Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A review requested by Gabe, 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! Starship Troopers is maybe the clearest articulation I can name of the disappointing fact that you can never, […]

The fact that Elle isn’t punishingly unpleasant is maybe the most unpleasant thing about it. One longs for the film to tip fully over into brutal viciousness, so we could be sure that it’s got the proper outrage about its sordid subject matter; or for it to go all-in on sleazy exploitation, so we could […]

During his 13-year sojourn in Hollywood, Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven made six feature films, of which no fewer than four are satires of American culture. Two of them were written by Joe Eszterhas, and they are satires of the prurient/prudish American obsession with making everything about sex except for sex: Basic Instinct and Showgirls, and […]

On 22 September, 1995, a movie called Showgirls was released on a tidal wave of hype that could only come with being the first major film to get released under the notorious NC-17 rating from the MPAA; a rating which, coupled with the exploitation-friendly setting of the movie, was widely understood to promise, “this movie […]

Every Sunday 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. This week: I like to try to be more imaginative than to great a new remake by reviewing the original in […]

The controversy surrounding Basic Instinct when it was new was big enough that even I, as a ten-year-old, had some sense of it: gay activists protesting, Sharon Stone declaiming the film’s director as having photographed her genitalia without permission, Joe Eszterhas, the screenwriter, receiving an unfathomable payday – and that last bit, I think, is […]

Author’s note, January 2017: Boy, does this one need to be revisited. There was a time when I disliked Total Recall? What the hell, 25-year-old Tim. Like many Americans, my exposure to the films of Paul Verhoeven has been…limited. And like most Americans, I’ve been woefully underimpressed by the likes of Total Recall and Hollow […]