Nathan Weinbender

Movies 101 Co-Host

Nathan is an entertainment writer and film reviewer. He also produces stories and reviews for Spokane7.

"Cats," the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical inspired by T.S. Eliot's poetry, was a Broadway smash. "Cats," the new movie adaptation from Tom Hooper, is a box office bomb. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at what might be the strangest film of 2019, one that almost needs to be seen to be believed.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

It's one thing to reflect on your own troubled childhood, and it's another to make a major motion picture out of it. That's what Shia LaBeouf has done, casting himself as his own father in the new film "Honey Boy," about a troubled actor looking back on his life. Nathan Weinbender says it's a tricky, messy film, but that's part of its impact.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

Everyone loves Mister Rogers. Everyone also loves Tom Hanks. And so it seems safe to assume that Tom Hanks playing Mister Rogers is a can't-miss combination. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is a look at the TV personality's unusual manner of being, and Nathan Weinbender says it's a pleasant movie that also takes some big risks.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a film critic on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

How does one go about describing the South Korean thriller "Parasite" without giving away its biggest secrets and explaining its unusual tone? It's a difficult film to review, but Nathan Weinbender did it anyway, and it turns out to be one of the wildest and most entertaining films of 2019.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and one of the film critics on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

For those of you who like your movies weird, make sure to put Robert Eggers' black-and-white psychological freakout "The Lighthouse" at the top of your to-see list. Either you'll hate it, or you'll think it's one of the best movies of the year; either way, Nathan Weinbender says it's a singular and powerful vision from the director of "The Witch."

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a film critic on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

In Hollywood, the franchise is king, and new properties exist to spin off more material. But did we really need another "Zombieland" movie? Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the long-awaited sequel, subtitled 
"Double Tap," which might not be very funny but at least isn't all that difficult to sit through.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and one of the film critics on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

It's already one of the year's most controversial, divisive and financially successful movies -- "Joker," the origin story of the DC supervillain, has obviously ruffled some feathers. Nathan Weinbender says that, even though it's not as deep as it thinks it is, the movie has a vision and a lead performance that's impossible to write off.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and one of the film critics on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

It seems that the only movie anybody's talking about right now is the gritty "Joker," but that's a review for another time. Instead, Nathan Weinbender is catching up on movies from earlier in the year that would make for ideal Halloween viewing -- "Annabelle Comes Home" and "Crawl," both stylish genre films that are a whole lot better than they have any business being.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

The summer movie season is starting to wane, but leave it up to the "Fast & Furious" franchise to pass the finish line right before the deadline. This ninth film, a spin-off called "Hobbs & Shaw," is hardly a memorable action spectacular, though Nathan Weinbender says the series' fans should find plenty to enjoy.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

It's a tantalizing what-if: Everyone forgot who the Beatles were, but somehow you remember all the songs. That's the set-up for "Yesterday," in which everyone hears the Fab Four's genius for the first time. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the new romantic fastasy, which takes a good idea and turns it predictable.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and one of the film critics on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

In between his great narrative films, Martin Scorsese has produced some of the most interesting music documentaries of recent years. His latest, "Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story," mixes fact and fiction in its exploration of one of the singer-songwriter's most famous tours. Nathan Weinbender says the film, now streaming on Netflix, is a must for Dylan fans.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

"Amazing Grace," a concert film that depicts the recording of a 1972 Aretha Franklin album of the same name, has long been high on lists of movies that were never finished. After a long and troubled post-production period, "Amazing Grace" is -- somewhat miraculously -- in theaters, and Nathan Weinbender says it's a powerful testament to perhaps the greatest vocalist of a generation.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and one of the film critics on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101," heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

After the critical success of 2014's "It Follows," writer-director David Robert Mitchell's next film was going to come with heightened expectations. "Under the Silver Lake" has been withheld from audiences for months now, and Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the L.A.-set noir, a bizarre mystery about hidden messages and conspiracy theories.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

Stephen King has never gone out of style. The bestselling horror writer's 1986 novel "It" became a hugely profitable film in 2017, and now his parable "Pet Sematary" is the subject of a new adaptation 30 years after an earlier big-screen effort. Nathan Weinbender is a fan of the original novel, and less enthusiastic about its 1989 adaptation, but is this new venture into the cursed graveyard worth a trip to the theater?

Harmony Korine has always been something of an art film prankster, having divided both critics and audiences with films like "Gummo" and "Spring Breakers." His latest, "The Beach Bum," is just another Korine freakshow, and Nathan Weinbender says it's a party you'll want to skip.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a film critic on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101," heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

"Captain Marvel was the subject of scrutiny and criticism before anyone had even seen it, mostly from Internet trolls who seemed to take issue with a woman in the lead role, a first for a Marvel film. It made a boatload of money anyway, but is it any good? Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the first bona fide blockbuster of 2019.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101," heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

The Oscars were this weekend, and Netflix's "Roma" was a frontrunner in several categories. That's a shift from years past, when the streaming service's few eligible features were shut out, and more major filmmakers are opting for streaming over theatrical distribution. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at "High Flying Bird" and "Velvet Buzzsaw," two new Netflix releases that may or may not be the subject of awards consideration a year from now.

In the last 20 years, M. Night Shyamalan has gone from a box office phenom to a Hollywood laughing stock to a popular filmmaker again. It's been a wild ride, and his newest film "Glass" has topped the box office for the last three weeks. It links the worlds of Shyamalan's earlier films "Unbreakable" and "Split," but Nathan Weinbender says it feels more like a talky origin story than a grand finale.<br><br>

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

There are good movies, like those that are boring or artistically bankrupt or lazy. And then there are movies like "Serenity," which are so crazy you almost can't believe they exist, Nathan Weinbender says. Nathan is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a film critic on Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101," heard Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. here on KPBX.  

There's no getting around it -- January is a lousy time of year for movies. It's been that way for a long time. The thriller "Escape Room" was the first wide release of 2019, and although it's hardly original, Nathan Weinbender says it's not as bad as this dark, cold month would suggest. But that's not to say it's good, exactly.

Nathan is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101," heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

2018 in Review

Jan 16, 2019

At the start of every new year, film critics love to reflect on the previous 12 months, and cobble together their requisite lists of favorites. Nathan Weinbender says 2018 offered an embarrassment of riches, and he runs down the best that cinema had to offer last year.

"Blindspotting," a commentary on gentrification, police brutality, and economic disparity starring and co-written by Daveed Diggs from "Hamilton," received acclaim at this year's Sundance Film Festival— but it completely bypassed Spokane theaters. Now that it's on DVD, Nathan Weinbender says it's an interesting debut film that's worth checking out.

"The Rider" is one of the best-reviewed films of the year with one of the most unusual backstories, and yet it barely played in Spokane— showing up on a single screen for only a week back in June. But now it's on DVD & Blu-ray, and it's a genuine marvel— blurring the line between reality and fiction in the true story of an injured rodeo rider trying to find his feet in the real world.

We all know that Melissa McCarthy is a comedic force to be reckoned with, but in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?" she delivers a rare dramatic performance as an unassuming literary forger. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the new film, which is based on a true story, that's already getting Oscar buzz for its star.

It was only a matter of time until Queen, with its flamboyant frontman and roster of hits, got its own film. Now we have "Bohemian Rapsody," which follows the career of the band and the life of lead singer Freddie Mercury, using all those great old songs and a lot of biopic clichés. It may have been a box office champion, but Nathan Weinbender says he wasn't exactly rocked by the new film. 

This year we’ve see directorial debuts from actors Bradley Cooper and Bo Burnham, and now Jonah Hill has been added to the list. His first feature, "Mid90s," is a snapshot of skater kids in LA, and Nathan Weinbender proposes that it's more interesting as a mood piece than a coming-of-age narrative.

"Bad Times at the El Royale" has all the trappings of a future cult film— it's over-ambitious, singularly strange, and it died at the box office. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the neo-noir curiosity, which isn't totally successful, but is most certainly interesting.

Amongst its series and stand-up specials, Netflix has been acquiring new films by great directors— and their newest release is Paul Greengrass' "22 July." Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the movie, which dramatizes terrorist attacks that occurred in Norway in 2011, and examines the craft behind its troublesome existence.

Everyone has been raving about "A Star Is Born," the fourth feature film iteration of the classic rags-to-riches story and the first movie this year to generate serious awards talk. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at Bradley Cooper's directorial debut starring Lady Gaga, which isn't a masterpiece, but has plenty of memorable moments.

Everyone has been raving about "A Star is Born," the fourth feature version of the classic rags-to-riches story and the first movie this year to generate serious awards talk. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at Bradley Cooper's directorial debut starring Lady Gaga, which isn't a masterpiece but has plenty of memorable moments. 

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