Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

One would be hard-pressed to overstate the importance of director-producer-writer-star Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film of Hamlet in the history of screen adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays. It’s not necessarily a question of direct influence: despite the film’s commercial success and sizable haul of awards (both the Golden Lion and the Best Picture Oscar, a combination […]

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 […]

A review requested by Erin, 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! History remembers Franco Zeffirelli mostly for his 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and history goes on to […]

A review requested by Erin, 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! The first thing likely to kill any modern performance of William Shakespeare’s plays is the line reading. This […]

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 […]

H4

Screens at CIFF: 10/19 & 10/20World premiere: 19 October, 2013, Chicago International Film Festival I should open with the disclaimer that I’m not sure if the version of H4 screened at the Chicago International Film Festival, and thus the version that I’m reviewing, has been completed. There are places where the sound mix has a […]

It’s an open question whether Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing really deserves to exist at all. Made during post-production on the writer-director’s mammoth effects extravaganza The Avengers, and specifically intended to clear his head and wash the taste of green screens and Disney/Marvel’s omnipresence out of his mouth, the film is populated with a […]

Every week 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: you’d have to have a pretty demented sense of the word “original” to claim that Australian arch-stylist Baz Luhrmann […]

There are a whole lot of films based on the plays of William Shakespeare – some of them aren’t even Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet – and the great majority of them are bad. Alright, “bad” is a strong word: some of them are bad, such as George Cukor’s stillborn 1936 Romeo and Juliet that […]

Let us, just for the moment, set aside the gross intellectual dishonesty underpinning every single story beat of Roland Emmerich’s Elizabethan political thriller Anonymous – a herculean task, I will admit. But simply because Emmerich and screenwriter John Orloff and a whole bunch of classically-trained British actors who, in a happier world, would all know […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/13 World premiere: 14 February, 2011, Berlin Film Festival Ralph Fiennes does not, evidently, lack for bravery: the actor’s directorial debut is a Shakespearean adaptation, and one in which he, himself, plays the lead role; and it is, just to make things extra-fun, the first-ever feature version* of one of the author’s […]

It’s not exactly the case that Gnomeo & Juliet is bad. That’s not at all the right word. It’s a lot more damn bizarre than it is bad. The part where it recasts Romeo and Juliet into the world of living garden gnomes from two neighboring yards, that’s nothing. Anybody who has made it to […]