Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A review requested by John Smith, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Against all reason and the evidence of the film itself, Our Miss Brooks is one of the most singular movies I’ve ever had occasion to talk about. As far as I can tell, it’s the second […]

A review requested by Max, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The hook of 2005’s Little Manhattan is, to begin with, absolutely baffling, though if you just glance at it really quickly it might seem to make a kind of intuitive sense: hey, what if we did a […]

A review requested by Cammy, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. High Fidelity is a movie that sounds on paper like it should be an obnoxious slog in the company of obnoxious men whose sense of sexual entitlement is treated with the utmost admiration and gravity, and I […]

A review requested by McAlister, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The ingredients are pretty standard early ’40s Hollywood comedy, so you wouldn’t know it just to glance at it, but Ball of Fire is a very special movie. And not just because every film directed by Howard […]

On paper, everything about The DUFF seems calculated to make it seem like the most dire of slogs, beginning with its capitalisationally overdetermined, visually ugly title. And it only gets worse upon learning that said title is a slang term (which feels like it probably doesn’t actually exist in the wild) meaning Designated Ugly Fat […]

Categories: comedies, romcoms, teen movies

I am very happy to kick off the reviews for the 2nd Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser with this special dedication – Tim H. would like to wish Marty and Melanie a very happy wedding today, with this review of Marty’s favorite movie. And so would I. I have in the past waxed some […]

How does one try to summarise 1999 with one review of one movie? It was arguably (by which I mean “almost certainly, but let’s not be smug know-it-all dicks about it”) the single most transformative year of American filmmaking after the collapse of the New Hollywood Cinema. A stunning number of major filmmakers made some […]

The pitch for Gloria from virtually every angle has always been some variant on “yada yada, but Paulina García is amazing“. And boy, is she ever. Few actors are ever called upon to support an entire feature-length film with such totality – there is, I think, a grand total of one shot in which she […]

Winner of the Silver Hugo for Best CinematographyScreens at CIFF: 10/14 & 10/16 & 10/22World premiere: 7 September, 2014, Toronto International Film Festival 1001 Grams is, first and foremost, a precious movie. It has a darling little shadowbox of a plot in which heightened characters move through immaculately quirky setpieces on their way to a […]

Cinema history, as an intellectual pursuit, is not nearly as old as cinema itself. In different countries, the rise of a semi-professional class of cineastes emerged through different processes at different time, and in America it began in the 1960s as a response to ideas filtering in from France, and the French critic/directors of the […]

The very best thing that ever happened to Magic in the Moonlight is that writer-director Woody Allen made The Curse of the Jade Scorpion prior to it. The two films resemble each other in multiple ways: they’re both set just outside the Great Depression (Jade Scorpion in New York in 1940, Magic in 1928 in […]

What If they made another movie about extravagantly quirky urban white twentysomethings? What if it took place in a loving version of Toronto that somehow still felt exactly like Brooklyn in every other movie in living memory about the same subpopulation? What if it starred Harry Potter, all growed up and able to drink beer, […]