Blu-ray Review: Mike Leigh's MEANTIME, A Well-Timed Criterion Release

One of many, many, many films I'd never heard of before Criterion sought to add it to their numbers (number 890 in this case), Mike Leigh's 1984 TV movie Meantime comes across as an unintentional political statement. It pulls us...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Cannot Illuminate the Multitudes Within Tarkovsky's STALKER

Stalker is my Ulysses. It is a totemic work in my understanding of its respective art form, but one that I "get" only in glimpses and echoes. This will be my third time seeing the film, and I am heartily...

Destroy All Monsters: That's Fine, There Never Should Have Been A HAN SOLO Movie Anyway

I'll get my biases out of the way right at the top: I think, and always have thought, that a Han Solo prequel movie is a terrible idea. There's the Patton Oswalt joke where he filibusters his way through the...

Destroy All Monsters: In Light of WONDER WOMAN, It's Time To Reconsider 1984's SUPERGIRL

"Squirt? Squirt." - Peter O'Toole as Zaltar in Supergirl (1984) Wonder Woman continues to dominate the box office both domestically and abroad, adding a disproportionately low second-weekend drop (for this genre, the best since Batman Begins) to its list of...

Destroy All Monsters: The Long Sad Tale of My Love for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

It started abruptly in the summer of 2003. I had not seen Mouse Hunt, but I had seen The Mexican and The Ring. I sort of thought Gore Verbinski was a terrible director. I definitely thought making a movie out...

Destroy All Monsters: Hell Is The Human Race In ALIEN: COVENANT

Spoilers. "Mortal, after all," crows the android David (Michael Fassbender) in Prometheus, upon discovering that the "gods" his crew has sought - the Engineers - can in fact be killed. In Alien: Covenant we learn that David took his name...

Blu-ray Review: JEANNE DIELMAN, Criterion's Three-Hour Slog To Pure Cinematic Perfection

Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles was released by the Criterion Collection a few years ago in a standard-definition DVD, but gets upgraded to Blu-ray this week, which finally gave me the chance to catch up...

Destroy All Monsters: The Abysmal Fathers Of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

My dad went in for surgery this week, which (Thor be praised) is a new experience for our family - the first hospital visit, the first recovery period, the first time dealing with that set of worries. And no need...

Destroy All Monsters: Did Marvel Seriously Just Pivot To The Right?

I have sympathy for anyone in a floundering, long-lead industry - whose desperation to improve matters is kept at actionable arm's length by the exigencies of the production cycle. But did Marvel Comics seriously look at the election of Donald...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's TAMPOPO Will Make You Hungry

Make sure your noodle-wrangling skills are on point before spinning up this delicious disc.

Destroy All Monsters: Thanks, GIRLS!

I'm not going to add much to the discussion of Girls, where other writers have ably carried the conversation, besides returning to a point I made a few years ago: I'm glad this show exists, has existed, did exist; and...

Destroy All Monsters: Maybe The Trailers ARE Better

The nicest thing about a trailer is that it can't hurt you. If you're not loving the vibe, any anxieties can be immediately dismissed with a simple "meh, it's just the trailer." If everything about the trailer, though, seems doooooope...

Destroy All Monsters: IRON FIST Doesn't Just Suck, It Sucks the Rest of the Marvel Television Universe Down With It

Iron Fist isn't just the worst thing in Marvel's nearly-ten-year MCU arsenal; it's indeed one of those rarest of pop cultural entities, an outright creative disaster. It can be used as a teaching case in universities for everything from film...

Destroy All Monsters: Peter Jackson's KING KONG Was Kong, Perfected

It's always a pleasure to write a sentence about a film that the filmmaker himself would recoil from in disgust, but here it is anyway: Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong remake is the best King Kong movie, surpassing the original....

Destroy All Monsters: Myths Evolve Because We Need Them To, And Other Things I Learned From LOGAN

Spoilers for Logan. With Logan, the modern comic book movie finally enters its revisionist phase. The film is the conclusion of a cycle: not just of a phase of Hugh Jackman's career and of the X-Men movies in general, but...

Destroy All Monsters: Look to the Movie Stars

It wasn't a particularly political Oscars after all. Hollywood mostly went about the business of giving and receiving Oscars, and the most political moments in the show - the first Muslim-American actor winning; the proxy Best Foreign Language speech thanks...

Destroy All Monsters: Is JOHN WICK Neo's Video Game Afterlife?

The Matrix Revolutions isn't a particularly good movie, but it does do a few things that stand it apart from the majority of franchise wannabe-blockbusters. For one thing, the people of colour all survive - and do so by making...

Now on Blu-ray: Kirsten Johnson's CAMERAPERSON Is One Of Criterion's Strongest Discs

2016 was a disproportionately good year for documentary. Films like I Am Not Your Negro, 13th and O.J.: Made In America lead the conversation on race in America. Docs like Weiner and Tower arrived in an eerily timely fashion to...

Destroy All Monsters: General Leia Is STAR WARS' No-Win Scenario

Two weeks ago, Disney took the unprecedented step of announcing that, in spite of their recent resurrection of Peter Cushing for CGI Frankentarkin in Rogue One and in the wake of the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher, that they would...

Destroy All Monsters: Oscars Stay White As Long As Movies Like LA LA LAND Exist

Watching La La Land, for me, was accompanied by a sinking feeling, a pronounced "of course"-ness, a sensation halfway between grudging admiration and simple exhaustion at the obviousness of it all. Not the obviousness of La La Land itself -...