Bad Meaning Good

Ping Pong Summer

The popularity of Napoleon Dynamite never really made sense. With its “special” characters and nonsensical elements, the film’s inexplicable popularity and elevation to cult classic status always felt unearned. Ping Pong Summer is the movie that Napoleon Dynamite wants to be when it grows up. It is smart, endearing, quotable, nostalgia-inducing and odd in the best possible ways. In an age when it...

entered on 06/16/14 at 10:49 AM | read more »



Strike 5 and I’m Out

Hollywood still stubbornly refuses to make a blockbuster flick about the College World Series, despite my repeated emails proposing When Metal Bats Go Ding. They have, however, repeatedly drank from the well of America’s pastime, with scores of movies about baseball (92% of which feature Kevin Costner). Here is the definitive top 5 baseball movies ever made. And you can trust me on that because...

entered on 06/16/14 at 09:29 AM | read more »



Sequel, Heal Thyself

22 Jump Street

Pretend you were excited for the big screen version of 21 Jump Street. Yeah, nobody believes you. Writers Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill teamed up with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for the most hilarious, self-aware adaptation of a Richard Greico television show ever attempted. A sequel was inevitable. Yet somehow this sequel is far better than we deserve.

As promised at the end of...

entered on 06/13/14 at 11:08 AM | read more »



Control-Z Cruise

Edge of Tomorrow

Every time Tom Cruise, the greatest modern matinee idol, makes a new movie, everybody rushes to fuse artist and art and spews out some variation of “I just don’t like him anymore.” America’s collective moral stance seems to be that we should never forget that someone belongs to a douchey faith but we should purge memories of other horrid things actors have done, like domestic abuse. Disagree?...

entered on 06/06/14 at 10:28 AM | read more »



So Choose One, Seth

A Million Ways to Die in the West

It would be easier to shrug off writer/director/actor/egomaniac Seth McFarlane’s blatant racism and misogyny if he was funny or had a point. Alas, he isn’t and he doesn’t. A Million Ways to Die in the West is McFarlane’s laborious love letter from himself to his own stupid face and is a continuation of his brotastic brand of “edgy comedy,” which is really just saying awful shit and coyly winking...

entered on 05/30/14 at 10:23 AM | read more »



Era of Yesterday’s Tomorrows

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Of the many things that director Bryan Singer would like to hide and forget, the X-Men movies made without him should be nowhere near the top of his (allegedly) vile list. Still, clearly at Singer’s behest, X-Men: Days of Future Past sticks its fingers in its ears and yells “nananana I can’t hear you” when it comes to preserving the continuity of a film series that has been drudging on for a...

entered on 05/23/14 at 09:15 AM | read more »



Sad People Sadly Staring

Ida

If the blurb for a movie contains the words “Nazi occupation” and “dark family secret,” you can safely assume it won’t one day play on Comedy Central. Ida is permeated with such thick, dank sorrow that I began counting the number of times any character smiled. I had to open it up to “not explicitly frowning” before someone cracked the scoreboard.  This isn’t to say Ida is overly pessimistic; the...

entered on 05/22/14 at 01:18 PM | read more »


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The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Nightcrawler

A condemnation of crime pornography with a chilling central character.

GRADE
A


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