Uplift the Race: 3 Spike Lee Joints

For over 30 years now, ever since his debut feature She’s Gotta Have It in 1986, Spike Lee has been one of the most innovative and provocative filmmakers of our time. As expressed numerous times throughout his many films, Lee’s highest goal is to “wake up” and uplift all oppressed and deluded people, but he […]

Baby’s Day Out

Film Title

Baby's Day Out

Synopsis

A kidnapped kid is lost. Who cares?

Director

Patrick Read Johnson

Cast

A baby
Another baby
A bunch of other people we've never heard of

As anyone who has read my in-depth review of Beethoven knows, family movies from the 1990s are often covert founts of darkness and despair, sometimes to the point that it is nigh impossible to see them any other way. Another great example of this curious phenomenon is the 1994 film Baby’s Day Out, which depicts […]

Birdemic: Shock And Terror

Film Title

Birdemic: Shock and Terror

Synopsis

An inept attempt at cashing in on Hitchcock’s masterpiece.

Director

James Nguyen

Cast

Alan Bagh
Whitney Moore
Tipi Hedren (archive footage)
Other random people off the street

Birdemic: Shock and Terror was clearly made without the benefit of anyone who knew absolutely anything about filmmaking within a hundred yards of the set. Witness production values and acting that make Tommy Wiseau’s notorious 2003 classic The Room look like a legitimate masterpiece. Witness sound editing and mixing apparently done by a pair of […]

Beethoven (1992)

Synopsis

A slobbering St. Bernard must be saved from the perils of a nefarious Vet who is determined to experiment on animals

Director

Brian Levant

Cast

A slobbering St. Bernard Dog
A bunch of other people

Despite evidence to the contrary, much of it written by me, I am not a monster. Like virtually any human being, I have certainly been known to find dogs charming, but I am happy the building in which I live only allows cats because I would rather see my neighbors’ pets than hear them, and […]

Ezra’s Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2020

Allow me to be the absolute first to say, 2020 was a strange year, and not least of all for movies. Beyond the fact that I no longer work in the industry after 20 years of doing almost nothing else for a living, there came a time about a month ago when critics began dropping […]

The Legacy Of Silent Film

When Louis and Auguste Lumiere first showed their short film The Arrival of a Train in 1895, they certainly had no inkling that, almost a hundred years later, it would be the film-within-a-film in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Nor could Carl Theodor Dreyer have suspected that his 1928 feature The […]

Diary Of A Serial Killer-aka Rough Draft (1998)

Film Title

Diary Of A Serial Killer

Synopsis

Transvestites and serial killers

Director

Joshua Wallace

Cast

Gary Busey
Michael Madsen
Arnold Vosloo
Reno Wilson
Julia Campbell

Right from the opening frame of the 1998 straight-to-video thriller Diary of a Serial Killer (aka Rough Draft), it is obviously a cheesy affair. The score, with its heavy saxophone wailing and bombastic drum-machine track, feels more like something from the 80s than the late 90s, and the rest of the movie feels the same way. Our protagonist, […]

Dragged Across Concrete

Film Title

Dragged Across Concrete

Synopsis

Two suspended cops must go bad to make a living

Director

S. Craig Zahler

Cast

Mel Gibson
Vince Vaughn
Tory Kittles
Michael Jai White
Don Johnson
Fred Melamed
Jennifer Carpenter
Laurie Holden

S. Craig Zahler has been accused, even by those who (rightly) praised his first two features, of harboring a reactionary worldview, and Dragged Across Concrete feels like his response to this criticism in much the same way that The House That Jack Built felt like Lars Von Trier’s response to critics who see his work […]

Surprise Dinosaurs Can Make Any Movie Better

On the cult classic animated sitcom The Critic, one of the half-dozen or so fake movie clips recycled in the opening credits throughout the series depicts a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers-style black-and-white ballroom dancing scene suddenly interrupted by a full-color Tyrannosaurus Rex devouring the dancing couple. The show’s protagonist, Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz), responds […]

Dogtooth (2009)

Film Title

Dogtooth

Synopsis

One of the most ruthless movies made this century

Director

Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast

Christos Stergioglou
Michelle Valley
Angeliki Papoulia
Hristos Passalis
Mary Tsoni
Anna Kalaitdizou

The best way to see the breakthrough feature from Greek filmmaker Giorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Favourite) is to go in without knowing anything about its storyline. If you have not yet seen Dogtooth, I strongly encourage you to stop reading this review and watch it first, preferably without looking up anything else about it. […]