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The Many Faces Of Tommy Lee Jones

This week, Dennis Gansel's Mechanic: Resurrection premieres, starring Jason Statham as the titular assassin. But a bit further down the cast list we spot Tommy Lee Jones, and that settles the question who to feature in this week's quiz! For...

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...

Roddy McDowall Gets Busted: An Exclusive Excerpt From A THOUSAND CUTS by Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph

I'm not the sort of person who is precious about my consumption of films. For me, the recent hubbub surrounding the death of 35mm projection has largely been white noise that confuses the method of consumption for quality. However, if...

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...

The Many Faces Of Karl Urban

Currently in cinemas, David Lowery's remake of Pete's Dragon is a surprisingly decent piece of entertainment. As one of the reasons for this, Jim Tudor notes in his review that the film has a very solid cast, which includes the...

70s Rewind: BOUND FOR GLORY Sings the Praises of a True Hero

Antiheroes are all the rage these days -- witness Suicide Squad as the latest example -- but what about true, authentic heroes? Forty years ago, director Hal Ashby presented Woody Guthrie as such a hero in Bound for Glory. Typical...

Have Your Say: Who's Born To Fight Bourne?

Last week saw the return of Matt Damon in the role of Robert Ludlum's most famous creation, the amnesiac reluctant super-assassin who calls himself Jason Bourne. And a welcome return it was, even though the character has been stretched a...

Critical Distance: On JASON BOURNE and Aging

Jason Bourne, the movie, is fine. But Jason Bourne, the character, is getting old. He wasn't always that way. When The Bourne Identity was released in 2002, Matt Damon was 31. He still had the flush of youth in his...

Gamera Obscura: STAR TREK and Its Funereal Optimism

The first tipoff was in the title: Beyond. I didn’t get it initially because I just figured it was part of the franchise’s excursion into vague abstraction à la Into Darkness. Next up would surely be Star Trek Above It...

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...

Gamera Obscura: GHOSTBUSTERS and Why Your Childhood Should Be Ruined

I’ve actually never read any of the online screeds, purportedly penned by middle-aged nerdy guys, about how the new Ghostbusters was bound to “ruin their childhood” -- I know only that catchphrase. But since I’m a middle-aged nerdy guy, I...

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...

70s Rewind: THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE Remains a Highly Charged, Terrific Thriller

Newly available on Blu-ray, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three remains a great, charged, gritty thriller, shot through with sardonic humor. Growing up in Los Angeles, I couldn't help but take my hometown for granted and wish that I...

Gamera Obscura: The Best Five Minutes of THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR Are Clich├ęd and Nonsensical

One of the many reasons I’ve never been terribly successful as a movie reviewer is that I tend to confuse “interesting” with “good.” Consistent with that, yet worse still, as in the case of The Purge: Election Year, is that...

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...

The Many Faces of Jeff Goldblum

This week sees Independence Day: Resurgence appear all over the world, and as fun as it sounds to see an Independence Day film in a 3D Imax, reports haven't exactly been favorable. Check Pierce Conran's review for example, which is......

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...

The Many Faces Of Clancy Brown

Duncan Jones' Warcraft has successfully invaded and colonized pieces of Asia, Europe and Africa already, but this week the horde finally travels West of the Atlantic. It's a film which may not be to everyone's taste, but I had a...

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...