The Criterion Channel dives into the unique hell of being a teenager & we’ll tell you which films not to miss.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movies being covered here wouldn't exist.
Back to school time is here, and maybe you’re taking a moment to reflect on your high school days, that complicated, angsty time of bad skin, painful crushes, poorly timed boners, and discovering that you’re turning into a werewolf. Continue Reading →
The Greatest Beer Run Ever
“What is Vietnam?” is not a question with an easy answer, but The Greatest Beer Run Ever tackles the challenge anyway. Like the plethora of media featuring the country—in any capacity—Peter Farrelly’s film runs headlong into the notion that what is an S-shaped piece of land in Southeast Asia can also be a dream after the Fall of Saigon. Or that the starry banner that international bodies recognize is not the triple-striped one flying overseas. Or that any example henceforth will possess the same gist: try to ring up nuance when discussing Vietnam. Continue Reading →
Ever since Rob Zombie dug through the ditches, burned through the witches, and slammed it in the back of his Dragula, it was inevitable his career would lead to The Munsters. It’s where the coffin car originated and feels like the Rosetta Stone for Zombie’s lifelong passions for the weird and macabre. The TV show aired on CBS in 1964, just six days after the premiere of that other spooky household, The Addams Family. Both shows were satires of the lily-white (and, thanks to racially discriminatory laws, literally White) suburbs that were taking over America. The Munsters was the more popular show then--and the kitschier--which might explain why it holds a special place in Zombie’s heart. Continue Reading →
Orphan: First Kill
We’re currently in the middle of a horror renaissance, which makes it easier to forget what a bleak time the 00s were for fans of the genre. A dull selection of sequels, reboots and limp, watered down remakes of J-horror, with only a blessed few exceptions it seemed to be heading towards the same “death by ubiquitousness” as musicals had years earlier. Then, in 2009, horror was given a bizarre little jolt with Jaume Collet-Serra’s Orphan, which starts off as a standard killer kid movie, a la The Bad Seed or The Good Son, then goes gloriously off the rails, with a twist that left audiences not just surprised, but shouting “What? What? What?” at the screen. Continue Reading →
A look back at the use of chimpanzees as clowns & sidekicks for humans, & how it relates to a strange & haunting subplot of Jordan Peele's hit sci-fi horror.
Note: this article contains spoilers for Nope. Please read Jon Negroni’s spoiler-free review here.
If you haven’t seen Nope yet, you might be a little puzzled by references to a character named Gordy, especially once you learn that Gordy is a chimpanzee. It’s understandable: there’s not so much of a glimpse of a chimpanzee in any of the promotional material for Nope, and nothing that happens in its trailers seems to suggest that a chimpanzee will play any part in it. Continue Reading →
Thor: Love and Thunder
It's no understatement to say that Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok was a welcome shot in the arm for both the titular God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. There's something to be said for cutting out the creaky Shakespearean grandeur of the first two Thors in favor of whiz-bang sitcom theatrics, with a dash of Guardians of the Galaxy's signature irreverence thrown in, all leather and ironic needle-drops and "well that happened"s. The result was a whiz-bang sci-fi action comedy that made a buttload of cash, extended Thor's lease on cinematic life, and catapulted Waititi into Hollywood's A-list. Continue Reading →
Hell Hath No Fury
Occupied France. 1941. The egomaniacal, romantic SS Colonel Von Brückner (Daniel Bernhardt) and his supposed French mistress Marie (Nina Bergman) are ambushed by the Resistance on their way to secret away gold pilfered from Von Brückner’s superiors. They survive. Continue Reading →