Corporation, Cheerwine.

TRAILER SALAD IV: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, BIG EYES, THE BETTER ANGELS, JOHN WICK, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, NORTHERN SOUL, STRETCH (NSFW clip), THE INTERVIEW (NSFW), and FORCE MAJEURE

J.C. Chandor’s drama set in crime-ridden 1981 New York looks to be a solid period piece and a worthy progression from Margin Call and All is Lost. It’s getting early Oscar buzz for Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, and I could imagine Chandor will get a second Screenplay nomination (he was nominated for Margin Call). I think it looks good,…

SPACE STATION 76 Review – ***½

I hadn’t expected to see Space Station 76 for some time; it appeared to be bypassing a theatrical release in favor of VOD and, presumably, Netflix. But then, whilst browsing my local listings, I found that I was quite near one of the three theaters in the country showing it. I saw it the next day. And…

THE DROP Review – ***

The Drop has received surprisingly good reviews and is doing decent box-office for what it is, but it’s an extra-dramatic factor which inspires its most profound notoriety: it’s the final film role of James Gandolfini (and by a poignant coincidence, I saw the film on what would have been his 53rd birthday). On that score, some may…

TUSK Review – ***

Tusk. Fuckin’ Tusk, you guys. What do you say about a film like this? It takes an utterly absurd premise–an extended joke cooked up by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier on SModcast–and faithfully adapts it and carries it to its logical conclusion. It doesn’t evade the absurdity–despite the horror trappings, it’s really a comedy–but it manages to…