Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

For more (that’s more positive) about Scare Me, check out Rob & Carrie’s interview with writer-director-star Josh Ruben! It is inordinately easy to root for Scare Me (one of two films by that title with extremely similar loglines released in 2020; this is the one picked up by the streaming service Shudder as an exclusive). The feature debut writer-director Josh Ruben, formerly of CollegeHumor, is an extremely good-faith attempt to […]

Here’s the headline, in our interview with Josh Ruben writer/director/star of the new feature SCARE ME, Rob is 95% sure Josh tells him he’s good looking. To be sure, you’ll need to listen for yourself.  For added hilarity, you can see the live reaction when Rob *thinks* that Josh tells him he’s good looking.  Imagine when Charlie sees that he’s found the golden ticket. So SCARE ME… Two writers of varying […]

Here’s the headline, in our interview with Josh Ruben writer/director/star of the new feature SCARE ME, Rob is 95% sure Josh tells him he’s good looking. To be sure, you’ll need to listen for yourself.  For added hilarity, you can see the live reaction when Rob *thinks* that Josh tells him he’s good looking.  Imagine when Charlie sees that he’s found the golden ticket. So SCARE ME… Two writers of varying […]

Brink of Life is an overlooked film in Ingmar Bergman’s career, possibly because he later stepped away from it, but it feels to me like a crucial example of his developing career at the end of the 1950s. On top of being, in its own right, a terrific acting showcase, which by this point was just to be expected from a Bergman film. But this one is so terrific at […]

Anaconda begins with a text crawl so deliriously full of bullshit that I cannot possibly resist quoting it in full: Tales of monstrous, man-eating Anacondas have been recounted for centuries by tribespeople of the Amazon Basin, some of whom are said to worship these giant snakes. Anacondas are among the most ferocious – and enormous – creatures on earth, growing, in certain cases, as long as 40 feet. Unique among […]

This year has brought a lot of retrospectives on the movies from 1999, which are now twenty years old, as well as reflection on the year 1999 itself. Many have marked 1999 as a standard bearer for great cinema. A short survey of the movies released that year – The Matrix, Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, All About My Mother, Toy Story 2 – immediately justifies its reputation. As much […]

There have already been two films released in the U.S. in 2017 that I’d suggest are dead certainties for my Top 20 of the year – Starless Dreams and John Wick: Chapter 2 – but let us anyway concede the idea that, in the current state of the film marketplace, the last two months have really just been about taking a deep breath before the year properly starts. (Speaking about […]

If Captain Fantastic had come out nine years earlier, you’d suppose it was a minimally inspired Little Miss Sunshine knock-off: a colorfully eccentric family travels across These United States in a vehicle unapologetically nostalgic for the 1960s (a refurbished school bus named “Steve”, decked out in hippie decor, in this case), with a misfit teenager (George MacKay even looks like an ersatz Paul Dano) and cute little moppets behaving a […]

A review series requested by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, with thanks for multiple contributions to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. In October, 2013, just a smidgen more than one year after the two-part recap movie hit Japanese theaters, along came the first new material in the movie trilogy: Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Movie – Rebellion, which apparently began when writer Urobuchi Gen wanted […]

Those of us who love the Fast & Furious franchise for its gonzo refusal to commit to any kind of rational naming convention have a new reason to be happy: the follow-up to the film officially titled Fast & Furious 6, but identified Furious 6 onscreen, has been advertised as Furious 7, but in the movie, we find it called FuriousSeven, complete with the not-at-all incidental lack of a space […]

There’s a terrific and deeply necessary movie that could have been made out of the basic DNA of The Other Woman. It is, for starters, basically a platonic rom-com about how a pair of mismatched women come to rely on each other as friends, and cinematic depictions of female friendships are achingly rare (contra the general buzz, the film manages to meagerly pass the Bechdel Test – two named women […]

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, from 1995, was literally advertised in Japan with the slogan “Godzilla Dies”. But even if you didn’t know that going in, it’s a film that positively oozes fin de siècle gravitas and sincerity and gloom, making it very clear that whatever the story the film intends to tell, it will arrive at a point of intense, permanent change, and perhaps not for the better. (As for why […]