Destroy All Monsters: MOONLIGHT and Having a Flow Experience in the Cinema

I have a spot. A favourite spot, in Cinema 1 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, which is not my favourite movie theatre, but is in the top five. This spot is up in the balcony, way over on the left...

Destroy All Monsters: The Normalized Atrocities of Julia Ducournau's RAW

Last Monday night's screening in the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival gained a week's worth of notoriety when The Hollywood Reporter announced that three people had fainted during the show and were taken away in an...

Destroy All Monsters: In the Blind Land of Nostalgia, STRANGER THINGS Is King

As I've mentioned before, the best movie of the summer wasn't a movie; it was an 8-part Netflix serial about kids hanging out in the '80s, caught (unbeknownst to them) in the plot of a Steven Spielberg movie. In a...

Destroy All Monsters: Cinephiles, TIFF, and the Entitled Fury of Learning You're Not the Audience Any More

I live in Toronto, and for most of my 20s and half of my 30s, the Toronto International Film Festival was one of the major milestones of my year - so much so that even today, the vast majority of...

Destroy All Monsters: We Need to Have a Long Look At Our WEINER

Elyse Sternberg and Josh Kriegman's Weiner opens with a quote from Marshall McLuhan - "the name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers" - which we might just as well paraphrase to: may the gods...

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,...