The Art of Darkness: Apocalypse Now & Full Metal Jacket

“War is hell,” the cliche’ proclaims, but it seems to be entertaining hell. Along with other ghastly subjects such as murder and vampirism, war ranks among the most popular and commonly used subject matter of filmed entertainment, and no war has yielded more or better films than the one in Vietnam between 1955 and 1975. […]

The Help

Film Title

The Help

Synopsis

How to make pie for white supremacists

Director

Tate Taylor

Cast

Emma Stone
Viola Davis
Octavia Spencer
Bryce Dallas Howard
Cicely Tyson
Sissy Spacek
Allison Janney

The Help is a lot like Crash, The Blind Side, and other presumably well-meaning but largely tone-deaf movies about race that don’t happen to star Sandra Bullock (as a longtime devotee of both Demolition Man and The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down, I have to believe sweet Sandy’s heart is in the right place). However […]

The White Tiger

Film Title

The White Tiger

Synopsis

An Indian driver tries to use all his wits to escape poverty

Director

Ramin Bahrani

Cast

Adarsh Gourav
Rajkummer Rao
Priyanna Chopra
Vedant Sinha
Kamlesh Gill
Satish Kumar

“Do we loathe our masters behind a facade of loving, or do we love our masters behind a facade of loathing?”  Balram  It is fitting that the first words heard in The White Tiger are spoken by Jay-Z. On the soundtrack as the movie begins is “Beware of the Boys,” Jay’s collaboration with British Indian […]

I, Frankenstein (2014)

Film Title

I, Frankenstein

Synopsis

We are bored

 

Director

Stuart Beattie

Cast

Aaron Eckhart
Yvonne Strahovski
Miranda Otto
Bill NIghy
Aden Young
Kevin Grevioux

The longer you watch I, Frankenstein, the harder it is to believe that it is an actual theatrical feature and not just a bad TV movie made for the Syfy channel. Despite big-name, reliably good actors like Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, and Miranda Otto, and special effects that, at their best, at least look like […]

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 […]