Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel Dune offers one of the most interesting of all wrinkles to auteur theory, as it is generally understood. The film was the third feature directed by David Lynch, and the last before he became “David Lynch” as we now understand that phrase with 1986’s Blue […]

The original Brodaway production of the musical Dear Evan Hansen won six Tonys off of nine nominations, making it the single most-awarded production of the 2016-’17 season. In some years this would mean very little, but that season was an atypically competitive one for critically-acclaimed new musicals, meaning that there had to be some actual […]

TIM: Welcome all to a very special Alternate Ending review. Our subject for today is the latest adaptation of the fairy tale Cinderella, this one prepared by Sony for a planned theatrical release that got squashed like so many others by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it has entered the world as an Amazon Studios original, […]

It’s missing the point, I know, but the question I feel compelled to start with is: did we need a revisionist version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? The 14th Century Middle English poem is a timeless favorite of medieval literature buffs, but how many of us can there possibly be? Certainly not enough […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: David Lowery and A24 have brought us a moody art-film version of most beloved of 14th Century romances in the form […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: David Lowery and A24 have brought us a moody art-film version of most beloved of 14th Century romances in the form […]

This does not strike me as an unreasonable set of expectations: give me a movie musical with lots of wide shots to show off the dancing, long takes to serve the same end, tuneful songs to drive the dancing forward, and good color saturation to make it all pop off the screen, and I’m happy. […]

I’m no purist. I don’t think there are all that many things you need to include in a film adaption of the long-running video game series Mortal Kombat. While the games have a fairly involved overarching story line, I don’t really think most players are that aware of what it is, and anyway it’s been […]

August Wilson’s 1984 play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is, to my mind, one of the best American plays from the latter half of the 20th Century. I have not, of course, read all of them, and I have seen even fewer, but still, we’re talking about a towering piece of theater from a formidable talent, […]

J.D. Vance’s 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis came out at a perfect time to be glommed onto by political and cultural commentators from every corner who desperately needed something that could shore up their Grand Narrative about what happened in American politics that year. I myself haven’t […]

That the new film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 book The Witches would be worse than its source, and worse as well than the 1990 version of the story directed by Nicolas Roeg, is hardly any surprise at all, and really not even worth commenting on. What shocked me is just how bad it is, […]

The soullessly glossy new version of Rebecca, paid for and distributed by the soulless gloss specialists at Netflix, lives in the shadows of ghosts. There is the ghost of Daphne Du Maurier’s beloved 1938 novel, one of the pinnacles of inter-war Gothic fiction, still a widely-read classic. And there is the ghost of the 1940 […]