Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Want another opinion? Check out Conrado’s thoughts on the film! Every movie, even if just by accident, starts out by telling us how to watch it. Roma, the eighth feature film directed by Alfonso Cuarón (who also takes solo screenwriting credit), just happens to be unusually great at doing this. The film’s exemplary opening shot […]

The long-in-development, long-delayed seventh film by director Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity, already had a massive amount of hype to live up to even before it opened to just silly good reviews out of the Venice film festival, and of course it doesn’t live up to it. It comes, however, about as close to living up to […]

An earlier review of this film can be found here. A couple of years ago, I encountered the argument somewhere on the internet – I cannot find it again, alack, for it is a difficult thing to search for and not encounter porn – that long tracking shots are an inherently masculine act of cinematography. […]

The question I would ask, for a start, is whether Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is chiefly a Harry Potter movie, or chiefly an Alfonso Cuarón movie. This is, of course, dumb as fuck: there are people who have seen and worshiped and idolised Prisoner of Azkaban who probably haven’t even heard the […]

It is not an unnoticed fact, but one still worth mentioning, because it is fun, that the career of Alfonso Cuarón repeated itself in a weirdly specific way. First, in 1991, he made Soló con tu pareja, a Mexican film with political overtones, that features a lot of sex. Then he went to America and […]

At the time it was happening, the brief but showy run of modern-day literary adaptations of the late ’90s (bracketed approximately by Clueless in 1995 and O in 2001) was immensely annoying, at least to me; too much enthusiastic cribbing from the flash-and-dazzle teen culture of the day, far too many shrill attempts to find […]

A Little Princess is, I guess, significant in that it ushered hot new Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón into Hollywood filmmaking out of nowhere, in 1995 (Sólo con tu pareja, his only previous feature, had screened at Toronto and made a splash, but never received U.S. distribution until 2006). But to me it is far more […]

It is a greatly satisfying thing that the first shot of Sólo con tu pareja, the first feature directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is a tracking shot towards an exquisitely-lit man and a woman having sex. That’s as close a one-image summary of the director’s subsequent career as you’re likely to run into, particularly when that […]

dundundundundundundundundun…“FLASH!” *lightning strike*“AH-AH!”“SAAAAAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE!”*Daaaa, daa da daa da!*dundundundundundundundundun… Of course Dino De Laurentiis made a Star Wars knock-off. If there’s a shock there, it’s that he made just one, 1980’s Flash Gordon, a big-budget version of the comic strip and movie serial from the 1930s that at one point, De Laurentiis had in […]

The omnibus film! That most difficult, maddening, precious attempt to gather the best and the brightest of international cinema into one place, the genre that peaked and fizzled in a roughly 3 year span in the 1960s and has never taken off since! A full year after its 2006 Cannes premiere, the United States gets […]