Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The opening sequence of Stowaway, a new science fiction thriller by director Joe Penna that’s much heavier on the “science” than “thriller”, is a top-notch bit of space travel filmmaking that calls to mind all the best examples of the form from Apollo 13 to First Man; the last sequence is ginned-up sentimental horseshit that lets the film off the hook for having to do a single thing about the […]

There isn’t a writer-director who presents a stronger argument for the value of treating film as a collaborative medium than Charlie Kaufman. He is an unmistakable authorial voice: his films all hinge on the existential fear of being lonely and unloved; they almost all involve complicated manipulations of reality, subjectivity, and narrative chronology; they all involve people having awkwardly well-read, verbose conversations about philosophy and art, like if Woody Allen’s […]

It was a wild whirlwind of wonder when we attended our first Sundance Festival in Park City, UT last month. We were overwhelmed, starstruck, and most of all PSYCHED to get a preview of what will surely be some of the best films of the coming year. Well, maybe… Here’s a recap of what we saw, from multiple perspectives. Also keep scrolling for more videos of our Sundance movie recap […]

To talk about Knives Out in any remotely sensible way, I’m going to have to tell you something that happens about one-quarter of the way through the 130-minute movie. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem at all – the convention I have always followed is that spoilers are things that happen in the second half of the film, and anything before that is just set-up – but there’s been a […]

Classic whodunits have been a mainstay of our crime-loving hearts for decades (nay, a century!), and joining the ranks of some of our faves (Murder on the Orient Express, Clue, Memento, Vertigo, and more), comes Rian Johnson’s Knives Out. With a throwback mystery aesthetic and a jam-packed cast of favorites, this murder mystery is a definite thinker. So what happend in the plot of Knives Out and how do all […]

Hey everybody, movies are coming back! In three of the last four months, there have been fewer than 10 wide releases in North America, and while August had a whole lot, nearly all of them were the kind of underperformers that get quietly dumped and make no money. Ah, but in November, we have no fewer than 17 movies to think about, plus the first big wave of Oscar hopefuls. […]

Every New Year’s celebration allows us a chance to look back (Tim’s annual top 10 post I always await with unalloyed glee), but it also gives us an opportunity to look forward. The year that will be 2019 is stretching before us, full of potential for cinematic joy or tragedy. Now I’m sure you’re all already looking forward to and/or dreading things like Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, and John Wick 3, but there is […]

I can’t say there seem to be a lot of strong Oscar contenders at this point in the year, but if you’re a fanatic like Tim and want to make your nomination guesses, you can’t look further for a shoo-in in the performance category than Margot Robbie in the new Mary, Queen of Scots. The beautiful actress slowly becomes more decrepit and monstrous as the movie goes along, and if there’s […]

I would like to first consider Nick Offerman. I’m not sure that what he’s up to in Hearts Beat Loud, and for a pretty sizable chunk of the slender film’s running time, I wasn’t feeling it; but it is a damned interesting performance, one that leads to some very nice surprises throughout the film, and makes his character substantially more unpredictable than he might have been solely thanks to Brett […]

First, the bad news: Hereditary isn’t by any means as all-time “scary” as the hype would have it (with the proviso, as usual, that one person’s “scary” is another person’s “silly” is another person’s “boring” and so on). What it is, and it’s almost as good, is distressing – a film that so persistently depicts human beings at their worst, locked into cycles of mutually-reinforcing destructive behaviors that it makes […]

The Alternate Ending crew’s feelings about June this year can maybe be summed up by point out that all three of us, in forming our most-anticipated films of the summer, had a majority of our picks come from this month – eight of the twelve total movies we discussed in that podcast. And after a rather light May, it’s none too soon. 1.6.2018 It’s not on my list, but we’re […]

A review requested by Robert Hamer, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. It’s important to get it read into the record, right up front, that in a very real and very important sense, The Thief and the Cobbler doesn’t actually exist. Parts of it exist, and from these parts, we can generally extrapolate what the movie might have been like. This is indeed […]