Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I have nothing but scorn for the full title Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which I will only henceforth refer to as Birds of Prey in the interest of bringing this review in under 3000 words,* but credit where credit’s due, it’s unquestionably right for the movie it’s attached to. It’s extremely fucking eager to impress upon you with how quirky and zany and […]

The Shining, the motion picture from 1980, is better than The Shining, the novel from 1977, but I will concede the point that the latter is an awfully good read even so, one of the best books ever written by Stephen King. Meanwhile, Doctor Sleep, the 2013 sequel to the 1977 novel (and pointedly not the 1980 movie), is emphatically not one of the best books ever written by Stephen […]

Carrie and Rob review the long awaited sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. While Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King were not able to see eye-to-eye on The Shining, Mike Flanagan was able to get both Kubrick and King’s blessing for this adaptation which stars Ewan McGregor as the grown-up Danny Torrance and Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat.

*Spoiler warnings for the book and film versions of both Doctor Sleep and The Shining.* The bestselling Steven King follow-up to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, has been adapted for the screen and hits theaters on November 8 in the U.S. I got a sneak peek and the Stranger Things meets Logan meets Hocus Pocus vibes all wrapped up in the supernatural zeitgeist of The Overlook Hotel are chilling. But we’ll […]

There’s a large section of Disney enthusiasts who, like me, cannot stand these live action remakes. For almost ten years now, the Walt Disney Company has spent a lot of time and money to produce big budget retellings of the most popular movies in their animated canon. Because we live in the age of nostalgia, these movies have proven to be huge commercial successes, and Disney has doubled down on […]

Given the company’s current business model, it makes perfect sense that Disney would finally get around to releasing a film with the explicit message “constantly dwelling in nostalgia is good, and caring about adult things is bad”. I don’t even think I’m being ungenerous to Christopher Robin in summing it up that way; at least that’s a theme that gives it some kind of personal identity beyond “emotionally distant father […]

Obviously the world didn’t “need” a sequel to 1996’s Trainspotting, but the world has nevertheless received a sequel to Trainspotting, with the acutely & I am sure deliberately terrible title T2 Trainspotting. And you know what? It’s actually pretty doggone good, visibly rejuvenating director Danny Boyle and star Ewan McGregor, neither of whom has done anything this substantial and effective in a whole lot of years, and besides that reuniting […]

I would ask you, if you please, to consider the 1991 Beauty and the Beast, the crown jewel of the Disney Renaissance. What, pray tell, do you find to be wrong with it? Or let me rather put it this way: is there even one single image in that whole movie that generates the response from you, “I would like this more if it were in rendered in a combination […]

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 […]

There’s surely a great feminist Western hiding somewhere in the concept of Jane Got a Gun, and I have to assume that producer-star Natalie Portman has been nurturing the project for so long, through so many production woes, in the hopes of finding it. It absolutely didn’t happen. This is not the story of how Jane Hammond (Portman) finds the internal fortitude to defend herself against the depravities, sexual and […]

To start with, Our Kind of Traitor is based on perhaps the least-interesting of John le Carré’s novels that have so far been turned into a movie or TV miniseries or both, so it’s perfectly natural that it should be the least-interesting movie of the recent le Carré fad (which I’m only really using to mean 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 2014’s A Most Wanted Man, and the 2016 miniseries […]

A review requested by Aaron Loehrlein, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I first saw the 1996 film Trainspotting in 2001, as a 19-year-old film school undergraduate, which is exactly the right place, stage of life, and point in history to have first seen it, and I will confess that I’m not completely confident that I’ve ever gotten quite the proper critical distance […]