Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the 2018 winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, is a movie that feels like it might have still felt fresh and interesting if it had come out in 1993. That’s the year in which the film is set, which is already a curious choice (inherited […]

What a strange, strange trend 2016 has brought us: deadly serious movies about race and slavery in America that are nearly undone by terrible editing and ugly color correction that drenches night scenes in azure. By all means, The Birth of a Nation is better than Free State of Jones, but it’s a hell of […]

A review requested by Carter Smith, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. There’s going to be a lot of wholly subjective, first-person claims in this review, I am sorry to say. But comedy is notoriously subjective and this is a specifically notoriously subjective comedy we have in front […]

To hear directors James Franco and Travis Matthews tell it – and oh, how much you get to hear Franco tell it, over and over, across the movie’s achingly long 60 minutes – the purpose of Interior. Leather Bar. is to interrogate the comfort level of the viewer and performer alike surrounding explicit gay sex […]

Camp is one of the hardest things in pop cultural discourse: hard to quite grasp which of a dozen almost identical, but in some crucial way contradictory definitions, cuts to the heart of what it is; hard to explain it once you’ve seen it, and demonstrate how and why it works the way it does; […]

Escape from Tomorrow is worse than bad: it’s a soul-crushing disappointment. This film grew from the kind of idea that is only going to work one time – shooting an entire feature film, surreptitiously, on the property of Walt Disney Company theme parks – and it’s goddamn criminal that the best thing that writer-director Randy […]

The found footage horror movie, birthed by 1999’s The Blair Witch Project and thrust into the big time by 2008’s Cloverfield, burned itself out rather quickly, as will happen to a genre so cheap that you need neither a good idea nor talent to whip together something which enough damn fools will trudge out to […]

You can’t always complain about how sex in movies comes in either the “prurient, puritanical, and embarrassed” flavor of the American cinema or the “explicit, specific, joyless, and punishing” flavor of the French (which I probably do more in real life than on the blog, but still…) and then not praise a movie that is […]

Two films starring Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley, premiered on 21 January, 2011, at the Sundance Film Festival. One of these was Martha Marcy May Marlene, and it was so buzzed-about and well-regarded that it was snatched up and given a nice awards-baiting berth and gifted by Fox Searchlight with […]

The word of the day, boys and girls, is “ambivalent”. As in, “I feel extremely ambivalent towards Bellflower, because Bellfower is extremely ambivalent about its two main characters.” Not in the good way.* One gets the feeling – anyway, I got the feeling, and it does seem that Bellflower is something of a Rosarch test […]

The best parts of I Melt with You are in the first 40 minutes, when it’s a story of four 44-year-old men indulging in a non-stop whirlwind of alcohol and recreational drugs just because they can, and also to stop feeling pain and any other human emotion. It is a celebration of absolutely everything that […]

The first warning sign was that Like Crazy won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, though despite how much I like to argue the contrary, it’s not actually true that nothing good ever comes from Sundance. Heck, just this year we got Take Shelter. However, in this case bigotry wins out: Like Crazy is awful, […]