Mark Grassick

Freelance writer, screenwriter, editor and author

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars 2019

In case you recently found yourself vacationing on Mars or comfortably ensconced under a rock, the Oscars happened on Sunday night in LA. The 91st hosting of film’s biggest annual night out endured a bumpy road en route to the Dolby Theater, but the stars dutifully arrived dolled up as ever, some very impressively so. And while Rami Malek and Mahershala Ali took the big acting awards, there were many more winners on the red carpet…

Remembering Albert Finney

Today’s film industry seems to allow little room for anyone to be larger than life. Watching the speeches veer between politely dull and uncomfortably self-aggrandising at last night’s BAFTAs, you can’t help but pine for the unpredictability – for better and worse – of yesteryear’s more vividly drawn stars. I didn’t know Albert Finney, who sadly passed away on Thursday, but there was little about the man that ever came across as blank or boring. Finney the man always seemed as fascinating…

‘Hunters In The Dark’ – True Detective season 3 episode 6 review

There are elements to this season of True Detective that work and some that are starting to feel like they’re getting in the way. It may be that they’re all heading towards the same point on the horizon but so far, some feel slightly irritating and unnecessary, like that passenger who wants to pull in and use the toilet when you’re 20 minutes away from your destination (full disclosure: that’s usually me). ‘Hunters In The Dark’ is a hard episode to review for that very reason. I feel myself groa

Dylan, Springsteen and Trapper Schoepp…

We all have heroes, but not all of us get to co-write a song with them. Trapper Schoepp got to do just that on his latest record, Primetime Illusion, and not with just any old hero. No, Schoepp has co-written a song with none other than Bob Dylan. The young songwriter from Wisconsin has three great rock and roll records under his belt already, but combining with Dylan across the decades to complete a long, lost song seems to have raised his game even further. Schoepp took some time out of a trip…

10 Best Beards and Moustaches in Rock Music

Touring is a tough business, especially if you value personal hygiene. For most bands and musicians, long stints on the road make showers a luxury and shaving a distant memory. That might be why so many wandering minstrels through history have had such impressive beards. We previously ran through the actors who, in our humble opinion, boasted the finest beards and moustaches, so it’s only fitting that we turn our attention to those fine fellows whose facial hair is as impressive as their musical

What to binge watch this weekend (and New Year’s) – Cheers

Just before Christmas, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world. Needless to say, the occasion was a joyous one and our daughter has been as well-behaved and easy-going as a tiny, remorseless, burping, pooping and feeding machine can be. We loved her immediately, but good God is it exhausting having two kids, especially at Christmas. Life is now a kind of waking stupor (even when we’re asleep) wherein anything that requires more than minimal brain power is overwhelming and upsettin

HOT CORN Awards | The best TV of 2018… The full list

20. FOREVER – It’s not exactly new to examine how even the most exciting relationships turn stale, but Forever took the concept and came at it from a completely unexpected angle. To say any more would ruin the impact of the superb second episode – Amazon gave strict instructions to press on what they could and couldn’t say prior to release, which was a little out of the ordinary for a dramedy about marital ennui. Twists and turns aside, Forever was frequently charming, sometimes moving and alway

Bill Heck on the Tender, Dusty Romance at the Heart of Buster Scruggs

Picture a cowboy. Some of you might see John Wayne, walking across a saloon like his legs are made of tin. Some of you might have conjured up Clint Eastwood, the tail end of a smoke clinging on to the corner of his lip, a dirty poncho draped around his shoulders. Or the more romantically inclined might see a ruggedly handsome young man in denim and boots, the kind of man who’s seen hardship and cruelty, but somehow kept it at bay. Bill Heck fits firmly into that latter category. In ‘The Gal Who

'Janet(s)' – The Good Place season 3 episode 9 review

Have you ever felt like the universe is listening to you? Have you ever said, “I’d give my right arm for some pizza” and then walked right past someone handing out free slices of pizza? Have you ever taken a free slice of pizza from a stranger on the street and thought, “I really hope this isn’t drugged” and then not woken up tied to a chair in an abandoned warehouse? Have you ever sat dejected after a crappy date with a 4-foot sack of racist jokes and cat puke (who claimed to be 6’4” and a dead

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Fantastic Negrito

Most of us have one story to tell. Xavier Dphrepaulezz has several, any one of which would be more than enough for the rest of us. Whatever he’s been through (crime, near-stardom, near-death), the word that keeps coming back is “survivor”. One of 15 children of a Somali-Caribbean immigrant, Dphrepaulezz has risen and fallen enough times to cause serious motion sickness. His brush with fame came in the 90s, signed as Xavier to Interscope records until a car crash broke both his arms and legs…

If you only stream one thing this week: Soul Of America

In Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic’, a man wins the lottery and dies the next day. Another takes his first ever flight and dies in a plane crash. To Alanis, these situations – while ironically not being ironic – are as shit as it gets, the brief tastes of joy that bring the whole thing crashing down. And while Alanis would no doubt consider soul singer Charles Bradley’s life in keeping with the characters in her song, the whole thing overlooks the value of even the briefest joy and the price…

Sean Bridgers on Get Shorty and the Return of Deadwood

While he has his share of fans in and out of the industry, Sean Bridgers is a name that might not immediately ring bells with the casual film and TV fan. His face is a different matter. If you’ve watched anything that’s gritty, funny and violent over the last decade, chances are he’s been in there somewhere. Deadwood? That’s him as the astoundingly simple Johnny Burns. Rectify? That’s him lurking around the fringes as the sinister Trey Willis. His roles in Justified and Midnight Special were sma

Creating a Legend with Captain Fawcett Founder Richie Finney

Richie Finney isn’t Captain Fawcett. He’s at great pains to stress that. He’s the captain’s righthand man. And if you attend any convention, function, talk or festival and see the name Captain Fawcett, it’s unlikely you’ll meet the captain himself, but you’re sure to find Finney there, with his magnificently sculpted moustache and brown overall coat. Whatever the intrepid captain’s involvement in the company, it seems to be Finney who carries the bulk of the load.

From Bob’s Burgers to Making It – Five shows to soothe the soul

This world can seem like an awful place at times. Racism, misogyny, prejudice, homophobia, aggression… and that’s just Donald Trump. There are times when turning on the news feels like an act of masochism, when the myriad tragedies all around the globe coalesce into something too overwhelmingly appalling to even process. It’s important in times like these to face abhorrent events head on and take stock of where we’re headed...

From Maniac to Kidding: Five new TV shows to get excited about

Summer is over. It’s always a hard fact to accept, but this year, we can return to the dank shadows (note to self: get that damp problem sorted), confident that we’ve done our bit. We’ve stood outside aimlessly, not having any need to be there but aware that it’s too warm to be where we really want to be (inside). We’ve panic bought ineffective desk fans in the hope of being able to stop sweating long enough to fall asleep. And we’ve indulged in seasonal madness, like buying shorts, wearing a ve

'Camp Rules' – Queer Eye season 1 episode 5 review

All I could think the first time I watched ‘Camp Rules’ was how much Bobby Camp looks like Mark Ruffalo. The second time round, the idea had taken root to the point that every time someone said “Bobby”, my brain took a moment to remember that his name wasn’t Mark. At one point Jonathan said he was aiming to turn Mar… Bobby into Chris Pratt meets George Clooney. I mean, that’s essentially Mark Ruffalo, right?
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