Destroy All Monsters: Was This The Worst Summer We've Ever Had At The Movies?

The summer is dwindling to a close and film folks are taking stock of the season, both financially and creatively. It's looking tepid on both fronts. We'll lose some franchises that shouldn't have come as far as they have; and...

Destroy All Monsters: As The DCEU Burns, The Studio's Model Needs To Change

There are two general narratives among film fans with respect to superhero movies, which somewhat overlap: 1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe films are samey studio product with predictable beats and styles, lacking the stamp of directorial control; (I don't really...

Destroy All Monsters: FIRST CONTACT Is When STAR TREK Sold Out

Look at them guns! That's Patrick Stewart in 1996's Star Trek: First Contact, a movie which had a lot of actual guns in it, too, arming the crew of the Starship Enterprise with their own skinny version of the pulse...

Destroy All Monsters: GHOSTBUSTERS Got Rid of Capitalism; Can We, Too?

I suppose the best thing that happened this past weekend, pop-culturally speaking, was that Ghostbusters finally came out, and more than lived up to both the original premise (bustin' ghosts!) and the new one (ladies bustin' ghosts!). To clarify, because...

Blu-ray Review: A TOUCH OF ZEN Comes to the Criterion Collection

Halfway through a year already crammed full of impressive releases (with no sign of slowing down... Dekalog for September!), The Criterion Collection has also taken advantage of the recent 4K remaster of King Hu's seminal A Touch of Zen, adding...

Destroy All Monsters: The Toxic Masculinity of Shaming the GHOSTBUSTERS Haters

The cadre of solipsistic, misogynist Ghostbusters fanboys executed what one hopes would be their final coup de grace against Paul Feig's imminent Ghostbusters reboot this week, by spamming the IMDB (and Letterboxd) with disastrously low user ratings for a movie...

Destroy All Monsters: Gazing At THE NEON DEMON

Spoilers for The Neon Demon, which I recommend everyone see at least twice. Looking is everything in Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon. Besides being the kind of cinematic scopophilia masterpiece that we only seem to get every couple of...

Destroy All Monsters: Movie Brands Are Ads, Not Outcomes

Independence Day Resurgence had all the makings of a mega-hit (in North America, at least): apocalyptic action, big(ish) returning stars, and most importantly in terms of what properties have netted huge returns in this decade, a nostalgia-friendly recognizable brand. So...

Blu-ray Review: CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA is a Misty New Classic

Though known principally for restoring and presenting classics of cinema for home video, The Criterion Collection's mission doesn't preclude occasionally pumping out a contemporary release with just as much thought and consideration. Such a release is Olivier Assayas' 2014 film...

Destroy All Monsters: WARCRAFT Sucks, But Fantasy Doesn't

Recipient of the Matt Brown "Monumental Drop" Award for most deserving second-weekend plunge, Duncan Jones' Warcraft already looks like an afterthought. Rightly so: Warcraft's terrible. Absolutely terrible. It makes Krull look like Dragonslayer. Makes Dragonslayer look like Willow. Makes Willow...

Destroy All Monsters: THE PHANTOM MENACE Started The Conversation On Fan Entitlement

We are in the midst of a renewed conversation about fandom's relationship with the properties they cherish. This is thanks in no small part to (of all things!) a white male internet dweeb proclaiming to all who would listen that...

Blu-ray Review: I Can Think Of At Least One Thing Wrong With The Title Of Shindo Kaneto's THE NAKED ISLAND

Simpsons jokes and expectations of foreign film exoticism notwithstanding, Shindo Kaneto's 1960 film The Naked Island has arrived on Blu-ray by way of the Criterion Collection (spine #811). Shindo's follow-up to that film, Onibaba, remains one of my favourite movies...

Destroy All Monsters: Mad As A Hatter And Half As Fun

Imagine a world where a man like Johnny Depp, having been accused of battery by his wife, Amber Heard, the details of which have been released publicly, and who is also suing him for divorce and has photographic evidence of...

Destroy All Monsters: Woody Allen And Rape Culture

Well, here we are again (inasmuch as the word "again" can be applied to a problem that never went away, and which we've all known about for as many as twenty years). The subject of a blistering indictment penned by...

Destroy All Monsters: Ideals Will Destroy Us All, And Other Things I Learned from CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

A lot has been written about the broody darkness of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice; but in its way, Captain America: Civil War is the most quietly nihilistic superhero movie in years. Full disclosure: I still haven't seen BvS,...

Destroy All Monsters: Hey Disney, We Need To Talk About The Shitty Experience Your Release Strategy Is Giving Your Customers

What I'll be describing today might genuinely deserve a spoiler warning, even though everything I'll mention is currently well within the public sphere, freely available for anyone who hasn't seen Captain America: Civil War to discover. That group includes me:...

Destroy All Monsters: GAME OF THRONES Is Better On TV. Who Needs The Books?

Spoilers for the season premiere of Game of Thrones. There's been something of a merry war among some of the Twitch team for the last few years, ever since I published a piece in 2013 that proclaimed that HBO's Game...

Destroy All Monsters: Nostalgia, Loss, And Purple Rain

All year I've had that Jim Broadbent line from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stuck in my head: "We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away."...

Destroy All Monsters: Scarlett Johansson And Our New, Digital Plasticity

As a digital artifact, Jon Favreau's new adaptation of The Jungle Book plays it nearly straight. Much more so, anyway, than something like the Wachowski Sisters' Speed Racer - another film that made maximum use of digital environments around flesh-and-blood...

Blu-ray Review: David Lean's BRIEF ENCOUNTER Is A Sparkling Affair

Made in 1945 immediately prior to his Charles Dickens double-whammy of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, David Lean's Brief Encounter remains a handsome bastion of romance on film - a kind of British Casablanca, albeit on a much smaller scale....