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.
In this very special Movie Date bonus podcast, listeners have a chance to re-listen to Rafer and Kristen's Oscar predictions from earlier in this year. Also, all three parts from The Takeaway series "Real People / Best Pictures" (produced by Kristen and hosted by John Hockenberry) are here, with some voices we don't normally hear on Oscar night (but maybe should).
This week's Movie Date podcast looks at the newest attempt to put the life of Jesus Christ on film, in "Son of God." The movie takes content from a ten-hour History Channel miniseries, produced by Mark Burnett (of "Survivor" fame). Does it work as a feature film? Is it a successful proseltyzing tool? Kristen and Rafer also review "Non-Stop," the newest Liam Neeson-led action flick, which asks listeners to "listen very carefully," and maybe shows you how to smoke in an airplane toilet. All that, plus a love letter to Rafer and some biblical movie trivia!
Also on Today's Show: Concerns over a Russian-backed separatist movement in the Crimean region of Ukraine is giving the international community serious pause...First Lady Michelle Obama announced a series of proposed changes to U.S. food labeling rules yesterday. Will these new labels really change eating habits?...We're only two days away from the Superbowl of movies: Oscar night! Though you may not have seen all of the nominees, our Movie Date Team has and they give us their predictions.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen discuss how, if they were in a Hollywood blockbuster, they'd most want to be killed. The options: volcano ('Pompeii'), middle aged assassin ('Three Days to Kill'), or sinister lovers ('In Secret'). Rafer and Kristen also discuss the controversy around this year's Oscar nominees for best original song. And, as always, there's trivia!
Also on Today's Show: The Takeaway's Movie Date team—Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzma—reviews this weekend’s new releases which include the Victorian Era film noir "In Secret," the action film "Three Days to Kill," and the over-the-top popcorn flick "Pompeii."... Composer Michael Hearst has written a dozen songs for a new PBS Digital series that focuses on unusual creatures. From the Jesus Christ Lizard to the blobfish, the songs help to explore some of the world’s most mysterious animals.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, the 1980s are back in full force, as Kristen and Rafer review three remakes of 80s movies and one adaptation of an 80s novel. On the chopping block: 'Endless Love' (based on 1981's 'Endless Love'), 'Robocop' (based on 1987's 'Robocop'), 'About Last Night' (based on 1986's 'About Last Night'), and 'Winter's Tale' (based on the 1983 novel 'Winter's Tale). Also, Rafer and Kristen offer some movie therapy to a listener who wants some Valentine's Day films that aren't sickeningly sweet. So cozy up, and grab your chocolate, because there won't be any sugar in this week's Movie Date podcast!
Also on Today's Show: At least half a dozen states are looking to change their laws around alcohol this year, including allowing grocery stores in some states to sell either liquor and/or wine, reducing taxes, and eliminating mandatory “Sunday closing,” among other things...Our Movie Date team reviews this weekend’s releases, which include: “Winter’s Tale,” “Robocop,” “Endless Love,” and “About Last Night.”
Also On Today's Show: The iconic depression-era child star Shirley Temple Black has passed away at the age of 85...The band “One Ring Zero” has released eight albums, including one where the lyrics were written by famous authors. Two band members discuss their innovative albums...Today The Takeaway gives you a look at the task of preserving the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt in a country plagued in recent years by unrest.
This week's Movie Date podcast includes some heavy matters as well as some livelier ones. On the heavy side, Rafer and Kristen give a recap on the recent Woody Allen / Dylan Farrow drama (warning: if you're looking for them to come down on one side or the other, you're going to be disappointed). They also remember the brilliant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, with the help of Hoffman's friend and former high school English teacher, John Baynes, of Fairport High School in Rochester, NY. On the livelier side, they review the star-packed WWII film, "Monuments Men," and the animated action adventure, "The Lego Movie." And, as usual, there's also listener mail and trivia.
This week's Movie Date podcast is going up a few days late, as Rafer and Kristen have been on vacation. Thanks for your patience! And now, with no further ado, reviews of the suspense/romance "Labor Day," starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin; and the bromance/chick flick "That Awkward Moment," starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen try to squeeze as much as they can into half an hour. They begin with a review of the sci-fi semi-religious adventure movie, "I, Frankenstein." Starring Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy, it's written and directed by Stuart Beattie. Next, the great film critic Anne Thompson gives Movie Daters a dispatch from the Sundance Film Festival. When she's not rubbing elbows with Robert Redford, Thompson writes the Thompson on Hollywood blog at Indiewire. And then it's time to get onto the Movie Therapy couch, as Rafer and Kristen try to help a listener make the most of those months between her proposal and wedding. Next, there's a major correction to make. And finally, as always, Rafer and Kristen end with trivia. Phew! Buckle up because it's that kind of date.
Other Highlights From Today's Show: Governor Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency for the state of California. What does this mean for cities like San Diego?...Our Movie Date team reviews this week's big release and gives their top picks for this year’s Sundance Film Festival ...The World Economic Forum will devote all of today to panels and talks on the threat of climate change. Is this a sign of things to come?
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen recount their encounters with wildlife in the city and ponder the ways that dance-offs are better than shoot-outs. It's all in honor of the animated feature, "The Nut Job," the buddy cop comedy, "Ride Along," and the spy thriller, "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit." Rafer and Kristen also weigh in on the Oscar nominations, which were announced this Thursday. And there's a big trivia-related mea culpa as well!
Movie villains are everywhere in the films hitting the box office this week—from Victor Cherevin in the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” to the mysterious secret kingpin in "Ride Along," which stars Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. But where do these villains come from? Helping us to understand how our villains have evolved is James Furbush, he’s co-author of the essay “Hollywood’s Evil Men: A Symbol of America’s Collective Fears.” As usual, the Movie Date team—Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer—give their reviews of the new releases.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the new Renny Harlin action flick, "The Legend of Hercules," starring Kellan Lutz. They also give their predictions for the major film categories of this weekend's Golden Globes (Sunday, January 12). And, bonus: this week's trivia winner gets a very special prize!
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen answer a few of the many listener letters they've recently received. Along the way, they try to lend some movie therapy and (hooray!) end up on a surprise speed date. Bonus: Rafer and Kristen have some big announcements to make. Among them: a recent smackdown with the Game Night Guys and an upcoming singles mixer at WNYC.
If Friday's winter storm has got you stuck indoors this weekend, the timing couldn’t be better because it’s officially the start of awards season, with the Golden Globes just 9 days away. Joining The Takeaway to fill you in on all the must-see films that you may have missed before awards season are Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for The Takeaway.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen round up some the best documentaries of the year. From the front lines of late-term abortion clinics to the unsung backup singers, the genre thrived in 2013. "20 Feet from Stardom," "We Steal Secrets," "After Tiller," "The Act of Killing," and "Room 237" all make the Movie Date's list.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review seven of the big movies being released on Christmas Day 2013. The films touch on everyone's favorite holiday topics, including family fights, financial corruption, elder abuse, war, extramarital affairs, lay-offs, and samurais. So pour yourself a cup of eggnog, and hear what Rafer and Kristen have to say about: "Lone Survivor," "August: Osage County," "Invisible Woman," "47 Ronin," "Wolf of Wall Street," "Grudge Match," and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
Tomorrow is Christmas, the last and biggest movie release date of the year. Movie Date co-hosts Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer give their thoughts on some of the big ones: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Grudge Match," "47 Ronin," and "Wolf of Wall Street."