Maitland McDonagh

Formerly TVGuide.com's senior movies editor/reviewer, Maitland McDonagh now has her own site, Miss FlickChick.com, and freelances for Film Comment, Time Out NY and other publications. She has written four books -- Broken Mirrors Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento, Filmmaking on the Fringe, The 50 Most Erotic Films of All Time and Movie Lust -- and contributed to many others, including Film Out of Bounds, Fantasy Females, The Last Great American Picture Show and Exile Cinema. Read McDonagh's recent artilces below. For her Women On Film archive, type "Maitland McDonagh" into the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).

 

Articles by Maitland McDonagh

 

AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing May 6 and 8, 2009 – Maitland McDonagh

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women:

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing May 1, 2009 – Maitland McDonagh

AWFJ highlights films made by and about women

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing April 22 and 24, 2009 – Maitland McDonagh previews

AWFJ highlights films made by and about women:

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Women On Film – Global Lens Filmmaker Sandra Kogut – Maitland McDonagh interviews

Sandra Kogut is a citizen of the world, and she is a camera. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1965, Kogut grew up in Brazil, spent more than a decade in France and now lives in the United States. A video artist and documentarian, Kogut made her fiction feature debut with “Mutum” (2007), a film she hoped would “blur the line” between documentary and fiction. Based on the coming of age novel “Campo Geral” (1964) by Joao Guimaraes Rosa that Kogut adapted with Ana Luiza Martins Costa, “Mutum” is set in the sertao, an isolated part of Brazil’s interior.

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“Eagle Eye” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Noisy, derivative and thoroughly preposterous even by the standards of 21st-century action movies, this sci-fi tinged thriller pits a pair of ordinary folks against a disembodied voice that orders them to do very bad things. Read more>>

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“Shoot On Sight” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

In this timely if pedantic thriller, a Muslim police officer is forced to confront racism and religious intolerance when he’s chosen to head up the investigation of a police shooting in the London Underground. Read more>>

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“Nights In Rodanthe” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Fine performances can’t disguise the fact that this three-hankie weeper, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks (THE NOTEBOOK, A WALK TO REMEMBER, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE), is a shameless puddle of romantic slop. Read more>>

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“The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Icelandic filmmaker Olaf de Fleur Johannesson’s uneasy documentary/fiction hybrid — he likes the term “visiomentary” — was inspired by the life of Raquela Rios and other Filipino “ladyboys” — transgendered men who live as women but retain their male anatomy. Read more>>

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“Playing With Fire” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

David DeCoteau and Matthew Jason Walsh’s twisty tale of bad behavior among the dirty sexy money crowd is a throwback to b-movie erotic thrillers of the 1980s, complete with faded star — ’80s golden girl Susan Anton — and attractive young things who know they look terrific in their underwear. Read more>>

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“Appaloosa” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Actor-turned-filmmaker Ed Harris’ tone-deaf adaptation of Robert B. Parker’s novel involves a marshal-for-hire, his deputy, a dusty southwestern town, a damsel in distress and a ruthless capitalist willing to kill anyone standing between him and his God-given right to make a lot of money. Read more>>

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“My Best Friend’s Girl” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

The trouble with Howard Deutch and first-time screenwriter Jordan Cahan’s sniggering comedy of modern romance isn’t that it’s relentlessly vulgar, coarse and juvenile. It’s that it lacks the courage of its swinish convictions, and abruptly acquiesces to bland rom-com clichés three-quarters of the way to its appointed end. Read more>>

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“Lakeview Terrace” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Neil LaBute’s first film after his disastrous 2006 WICKER MAN remake is equally generic and marginally more watchable. But this tediously predictable thriller about Los Angeles yuppies terrorized by their blue-collar neighbor is undone by its pretensions to seriousness: read more

“The Women” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Diane English’s long-gestating remake of Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 bitchfest is so consistently, outrageously wrongheaded in every way it’s hard to know where to start. Read more>>

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“Ping Pong Playa” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu’s first fiction feature, a send-up of sports movies that pokes gentle fun at the Los Angeles Chinese community through a trash-talking basketball fanatic who gets roped into the desperately uncool world of ping pong. Read more>>

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“Everybody Wants To Be Italian” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Or more accurately, “Everybody Wants to be an Italian Stereotype:” Writer-director Jason Todd Ipson’s romantic comedy is so awash in tired ethnic clichés that the story drowns. Read more>>

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“Bangkok Dangerous” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Hong Kong-born twins Danny and Oxide Pang, who started their filmmaking career in Thailand, retooled their own BANGKOK DANGEROUS (1999) as a morose, slow-moving action picture for Nicolas Cage. Read more>>

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“Year Of The Fish” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Set in Manhattan’s Chinatown, almost entirely rotoscoped and narrated by a giant koi, David Kaplan’s modern-day spin on the tale of Cinderella has a certain weird charm, but it’s too steamy for children and too simplistic played for adults. Read more>>

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“Bottle Shock” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Set in 1976, the year that put California wines on the oenophile map, writer-director Randall Miller’s third feature is a charming comedy-drama that’s surprisingly true to the events that inspired it.Read more>>

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“Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2″ – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Tamblyn, Lively, Ferrara and Bledel have a sparkling chemistry that transcends the subpar material, and the Greek-island conclusion is so picturesque you can almost overlook the predictable histrionics – especially if you’re young enough to fall within the sisterhood’s target demographic. Read more>>

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“Wrangler: Anatomy of An Icon” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary about 1970s porn star Jack Wrangler situates his brilliant and hugely unlikely life and career. Read more>>

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“Hell Ride” -Maitland McDonagh reviews

Larry Bishop’s painfully self-conscious homage to biker films of yesteryear is a carefully crafted pastiche that doesn’t miss a wild-deadly-angels-devils-sadists-revenge cliché and can’t hold a candle to the down-and-dirty likes of THE GLORY STOMPERS.Read more>>

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“Swing Vote” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Ostensibly a political satire with a heart of mush, Joshua Michael Stern hopelessly muddled film cries out for the firm hand of either a dyed-in-the-wool cynic like Billy Wilder, who would have put some teeth in its jabs at amoral politicians and blindly ambitious journalists, or the steely humanism of a Frank Capra, whose tales of ordinary folks thrust into extraordinary situations are far sharper than the term “Capra-corn” would suggest. Read more>>

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“Sixty Six” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Director Paul Weiland’s slight comedy-drama revolves around a 12-year-old who has the misfortune to find his much-anticipated bar mitzvah falling on the same day as the 1966 World Cup Final. Read more>>

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“The X-Files: I Want To Believe” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

The second feature spun off from the hugely popular 1993-2002 television series plays like a stand-alone episode rather than drawing on the show’s complex and sometimes muddled mythology, which makes it more accessible to newcomers and occasional viewers than 1998′s THE X-FILES. Read more>>

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“Order of Myths” – Maitland McDonagh reviews

Ostensibly about Mobile, Alabama’s annual Mardi Gras tradition, which dates back to 1703 – 15 years before New Orleans was established as a city — Margaret Brown’s documentary is actually an examination of the racial divide in a city that claims there is none. Read more>>

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