Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

If you’ve seen Stranger Things or the recently released zeitgeist-embracing adventure The Kid Who Would Be King, you know there’s no shortage of nostalgia for the decades in which most of the folks reading this grew up. The 1980s and ’90s are en vogue and ready to transport you back to your Topanga poster-covered walls of your bedroom. Or whomever you were into at the time. Maybe it was just […]

While the rest of us have to wait to see these highly-anticipated titles – highly anticipated by me, anyway – a big thanks to Conrado for sharing his early thoughts. Another report will be coming soon! -ed. THE FAVOURITE (release date: 23 November) (Tim’s review) The 56th Annual New York Film Festival opened on September 28 with the latest from Greek provocateur Yorgos Lanthimos. The Favourite, a period piece set […]

The pleasures of 2013’s Pacific Rim are not extreme, but they do exist, mostly because of the unstinting pleasure director Guillermo del Toro self-evidently took in his fantasy of giant robots squaring off against giant alien monsters. It stands to reason that the absence of del Toro means the absence of that pleasure and lo! it turns out to be exactly the case. First-time movie director Steven S. DeKnight, who […]

For the record: we all three agree on 14 categories: Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Costumes, Editing, Production Design, Makeup, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, and Animated Short (these last two find us breaking against the grain of pundit consensus). We only have a three-way split in one category: Original Screenplay. TIM’S PREDICTIONS Jump to Rob’s Predictions | Jump to Carrie’s Predictions This is the […]

Here’s the complete list of the Oscar nominees for 2018, along with my record for predicting right (and wrong) in every category. For a look on what I thought would happen, check out my original predictions. As for commentary – you’ll have to wait for that till our next podcast airing on Monday, 1/29! Picture Call Me by Your Name Darkest Hour Dunkirk Get Out Lady Bird Phantom Thread The Post […]

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its nominees for its annual awards this coming Tuesday, and so it’s time for the annual game of trying to play telepath and tea-leaf reader. Pretty much everybody agrees that this has been an unusually baffling year for awards prognosticating, which comes from a couple places, I think: one is that there were no capital-G Great films to come out of […]

I like Guillermo del Toro quite a lot, and I like Jean-Pierre Jeunet a lot, and I like them for very similar reasons – they both make over-saturated movies dominated by production design and fanciful rather than realistic visual effects – and I still would never, ever pretend that I wanted to see a film that combined their two styles. But here we are, and here’s The Shape of Water, […]

Fair is fair: Crimson Peak has a screenplay that feels like it was written by a 12-year-old, for 8-year-olds. It is a screenplay (credited to director Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins) in which the main character is writing a Gothic novel that apparently has a similar story to the one she’s living through – perhaps she is even writing her own life, 8½-style – which is cool and all, […]

There’s a pronounced difference between the knowledge “I shall be very busy at grad school” and the lived experience of holy shit, I’m busy all the damn time, and I’ll spare you the whole story, but that’s how September managed to be the first month in Antagony & Ecstasy history (I believe) without a movie preview. Let us not permit that to ever happen again, and even though this post […]

See enough movies – and more to the point, discuss enough movies – and you start to come up with shortcuts, boxes that you can file things in to help make it easier to come to grips with what they are and how to approach them. But every now and then something comes along and blindsides you by refusing to fit into any of those boxes at all, and these […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: if we’re being classy about it, overt Twilight knock-off The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones could be more generously thought of as a new entry in that most modern of fantasy subgenres, in which […]

Everything that is good about Pacific Rim is good largely on the level of “that was cool”. Whereas everything that is bad about it is bad on the levels of character psychology, narrative structure and logic, interest in the world beyond white adolescent North American males, or the general feeling that no serious consideration of the story needs to go further than cataloging the other properties that Pacific Rim is […]