Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A review requested by Alex D, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. More than a decade and a half after its underwhelming theatrical performance that sneakily begot one of the most omnipresent movie cults of the early ’00s (I was in college in those days; the film was […]

A review requested by Mike Gibson, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I shall start with a personal anecdote, since who doesn’t love personal anecdotes from nominally objective arts critics? But “a man goes to the movies. The critic must be honest enough to admit that he is […]

David Fincher has directed nine features as of 2014, and 2002’s Panic Room is almost beyond question the least interesting one to talk about on its own merits (which isn’t to say it’s his worst: even that would make it more interesting). This is exactly why I picked it as his representative in this series: […]

That Gone Girl is something close to a mechanically flawless thriller I take to be more of an objective reality than an opinion. There is great mastery to be found in Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography, using the harsh sharpness of digital video to render suburban spaces with an exaggerated realism, making them pop so hard that […]

The easy part first: the David Fincher-directed and Steve Zaillian-scripted The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is better across the board than 2009’s Män som hatar kvinnor, the Swedish adaptation of the same source novel by the late Stieg Larsson. The sole exception is the key role of that very same tattooed girl, where it’s […]

Benjamin Verschoor made his Carry On Campaign contribution a really gosh-darn long time ago; but since it involved comparing two cuts of one movie, I wanted to postpone it until I could watch both versions right in a row which, easier said than done. At long last, however, it is ready, and my thanks to […]

The Social Network rides into town on the back of the biggest buzz of any film of 2010. The only film greeted with more anticipation by more people this year has been Toy Story 3, and even that was less about the movie itself than about its predecessors. So it’s a bit of a nice […]

Tonight, a lump of coal for Christmas. And by God, this disappointment hurt, more than just about any other disappointing movie I’ve seen in this whole goddamnable year of underachieving cinema. Not that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a particularly bad film – it’s resolutely middle-of-the-road, taken all in all – but its […]

As everybody knows, America is obsessed with killers. I shall prove this with the following two lists: -John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy -William B. Saxbe, Ramsey Clark, Richard Thornburgh, Edward Levi What do the four names in each set have in common? If you said “the first four are serial killers, […]