Rafer Guzman is the film critic for Newsday and a member of the New York Film Critics Circle. He is the co-host of the WNYC podcast "Movie Date" and a regular guest on the station's news show "The Takeaway."
Rafer has also been heard on "Soundcheck," "The Brian Lehrer Show" and the New York broadcast of "All Things Considered." On television, he is a frequent guest on NY1's "Talking Pictures on Demand."
He was previously a staff writer at The Wall Street Journal, where he covered travel and tourism, before joining Newsday as a rock critic in 2002. He has written about music for publications small and large, including Rolling Stone, Blender, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The East Bay Express, The Buffalo News, The San Jose Metro, the New Times papers and Option magazine.
Rafer earned a bachelor's degree in English from UC Berkeley and graduated with honors from Columbia University's School of Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
This week's Movie Date podcast is dedicated to two men named James: James Brown, who's depicted in the new biopic "Get On Up" and James Franco, who directs the new film, "Child of God." James Brown expert Robert Baird, of Sterophile, helps Rafer and Kristen take a closer look at the former. And the real James Franco, along with actor Scott Haze, talks with the Movie Date team about the latter. Rounding things out are reviews of two of the most highly anticipated films of summer: "Sharknado 2: The Second One," which is currently airing on the SyFy Network, and "Guardians of the Galaxy," which is in theatres.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review Woody Allen's new romantic comedy, "Magic in the Moonlight," Rob Reiner's "And So It Goes," and the new Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick, "Lucy." They also offer some Move Therapy to a listener who's recovering from cancer, and in need of films that don't mention cancer. And, as usual, there's trivia!
Broadway veteran, film actor, and "Homeland" star Mandy Patinkin joins the Movie Date podcast to talk about his new film, "Wish I Was Here," and about what all his projects have in common. Plus, reviews of "Sex Tape," "Planes: Fire and Rescue," and "The Purge: Anarchy."
Rafer and Kristen grapple with serious questions about life and death as they review "Life Itself," "Boyhood," and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." "Life Itself" looks at the life and final days of the esteemed film critic Roger Ebert. Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" was shot over the course of twelve years, using all the same cast members, and tells the story of one family, and their son in particular. And "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" continues the story of humans versus nature which began in the 2011 film "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen celebrate America's birthday with movies that may or may not leave you bored on the Fourth of July. The new releases for Independence Day include: "Earth To Echo," "America," and "Tammy." Raafer and Kristen also help Hillary Frank, host of WNYC's podcast, The Longest Shortest Time, with some Movie Therapy for new moms. And, as always, there's Movie Trivia!
When is a robot fight sequence too violent? Why is Hollywood afraid to depict abortion? Does Hollywood understand the music industry? And would a movie centering on lawn darts be a hit? It's all in honor of this week's big releases: "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction," "Obvious Child," and "Begin Again."
A silver screen coming-of-age, featuring Clint Eastwood's new film 'Jersey Boys' and an interview with the cast of 'Think Like A Man Too.'
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at two movies focused on best friends who always have each others' backs: "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "22 Jump Street." Helping them mull over the debatably homophobic humor of the latter is Eric Sasson, columnist behind the Wall Street Journal's CTRL-ALT column. Rafer and Kristen also dedicate some time to a listener in need of some Father's Day related Movie Therapy. And, as always, there's trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen explore the theme of survival: against aliens and time (in "Edge of Tomorrow"), against cancer and first love (in "The Fault in Our Stars"), and against the awfulness of high school (in "Palo Alto"). Gia Coppola, writer and director of "Palo Alto," joins them, and shares some strange stories about navigating Hollywood as a Coppola, being a first-time director, and first coming into contact with James Franco (whose collection of short stories is the basis for the film).
What makes a hero and hero and a villain a villain? And are the two really so different? Rafer and Kristen mull over these questions as they look at this week's big releases: "Maleficent," "A Million Ways To Die In the West," and "Words and Pictures." And bonus! The very talented and handsome Clive Owen, star of "Words and Pictures," joins Rafer and Kristen in studio!
Have we been here before? Because Rafer and Kristen are feeling some serious deja vu. It's all due to the release of the third Sandler-Barrymore romantic comedy ("Blended") and the seventh film in the X-Men franchise ("X-Men: Days of Future Past"). Helping Kristen and Rafer to cope wit their deja vu this week is John Ottman, composer and editor of "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at the theme of immigration on film through three of this week's big releases: "The Immigrant," "Godzilla," and "Million Dollar Arm." They also talk with Mark Ciardi, who, in addition to being a former professional baseball player, is the producer of "Million Dollar Arm."
It's an odd mix of adult humor, faith-based comedy, indie food porn, and animated family fair in this week's Movie Date podcast, as Rafer and Kristen review "Neighbors" (starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron), "Moms' Night Out" (starring Patricia Heaton and Trace Adkins), "Chef" (starring Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, and Scarlett Johansson), and "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" (starring Lea Michele and Dan Aykroyd).
Highlights From Today's Show: In Russia, Friday marks the 69th annual Victory Day, a national holiday celebrated all over the country that marks the Soviet's defeat of the Nazis...The Takeaway's Movie Date Team reviews this weekend’s releases.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen enlist the help of a real comic book enthusiast as they review "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Scott Rosenberg, in addition to loving superheroes, is the entertainment editor of AM New York. Rafer and Kristen also review two smaller movies: "Locke," a one-man movie starring Tom Hardy; and "Belle," a historical drama starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, and Emily Watson.
This week's Movie Date podcast is all about revenge, as Rafer and Kristen review "Brick Mansions" and "The Other Woman." "Brick Mansions" centers on a good cop (Paul Walker) who's out to kill the man who murdered his father. "The Other Woman" centers on several women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) who've all been wronged by the same man, and set out to punish him. Additionally, Rafer and Kristen administer some Movie Therapy to a listener who needs help with an upcoming journey. And, as always, there's trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen grapple with two very different interpretations of life after death, in "Heaven is For Real" and "Transcendence." The first is a faith-based film based on a real memoir, starring Greg Kinnear. The second is a sci-fi thriller about the melding of mind and computer, starring Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall. One of them has Rafer yelling about it being the worst movie of the year. The other has Kristen wondering whether Jesus really has blue-green eyes. Also on the podcast: A look at the new FX series, "Fargo," which is based on the 1996 film of the same name; listener mail about films with social messages; and, as always, trivia!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at three very different films: "Rio 2," which brings the message of eco-terrorism to children; "Draft Day," which attempts to do for football what "Moneyball" did for baseball; and "Oculus," a movie about a haunted mirror that brings far more than seven years bad luck. Helping them to dissect "Oculus" is scholar Mark Pendergrast, author of "Mirror Mirror: A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection."
Also on Today's Show This week the “Heartbleed” bug was a reminder of the vulnerabilities of the internet...A look at this weekend’s releases which include "Draft Day," "Oculus," and "Rio 2."
This week's Movie Date podcast is all Scarlett Johansson all the time! From their review of "Captain American: The Winter Soldier," to an accented audio trivia question, to a very special interview in person with the star herself, Rafer and Kristen are in a Scarlett mood!