Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Remakes of 1980s horror movies have had something like a 0% success rate. If that’s not enough to give somebody pause before green-lighting a remake of the 1988 paranormal slasher movie Child’s Play, there are plenty of other red flags waving themselves. For one thing, the 31-year-old franchise is still going strong: series creator and […]

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 […]

The new film directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by David Kajganich under the title of Suspiria is a remake of the 1977 Dario Argento film also titled Suspiria. It’s official, in the credits and everything, and they share the same plot: an American girl named Susie Bannion (“Suzy” in the original) travels to Germany […]

The new A Star Is Born, fourth film of that title, is an important first film for two of its main principals. For Lady Gaga, playing the titular star, it is her first real acting role of any significance, following cameos in Machete Kills, Muppets Most Wanted, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. […]

Screened at the 20th Wisconsin Film Festival. Be forewarned: I don’t think it’s possible to discuss this film without sounding like a pretentious ass, and anyway, I wasn’t trying not to. Both in person and online, I have encountered the criticism-or-maybe-it’s-just-an-observation that if you don’t know what The Green Fog is doing before you see […]

First things first: the sheer weirdness of watching a director whose work up till now has all been characterised by a glacial sheen of emotional remove from her characters and their behavior retelling a story of hothouse Southern Gothic sexuality during the U.S. Civil War – and maintaining that glacial quality! – is all it […]

Disney’s current wave of live-action remakes of its old animated films (or “live-action” in the case of 2016’s The Jungle Book) will have reached its fifth title by the end of the first quarter of 2017. And of those five films, Pete’s Dragon is the clear outlier in all sorts of ways. It is, for […]

Thanks to Travis Neeley for his second contribution to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. This time around, Travis didn’t exactly make a request, so much as offer me a present: he wanted me to select a movie that I’d already reviewed but had changed my mind about in the intervening years, and […]

A review requested by Mark M, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. It can no longer be argued, as was once stated with some casual authority, that The Maltese Falcon was “the first” film noir (it was released in October, 1941, more than fours years after You Only […]

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: if you have been paying very close attention you might have stumbled across the obscure little tidbit that the […]

A review requested by Mark Falconer, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. My sense is that the 1954 version of A Star Is Born is thought of first and above all, and maybe to the exclusion of all else, as a Judy Garland vehicle. That’s fair, because Garland’s […]

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: Money Monster is a very sober crime thriller about fiscal malfeasance starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. I would […]