Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I won’t go so far as to say that there’s nothing that can prepare you for Tekkonkinkreet, the 2006 film that, among its many traits, was the first significant Japanese-produced animated feature directed by a non-Japanese person (the man with that honor was Los Angeles-born Michael Arias, who got his start in visual effects and […]

By 2001, Joel & Ethan Coen had already written and directed a free adaptation of Dashiell Hammett in the form of 1990’s Miller’s Crossing, and a riff on Raymond Chandler in the form of 1998’s The Big Lebowski. So of course they’d have to do their version of a James M. Cain story, to wrap up […]

The eighth film made by Joel & Ethan Coen, 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? also has the distinction of being their first full-on no-two-ways-about-it major studio production. 20th Century Fox had distributed Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, and Barton Fink, but the financing and production of those films was still closer to a conventional indie […]

As we all know, On the Waterfront exists because film and theater legend Elia Kazan, when called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in April 1952, complied by naming the names of eight people who had, at one point in the 1930s, been card-carrying Communists. This cost him many of his friends, and he wanted […]

Joel & Ethan Coen have made a career-long habit of never repeating themselves two films in a row – maybe to keep themselves entertained, or looking to keep themselves from being pigeonholed, I don’t know. Even so, there’s nothing in their career that compares to how hard they switched things up after the great success […]

Author’s note: I’m going to be treating this like you already know the story, and after a quarter of a century, you really ought to. Still, probably best to hold off on reading this if you haven’t seen the film – and also, I strongly urge you to see the film. There are so many […]

A review requested by WBTN, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Francis Ford Coppola’s popular reputation lies almost exclusively on the four films he made during the 1970s, every […]

With their first feature, 1984’s Blood Simple, filmmaking brothers Joel & Ethan Coen proved that they were talented as hell, and worth paying attention to. But it’s simply not possible to see in that film the seeds for their second feature, 1987’s Raising Arizona, which is the point at which they became The Coen Brothers, among […]

It’s right around the 14-minute mark in 1984’s Blood Simple that Joel & Ethan Coen first become “the Coen Brothers”. It’s a short, single-take scene set in bar, and the scene starts all the way at the far end of the bar from the characters we actually care about. So the camera tracks forward, right […]

Broadly speaking, writer-director-producer Tyler Perry makes two kinds of feature films: funny ones that are awful, and serious ones that can, from time to time,be okay. The last serious one was Acrimony in 2018, and before that was Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor in 2013, both of which break that general pattern by being […]

The French Connection is the Best Picture Oscar winner from the 1970s that makes me happiest. Not because I think it’s the best of them – it just barely makes the top half of winners that decade for me,* and I’m not even 100% sure I like it best of its nomination class† – but […]

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 […]