Browse Articles by J. Don Birnam

Craft Spotlight: The Sumptuous Medieval — and Vegan — Costumes of The Green Knight

August 2021
Craft Spotlight: The Sumptuous Medieval — and Vegan — Costumes of <em>The Green Knight</em>

In David Lowery’s The Green Knight,  Dev Patel plays Arthurian knight Sir Gawain, who embarks on a foolhardy quest to prove his valor by facing off against the mysterious but dangerous titular character  after it lays down a Christmas Day challenge.   Obviously, his quest takes place during Medieval times, and it involves a... »

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Posted in Costume Design, Featured, Film, Interviews |

Review: Dev Patel Dazzles in Entrancing The Green Knight

July 2021
Review: Dev Patel Dazzles in Entrancing <em>The Green Knight</em>

The young boy who sat in the contestant’s chair long ago in Slumdog Millionaire has sure come a long way. For his latest adventure, Dev Patel stars as Sir Gawain in David Lowery’s The Green Knight. This time around, Patel faces a potentially far more dangerous rival across the table, than that which he... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |

Review: Henry Golding Resets G.I. Joe Franchise With Snake Eyes

July 2021
Review: Henry Golding Resets G.I. Joe Franchise With <em>Snake Eyes</em>

Snake Eyes, Paramount Pictures’ attempt at a superhero franchise based on the G.I. Joe line of toys and comic books, focuses on the titular character (played by Henry Golding) as he tries to avenge the mysterious death of his father. It feels odd to call this film an “origin story” — aren’t all such... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |

Review: Space Jam: A New Legacy Inherits Choppy Remnants of Predecessor

July 2021
Review: <em>Space Jam: A New Legacy</em> Inherits Choppy Remnants of Predecessor

The last few cinematic years of the 20th Century may be seen by historians as containing more than a fair share of odd creative choices. Amongst the most quirky has to be the mixed live action/animated genre that took off with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and encompassed questionable films like Casper, Cool World, and,... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |

Review: The Forever Purge Lets Loose the Very Killer Instincts it Decries

June 2021
Review: <em>The Forever Purge</em> Lets Loose the Very Killer Instincts it Decries

Amongst the many violent productions in Blumhouse’s expanding film library, The Purge series stands out as perhaps the most visually and viscerally aggressive. Set in a dystopian, future United States where all crime, including murder, is legal for 12 hours, the series has become a sort of political commentary of the evils that could... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |

Review: Black Widow Kicks Off MCU Phase Four With a Messy Family Reunion

June 2021
Review: <em>Black Widow</em> Kicks Off MCU Phase Four With a Messy Family Reunion

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had to wait over a year for the start of the so-called “Phase Four,” the post-Tony Stark, post Infinity War world of the bulging Marvel movie franchise that has made billions and enthralled the world with 23 prior movies and counting. The wait is over, as Scarlett Johansson... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |

Craft Spotlight: The Production Designers for HBO’s The Undoing Discuss Those Locations

June 2021
Craft Spotlight: The Production Designers for HBO’s <em>The Undoing</em> Discuss Those Locations

In the HBO limited series, The Undoing, Nicole Kidman plays Grace Fraser, a successful Manhattan psychologist whose life is turned upside down when the parent of another child at her own kid’s elite school is found dead in the parent’s artist studio and Kidman’s husband, played by Hugh Grant, comes under suspicion for the... »

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Posted in Art Direction, Featured, Interviews, Television |

Craft Spotlight: In The Heights Editor Myron Kerstein on Deciding What To Keep (and Lose) from the Musical

June 2021
Craft Spotlight: <em>In The Heights</em> Editor Myron Kerstein on Deciding What To Keep (and Lose) from the Musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s beloved Broadway musical, In the Heights, comes to the big screen with a splash next Friday June 11, courtesy of Jon M. Chu’s impeccable directorial talents. As we wrote in our review of the film, one of its greatest achievements is its far-embracing approach that showcases the rich tapestry of Latin cultures in America.... »

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Posted in Editing, Featured, Film, Interviews |

Review: Two Emmas Make Cruella a Deliciously Devilish Origin Story

May 2021
Review: Two Emmas Make <em>Cruella</em> a Deliciously Devilish Origin Story

Origin stories, including villain origin stories, are a core staple of the movie-going landscape in the 21st Century. A curious mind may seek to ask the creators of a particular such film—“why do we need this film?” As far as origin stories go, Disney’s upcoming Cruella, starring Emma Stone as the younger, hipper version... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |

Review: Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights Cast Dances Us to New Elevation

May 2021
Review: Jon M. Chu’s <em>In the Heights</em> Cast Dances Us to New Elevation

“Good things come to those who wait,” they say, and Jon M. Chu’s upcoming movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical In the Heights arrives just in time to prove the adage right.  The film, whose release was delayed nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, takes the work that put Lin-Manuel Miranda... »

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Posted in Featured, Film, Film Releases, Reviews |