Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In a decade that was great for rich-looking animated features from Japan, 2016’s A Silent Voice is one of the richest. It’s a small-scale human drama, with a main character who has become so pent-up and insular that he can barely interact with the world around him, taking place in a reasonably small number of […]

To translate Belladonna of Sadness into an American context, imagine that Walt Disney, after building his empire, got bored, quit the company that bore his name, and went off to make Fritz the Cat. That’s basically what happened with Tezuka Osamu, who is often (reductively) called the father of manga, largely on the basis of […]

A review requested by STinG, 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! 2008’s Love Exposure is 237 minutes long, and it somehow manages to need every one of them. In […]

Back when Westerners had only the vaguest idea of what Japanese animation was all about, and the very notion of an animated film that was intended for an adults-only audience was unspeakably radical in and of itself, three movies were primarily responsible for introducing this bold new form of cinema to the world outside of […]

A review requested by Kelleson, 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! It took a hell of a lot of birthing pains to get 1989’s Little Nemo (AKA Little Nemo: […]

By this point, I think that no more evidence is necessary that Yuasa Masaaki is the most important animation director working in the world right now. But his fourth feature, Ride Your Wave, provides that evidence anyway. It’s not that it’s his best work: I would, in fact, rank it third among those four features, […]

A shorter version of this review appeared at the Film Experience The bulk of the American reception of Weathering with You, the newest film from animation director Shinkai Makoto, has centered on the question of whether or not it lives up to the standard set by his last and by far most successful film, 2016’s […]

It’s been a good few years for films that have next-level animation tied to a garbage screenplay, but even in the company of Loving Vincent or Klaus, Promare is on some other plane entirely. It is, I say without any excess of hyperbole, one of the most extraordinary triumphs of color, character design, camera movement, […]

In reviewing Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, I summed up my not-really-a-conclusion thus: “If the next two films are great, this will hopefully seem like an elegant piece of scene-setting. If they’re lousy, this will seem like a huge missed opportunity that wasted too much time getting to the good stuff”. As it turns out, […]

(Almost) every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. Last week: Pokémon Detective Pikachu represents the first time that the beloved video game animals called Pokémon have appeared in […]

Previously reviewed at the Film Experience Many directors have had great years, in which they’ve released two (or more!) tremendously good films that demonstrate the breadth of their skills. But very, very few directors have ever had a years like Yuasa Masaaki had in 2017. This was the year that the animation genius, whose work […]

There is nothing quite like the profound satisfaction of a quiet movie made with absolute confidence and no need to prove itself. And in this vein we have Shoplifters, the thirteenth narrative feature directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu (and a lucky #13 at that; it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, the most wholly deserving film […]