RIP and Excelsior, Stan Lee

You will spend the rest of your life bumping into things that are in the world because of Stan Lee. The obvious: Spider-Man, The Avengers, Black Panther, Thor (kind of), Captain Marvel, Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Doctor Strange, The...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's ANDREI RUBLEV Is A Stacked Disc

I've noticed a trend in recent Criterion releases: the paucity of the special features. The default mode seems to have become one or two newly-recorded interviews, an archival video feature, and the in-jacket essay. This is a sign of the...

Blu-ray Review: An All-Time Great Party Scene Graces Criterion's COLD WATER Blu-ray

Olivier Assayas' intimate epic of rock n' roll and teen ennui features beguiling leads and a great soundtrack.

Blu-ray Review: King Hu Makes Sword-Sharp Wuxia in DRAGON INN

Many of us approach our pop culture backwards, in a phenomenon we might well call the Simpsons effect: pop culture recycles and references older pop culture faster than we can fill in our experiences of the originals. (If you, like...

ScreenAnarchy's Top Movies Of The First Half Of 2018

Time flies like a sonofabitch, and this year it seems to do so faster than usual. We are at 2018's mid-point already. Whoa! That does beg the question though: what films have managed to impress and touch us most, so...

Blu-ray Review: EL SUR, Time, Memory, and Parents Confound in Victor Erice's Film

I last saw Spanish director Victor Erice's debut feature, The Spirit of the Beehive, about ten years ago, around the release of Pan's Labyrinth, of which it is a clear influence. I took another look at the film -- the...

Blu-ray Review: A Double Dose of Cristian Mungiu's New Romanian Cinema Comes to the Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection works its way through both a long list of canon classics from the history of film, and a parallel track of what it considers to be the most important voices in world cinema today. This gives us...

Blu-ray Review: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, Scorsese's Finest, a Transcendent Piece of Mannered Savagery

Timed to coincide with the end of the theatrical run of Daniel Day-Lewis' "final" performance in Phantom Thread (a retirement claim I will take to heart approximately 20 years from now), Martin Scorsese's 1993 period romance The Age of Innocence...

Blu-ray Review: In AN ACTOR'S REVENGE, a Female Impersonator Walks Home Alone At Night

Made right in the middle of the most fertile period in the career of director Kon Ichikawa (The Burmese Harp, Tokyo Olympiad), An Actor's Revenge joins the Criterion Collection this week as spine #912. It's a drab tale of melodrama...

Rey Before Rey: Padmé Is the Protagonist of THE PHANTOM MENACE

Among many things, one area where The Phantom Menace falls behind the other Star Wars films is its lack of a clear hero's journey, driving the narrative as Luke's drives Star Wars and Rey's drives The Force Awakens. Fans like...

Blu-ray Review: THE BREAKFAST CLUB, a Criterion Collection Triumph

The announcement that The Breakfast Club would be joining the Criterion Collection was met with a kind of uproar -- either from fans (like me) enthusiastic about seeing John Hughes' seminal 1980s teen drama preserved and restored in 4K; or...

ScreenAnarchy's Favourite Films of 2017

Another year over, and what an annus horribilis it proved to be in so many ways. But away from the political atrocities that took place in pretty much every country you care to mention, and the sexual harassment scandals that...

Blu-ray Review: Landmark Lesbian Drama DESERT HEARTS Looks Tremendous and Feels Almost as Good

A woman arrives in Reno by train and will leave the same way, with one seismic difference: she has met and fallen in love with Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a local artist and resident free-spirit. The year is 1959, and Vivian...

10+ Years Later: THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a Failed Footnote in Fantasy Adaptations

Released at the end of 2007, The Golden Compass aimed to become the third jewel in a crown of mega-grossing 21st century fantasy adaptations, following The Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. The first...

Blu-ray Review: Musical Man-Eating Mermaids in Agnieszka Smoczyńska's THE LURE

Part of the appeal of the Criterion Collection for lovers of film is its simple act of curation. Though weighing in at over 900 titles in its current run (The Lure is #896, hitting stores October 10), the collection still...

Blu-ray Review: Kelly Reichardt's CERTAIN WOMEN Joins the Criterion Collection

I love the rhythm of Kelly Reichardt's 2016 film, Certain Women. An unhurried triptych of stories about women in small-town Montana, Certain Women has the time (and the sense) to let moments hang, as tiny calibrations of feeling pass across...

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...