Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Not everyone will agree with me, I know, but to my mind, 2017’s Wonder Woman sets up a pretty high bar to clear, as one of the few superhero movies of the 2010s to successfully thread the needle between “superhero comics are modern mythology, with all the gravity that entails” and “popcorn movies need to […]

Holiday Greetings and Gay Happy Meetings The queer holiday rom-com isn’t exactly a long tradition, but being a film genre that exists in the world, it has largely been dominated by white cis men. Progress is moving as quickly as it ever does, so a good decade after 2009’s Make the Yuletide Gay and 2011’s […]

Categories: romcoms

So, Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite! You’ve just got to love the stubborn optimism of that exclamation point, by the way. Like we’ll be convinced that it’s a bubbly, fun bit of high-energy nonsense if our brain reflexively rises up in volume as we read it Also, I cannot shake the feeling that it […]

Notable Occasions on the Calendar of Dread A review by Brennan Klein. The most I can say for Netflix launching their 2020 holiday movie campaign with Holidate on October 28 is that at least there’s a scene set on Halloween in this one, so it’s not as egregious as Hallmark’s reign of terror. But at […]

Categories: netflix originals, romcoms

One thing that Love and Monsters cannot be accused of is a superfluity of original ideas. The film, written by Brian Duffield (of the bald-faced Alien knock-off Underwater) and Matthew Robinson (of the bald-faced everything knock-off Monster Trucks), is something of a grab bag of sci-fi and post-apocalypse narratives of every sort, especially where those three […]

Palm Springs, in one single creative choice, becomes both an extremely fresh and an extremely limited variation on the time loop scenario: it is the first one of these things that I can name that assumes that we all know what “time loop scenario” means (if you don’t, it means “Groundhog Day knock-off”). This means […]

Ingmar Bergman once suggested, I do not know how seriously, that his choice in the early summer of 1955 was between two things: making a lightweight comedy for Svensk Filmindustri, or killing himself. Now, I shouldn’t think that his professional situation was as bad as all that – his position with Malmö City Theatre was […]

The first half of the 1950s was the most troubled time in Ingmar Bergman’s entire career, business-wise if not artistically, and things bottomed out in 1953. This was when Sawdust and Tinsel released, and became the first unmitigated disaster of his career: resoundingly rejected by audiences and treated coldly by critics (that it was his […]

The first question about 2003’s Intolerable Cruelty to tackle is, why in God’s name did the Coen brothers make it? Their tenth feature as co-directors (and the last one which Joel took sole official credit for directing and Ethan for producing – that is, Ethan was credited along with Brian Grazer, but I hope you […]

The Hudsucker Proxy is damn weird. Weird in and of itself, weird that it came into existence, weird for its place in the career of Joel & Ethan Coen. The origins of the film go all the way back to 1981, when Joel had just met Sam Raimi while working as an assistant editor on […]

There’s no way around the elephant in the room, so it’s best just to start with it, and clear it out: yes, Shakespeare in Love won the Oscar for Best Picture, and because of that, Saving Private Ryan did not. If you click on that link and compare my star ratings, you’ll note that I […]

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, […]