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Rafer Guzman

Film Contributor

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.

Rafer Guzman appears in the following:

Movie Date: 'Transcendence,' 'Heaven is for Real,' and the TV Series 'Fargo'

Friday, April 18, 2014

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!

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Movie Date: 'Rio 2,' 'Draft Day,' 'Oculus'

Friday, April 11, 2014

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."

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Today's Highlights | April 11, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

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."

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Movie Date: 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier,' 'Under the Skin,' and Special Guest Scarlett Johansson

Friday, April 04, 2014

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!

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Scarlett Johansson on Her New Science Fiction Streak

Friday, April 04, 2014

The award-winning actress' latest roles all have something in common — their genre. In this week's Movie Date Podcast, Johansson reflects on playing a string of sci-fi characters and finding liberation in them.

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Movie Date: 'Noah' and 'Cesar Chavez'

Friday, March 28, 2014

In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen take a closer look at some of the not-so-literal elements of the new movie "Noah." Among those elements: rock monsters, magical wizards, bazookas, and alcoholism? Helping them to mull it all over, and giving his own take on the new Darren Aronofsky movie is Christian blogger Brian Godawa. Rafer and Kristen also review the new biopic "Cesar Chavez," answer an unusual movie therapy question, and, of course, offer up some movie trivia.

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Today's Highlights | March 28, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Also on Today's Show President Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah will meet in Riyadh today, during a period of time when the U.S. is importing the least crude oil from the region in two decades...Reviews of the new films hitting the box office...

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An Epic Tale of Hollywood and The Bible

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This weekend, the big budget biblical adventure "Noah" hits the big screen. The biblical film isn't new, but these movies raise questions about Hollywood's fascination with The Bible. Do biblical movies bring non-believers back into the fold? Do they challenge us to think a little differently? We explore these questions with Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and co-host of The Movie Date Podcast, and Krista Tippett, the host of the public radio program On Being.

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Movie Date: 'Divergent,' 'Muppets Most Wanted,' 'Nymphomaniac Volume 1,' and Special Guest Stellan Skarsgard

Friday, March 21, 2014

In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen talk everything from doppelgangers to dystopia to sex addiction. It's all in honor of the new films "Muppets Most Wanted," "Divergence," and "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1." Helping them understand the intricacies of "Nymphomaniac" is one of the film's stars, Stellan Skarsgard. Warning: this podcast includes some adult content, including references to a certain sex act with an avian nickname. 

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Movie Date: 'Grand Budapest Hotel,' 'Need for Speed,' 'Veronica Mars,' and More!

Friday, March 14, 2014

In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen review the video game-turned-movie "Need for Speed," the latest Wes Anderson confection, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and the fan-funded movie, "Veronica Mars." Along the way, they talk with one of the Veronica Mars fans who made the film possible, Cindy Au. They also get a whopper of a Movie Therapy question, spanning six decades and even more films. And, as always, there's movie trivia!

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Today's Highlights | March 14, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Also on Today's Show: Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are experiencing a disagreement over what to do about the Ukraine crisis...It's been more than a month since protests broke out in Venezuela, with no signs of ending soon. With violent clashes taking place between opposition and government forces, some worry the country may be on the brink of an even bloodier battle...The Takeaway's Movie Date team reviews this weekend’s releases.

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Movie Date: 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' and '300: Rise of an Empire'

Saturday, March 08, 2014

In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen hop into the WABAC machine for a trip to the rebooted world of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" and the sword and sandal past of "300: Rise of An Empire." And bonus: to help them better understand the true identity of Mister Peabody, they are joined by Sarah Montague, WNYC's resident dog expert, who covers, among other dog-related events, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

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Movie Date: Bonus Oscar Podcast!

Friday, February 28, 2014

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).  

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Movie Date: 'Son of God' and 'Non-Stop'

Friday, February 28, 2014

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!

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Today's Highlights | February 28, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

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.

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Movie Date: 'Three Days to Kill,' 'Pompeii,' 'In Secret'

Friday, February 21, 2014

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!

 

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Today's Highlights | February 21, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

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. 

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Movie Date: 'Endless Love,' 'Robocop,' 'About Last Night,' 'Winter's Tale'

Friday, February 14, 2014

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!

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Today's Highlights | February 14, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

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.”

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Movie Date: The Beatles On Screen

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ very first live television performance here in the U.S. However, today we thought we’d take a look at the Beatles – not on the small screen, but on the big screen. We talk with Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, co-hosts of The Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast, about the Beatles' impact on film. 

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