Dopey Horoscopy

First and foremost, it’s nice to see Henry Cavill’s poorly CGI-ed upper lip from Justice League get more work! Seriously, how does a movie that hinges entirely on a de-aging special effect—which we’ve seen done incredibly well as recently as this year’s Captain Marvel—do such a profoundly bad job at that one specific thing? Cramming […]

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Do You Want to Know How I Got These Emotional Scars?

Watching an emaciated creeper do several “kooky underpants dances” is definitely somebody’s idea of a good time. It is just not mine. Joker isn’t quite the incel love letter I feared. Instead, it is mostly a cliched bore with a final act that validates dangerous psychopathological misperceptions of reality. Because clearly what we need right […]

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Cutting Room for October 2019

At some point, we’ve all asked ourselves “How do I follow up my debut, coming-of-age, feminist cannibal movie?” The only one of us who has an answer is Julia Ducournau, and she’s not telling. Ducournau’s Raw had an insanely unique spin on the tired “Hey, remember how much growing up sucked?” genre. Her new film, […]

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This Halloween, Send in the Subs

Back when humans would have to actually walk through stores and physically touch copies of the movies they wanted to watch, only six genres were acknowledged: Comedy, Drama, Action, Foreign, Kids and Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror/Whatever-Else-You-Weird-Nerds-Like. Some video stores had a seventh genre, and legends were told of youths who dared enter the Adult section. Netflix-ization has gone […]

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The “I” of the Tiger

A Walt Disney fairy tale about El Chapo told through the language of Gabriel García Márquez and visually painted as if guided by Frida Kahlo’s hand, Tigers Are Not Afraid is some kind of special. Writer/director Issa López obliterates genre boundaries to tell a story about the globally ignored collateral damage of cartel violence: orphaned […]

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Papa, Can You Hear Me (In Space)?

SNL, which allegedly does “comedy” when not hiring and firing racists, once had a sketch that started “You’re watching ESPN Classic. Come on, man. Spend some time with your kids…” Ad Astra shows just how far some toxically masculine daddies will go to neglect paternal responsibilities: Neptune. Not quite as sophisticated as it thinks itself, […]

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J. Lo v Stock Bros Just So-So

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to roofie stock brokers.” Writer/director Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers doesn’t start with an explicit dialogue-riff on Goodfellas, but it may as well have. The film so clearly yearns to be a savvy fable about socioeconomic plundering, a pole-dancing-Robin-Hood legend that’s updated for the era of Bitcoin. […]

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Exhausting Piece of It

Starting with a wholly unnecessary hate crime sequence, It: Chapter Two is the worst clown-infused sequel since the birth of John Wayne Gacy Jr. Almost entirely plot-free, the film is frequently cheap-looking, unintentionally silly, and a total CWBH, which stands for “complete waste of Bill Hader.” That probably didn’t need an acronym, but after 170 […]

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