Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The hook for Jojo Rabbit, and the central focal point of the advertising campaign, is that there’s little German boy in 1944, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), who like most ten-year-olds just wants to fit in and be admired, and in Germany in 1944, that means that Jojo wants more than anything to grow […]

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: Disney revives the evergreen “Arabian Nights adventure” genre with their new remake of Aladdin. The studio’s original 1992 version […]

A review requested by Julia Eastwood, 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! Longtime readers perhaps recall my abiding fascination with World War II-era Hollywood films, and they don’t come […]

A review requested by Benjamin, 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! Double Indemnity is the noir of noirs. To be sure, there are more typical examples of the strengths […]

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: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales drags Johnny Depp back out to sea, the site of […]

A review requested by Nik Evans, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Laura is a fucked-up movie about sex. There’s much else to say about it, virtually all of it good, but I think that’s the core of it. Movies released in America in 1944 didn’t have the […]

A second review requested by David Nemes, with thanks for contributing twice to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Specifically, he asked me to review a film from this list that I wanted to revisit, for any reason. With a decade of hindsight, I’ve completed flipped my opinion on about one-third of those […]

The Universal horror movie is at heart a pre-WWII phenomenon; after The Wolf Man, released less than a week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the studio’s genre films would never rise above “decent enough”, and usually didn’t even hit that threshold, until they finally gave up making them in the middle of […]

There is a place that Universal could have sent its library of iconic monsters to in the 1940s that’s so unbelievably obvious and offers so many opportunities for wonderful weirdness that, in retrospect, it’s astonishing that it only happened once: the European theater of World War II. Imagine a 20th Century wolf man retaining just […]

A review requested by Liz, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The body of work created by the filmmaking team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (credited equally as writers, directors, and producers, though it’s generally understood that Powell was more the director, while Pressburger was more the […]

A review requested by Jenny B, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I have been guilty of this sin as recently as in the middle of re-watching the film for this review, but I think I can still say without hesitation: it’s much, much too easy to overlook […]

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 […]