“The old feels new in Kenneth Branagh and Disney’s live-action retelling of its 1950 animated feature (itself an adaptation of the Charles Perrault fairy tale). When did a classic take on a fairy tale become refreshing?

The answer is sometime during the current blockbuster cycle of revisionist live-action fairy tales. As Disney leads the way in the Revampathon of iconic properties, we’ve witnessed digitized world expansions, CGI battles galore, villains in the spotlight, needless mythology and lots of flavorlessness. Some of this has been successful (Maleficent translating the devastation of rape trauma) and most of it has not (everything else?). I step into this review admittedly on the defense. Singing the praises of Cinderella also means pushing against the kind = passive = bad line of thinking which has become prevalent regarding the titular character.”

Click the link to read the full review


Episode Fifteen - Time Masters

Rene Laloux returns to The Masters of Cinema Cast with special guest Ryan Gallagher from The Criterion Cast in tow.

Time Masters isn’t the kind of animated film that is easily forgotten - in an age when Pixar seems intent on simply mining its own franchises for lesser sequels Laloux’s film is a timely reminder and indeed message from the past of the importance of daring and innovation.


I’m a bit of a radio junkie, which over the years has turned me into a podcast lover. This evening I discovered via Twitter— which is much more useful than Facebook (which I’ve quit and you should too)— that Criterion has a podcast called Criterion Cast. I look forward to listening while I spend the weekend reading Simon Callow’s 640 page biography of Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu. It’s a first edition (meh) I picked up for $1. * The image at the top of the post is from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), which has the most amazingly lush color.

Watch on

Episode 13: “Prank Calls and Podcasting” with James McCormick

James McCormick joins me on this gigantic 2-hour episode where we talk about, basically, everything.

He is co-host of three well-known podcasts: one praying at the altar of everything Criterion Collection, “CriterionCast,” the excellent film fandom show, “cineAWESOME!,” and one where he, along with his girlfriend Danyell, watches and reviews romantic comedies, “The Hopeful Romantics.”

James and I touch on Batman, Kevin Smith, William Friedkin, bootleg VHS tapes, a plethora of movies & genre filmmaking, the greatness of the Criterion Collection, writing, his biography and — quite possibly — we solve social injustice the world over.

Film buffs, film nerds, filmmakers, critics & bloggers, rejoice!

James on Twitter
The Hopeful Romantics
And all are available on iTunes too.

Music on this podcast brought to you by Music Alley
Artist: Samantha Farrell - Song: Should Have Known Better

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Upcoming on The Debatable Podcast

Get ready for a great September!

Tentative schedule:

SEPTEMBER 3 - RYAN WIEMEYER of the game company, The Men Who Wear Many Hats, creators of The Organ Trail, a zombie parody of the classic Apple II game.

SEPTEMBER 10 - JAMES MCCORMICK, one of the hosts of Criterioncast, the podcast & blog about everything Criterion, as well as co-host with his girlfriend of the new show Hopeful Romantics.

SEPTEMBER 17 - PETER GUTIERREZ, writer/blogger/editor/spokesman (Twitch Film, Rue Morgue, The Financial Times, ForeWord Reviews, Graphic Novel Reporter, The New York Times, Tribeca Film, Metro Film, School Library Journal)

SEPTEMBER 24 - JOE BAILEY, JR. (filmmaker/writer) & STEVE MIMS (filmmaker/teacher), directors of the award-winning documentary “Incendiary: The Willingham Case”