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. […]

Period Of Adjustment

Film Title

Period Of Adjustment

Synopsis

A Newlywed’s Honeymoon is interrupted.

Director

George Roy Hill

Cast

Jane Fonda
Anthony Franciosa
Jim Hutton
Lois Nettleton
John McGiver

Tennessee Williams is undoubtedly best known for A Streetcar Named Desire and other Southern tragedies like The Glass Menagerie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His is not a name that many would associate with warm, often comedic Christmas movies like those of, say, John Hughes, Chris Columbus, or even Frank Capra. Still, his […]

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Film Title

The Bishop's Wife

Synopsis

An angel comes to Earth to help raise money for a Bishop’s church. If he had just used Zelle, we wouldn’t have a movie.

Director

Henry Koster

Cast

Cary Grant
Loretta Young
David Niven
James Gleason
Monty Woolley
Gladys Cooper

There are many examples in cinema history of iconic movie roles originally being intended for very different actors than those who ended up playing them, from Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey as the original would-be stars of the Bad Boys franchise to Will Smith and Val Kilmer in the roles of Neo and Morpheus in […]

A Christmas In Vermont (2016)

Film Title

A Christmas In Vermont

Synopsis

Tan-colored milkshakes save Christmas



Cast

Chevy Chase
Abigail Hawk
Zack Ward
Howard Hessman
Morgan Fairchild

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Though there is some reason to speculate that he may have been drunk the whole time, and little doubt that the entire role was filmed in no more than a day or two, the highest-billed male actor in the 2016 TV movie A Christmas in Vermont is none other […]

Trapped In Paradise (1994)

Film Title

Trapped In Paradise

Synopsis

Nothing expresses Yuletide joy like robbing a bank

Director

George Gallo

Cast

Nicholas Cage
Dana Carvey
Jon Lovitz
Florence Stanley
Richard Jenkins

Trapped in Paradise is far from the most beloved entry in the great Christmas movie pantheon, as evidenced by the fact that it has not yet been covered on this site. Its own cast reportedly hated working on it so much that they took to calling it Trapped in Bullshit, though the only source I […]