Diederik van Hoogstraten

Diederik van Hoogstraten is a writer in Los Angeles, covering Hollywood.

This Rapper Is White and Female

 

Until last week I didn’t know that listening to Nina Simone can now be considered cultural appropriation in countries such as Holland and Germany. (Thanks, Twitter.) Don’t ask me to explain it, just know that the idiocy on either side of the Atlantic knows no bounds. I do wonder what those afraid to enjoy “My […]

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The Dude Saves Another Movie

 

My guess is that most of us don’t need a reason to skip The Only Living Boy in New York. The title of the film, for one. The college graduate in question is not a “boy,” whatever the Simon & Garfunkel song says. He is a young man who seduces and sleeps with his father’s […]

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Tension and Grief in Wyoming

 

Building and holding tension in a film is a difficult art. Just this year we have seen plenty of failed efforts. Free Fire, featuring Brie Larson, was surely meant to become a cult-classic, with its retro feel and endless shooting. Instead it quickly turned silly and boring. The new John Wick film disappointed after the […]

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A Family to Watch

 

There is too much television, if I can state the obvious. Every year Hollywood produces more than 400 scripted shows to be broadcast and streamed. Clearly, no Emmy voter or viewer can keep track. As a result, many good shows never find their audience while a few familiar series keep getting all the attention — […]

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Longing for Moral Character in ‘Dunkirk’

 

The early buzz about Dunkirk has been strong. Long before the movie’s release, its Twitter account started garnering followers. Comparisons abound to Saving Private Ryan, the Steven Spielberg film, and the Spielberg-produced series Band of Brothers. Dunkirk is supposed to be one of the great movies of the summer; a Christopher Nolan masterpiece based on […]

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A Shooter Fit for This Moment

 

Shooter had a rough start. The television show starring Ryan Phillippe as the former marine Bob Lee Swagger was slated to premiere a year ago. Just then, partygoers in Orlando and police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were killed in cold blood. While the perpetrators of those shootings were the sort of cowards whom […]

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A Spidey to Save the Day — and the Franchise

 

We now have more than enough big superhero movies to put together a list of must-haves. A good Marvel or DC franchise must have mind-blowing special effects, a confident director, careful casting, an excellent stunt team, and very good screenwriters. It also needs to be witty and self-deprecating. The latter qualities might be key. Anyone […]

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A Wild Ride, Please Hold the Special Effects

 

Like millions of film and car fans, I love movies with the words fast and furious in the title. The motorcycles, cars, and submarines are fast; the humor (Dwayne Johnson!) is silly. Realistic the Furious franchise is not. Watching The Fate of the Furious earlier this year we were bearing witness to one huge special […]

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A Muslim Guy Who Just Wants to Get the Girl

 

In the excellent “The Big Sick” Kumail Nanjiani tells an immigrant’s love story. His faith stays where it belongs: in the personal, not the public space.

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A Furious Mother Picks Up a Gun

 

This has been a good spring for films about brilliant children and ill children. Not that I’m complaining. Gifted was moving and well done, as was Everything, Everything. Now we have an odd film that combines elements of both: The Book of Henry by director Colin Trevorrow, his first effort after the wildly successful reboot […]

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