Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Tigers Are Not Afraid* is an especially miraculous kind of movie, the sort whose influences are so obvious it’s almost boring to talk about them (Vittoria De Sica’s 1946 Shoeshine and Guillermo del Toro’s 2001 The Devil’s Backbone are the most conspicuous ones that come to my mind), and yet the end result doesn’t feel beholden to any influence at all. It is very nearly a complete original, made up […]

Two of the six movies given wide release over the course of a desolate July turned out to be actually pretty good, by my reckoning (Crawl and Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood). That’s a 33% success rate, which is damn near actually satisfactory, which makes me hope that this brutal desert of a summer might have finally righted itself. Very excited to ruin that hope by taking a gander […]

I’m sure someone, somewhere, was devoting all their time and energy to hoping that the x-treme, edgy, snottily nihilistic strand of ’90s pop culture was going to come roaring back lo these twenty years later, and for that person, I am happy to say that the new Hellboy feature is waiting for them. How x-treme, edgy, and snotty? The first line – the very first line – heard in the […]

So we’ve finally hit the point we’ve been trending to for a decade or so: the summer movie season of 2019 is basically an uninterrupted line that started with Captain Marvel in early March, and now doesn’t end until mid-August. Having a big popcorn movie in March isn’t a new thing, of course; nor is having a big popcorn movie in April. The thing is that this April we have […]

If you’ve seen Stranger Things or the recently released zeitgeist-embracing adventure The Kid Who Would Be King, you know there’s no shortage of nostalgia for the decades in which most of the folks reading this grew up. The 1980s and ’90s are en vogue and ready to transport you back to your Topanga poster-covered walls of your bedroom. Or whomever you were into at the time. Maybe it was just […]

While the rest of us have to wait to see these highly-anticipated titles – highly anticipated by me, anyway – a big thanks to Conrado for sharing his early thoughts. Another report will be coming soon! -ed. THE FAVOURITE (release date: 23 November) (Tim’s review) The 56th Annual New York Film Festival opened on September 28 with the latest from Greek provocateur Yorgos Lanthimos. The Favourite, a period piece set […]

The pleasures of 2013’s Pacific Rim are not extreme, but they do exist, mostly because of the unstinting pleasure director Guillermo del Toro self-evidently took in his fantasy of giant robots squaring off against giant alien monsters. It stands to reason that the absence of del Toro means the absence of that pleasure and lo! it turns out to be exactly the case. First-time movie director Steven S. DeKnight, who […]

For the record: we all three agree on 14 categories: Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Costumes, Editing, Production Design, Makeup, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, and Animated Short (these last two find us breaking against the grain of pundit consensus). We only have a three-way split in one category: Original Screenplay. TIM’S PREDICTIONS Jump to Rob’s Predictions | Jump to Carrie’s Predictions This is the […]

Here’s the complete list of the Oscar nominees for 2018, along with my record for predicting right (and wrong) in every category. For a look on what I thought would happen, check out my original predictions. As for commentary – you’ll have to wait for that till our next podcast airing on Monday, 1/29! Picture Call Me by Your Name Darkest Hour Dunkirk Get Out Lady Bird Phantom Thread The Post […]

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its nominees for its annual awards this coming Tuesday, and so it’s time for the annual game of trying to play telepath and tea-leaf reader. Pretty much everybody agrees that this has been an unusually baffling year for awards prognosticating, which comes from a couple places, I think: one is that there were no capital-G Great films to come out of […]

I like Guillermo del Toro quite a lot, and I like Jean-Pierre Jeunet a lot, and I like them for very similar reasons – they both make over-saturated movies dominated by production design and fanciful rather than realistic visual effects – and I still would never, ever pretend that I wanted to see a film that combined their two styles. But here we are, and here’s The Shape of Water, […]

Fair is fair: Crimson Peak has a screenplay that feels like it was written by a 12-year-old, for 8-year-olds. It is a screenplay (credited to director Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins) in which the main character is writing a Gothic novel that apparently has a similar story to the one she’s living through – perhaps she is even writing her own life, 8½-style – which is cool and all, […]