Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Sometimes I amuse myself with this little game: figure out why an actor decided to sign on to a particular film. It’s often dismayingly easy, whether the actor is bad (Chris Tucker = the money), brilliant (Philip Seymour Hoffman = the money), halfway decent (Christopher Lee = the money, the money, personal affection for J.R.R. […]

Anyone who is paying attention knows what to expect from a Wes Anderson film: quirky, hyperstylised characters speaking quirky, hyperstylised dialogue as the move on straight lines through aggressively precise compositions filled with highly detailed and deliberately artificial set design, variations of the Futura sans serif font plastered on every surface that a font can […]

Wes Anderson, new media titan that he is, has released a short film unto the internets: Hotel Chevalier, the prologue to his about-to-open The Darjeeling Limited. Short version: it’s absolutely the best thing he’s done since Rushmore (yes, even better than that extraordinary American Express ad from last year). Long version: Anderson is nothing if […]

There are films that are great because they treat upon deep human truths with passion and sensitivity. There are films that a great because they engage with the language of filmmaking and broaden the vocabulary of the cinema. Then, there are films that are really rather good, solely because they have a luminescent performance anchoring […]

I made a huge mistake in judging the chipper little indie comedy Rocket Science from its marketing campaign. See, based on that, I assumed it desperately wanted to be Little Miss Sunshine, and while I’m sure the distributor would love if that turned out to be the case, that simplification is a gross disservice to […]

If there’s one film plot that’s been overdone more than the dysfunctional family, it’s the road-trip. Which makes Michael Arndt, the writer of Little Miss Sunshine a holy fool: the only thing more shocking than the idea of making a film cobbled together from those two misbegotten genres is how extraordinarily successful it is. And […]