The French Connection: A Thin Blue Line.

The great American director Frank Capra once said, “ There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. The cardinal sin is dullness.” Being dull is the last word anyone would use in describing one of the seminal films of the …

Lessons from Joel Potrykus’ “Relaxer”

This “Lessons From” column aims to spotlight low-budget films that filmmakers might find educational for the creation or development of their own projects. Michigan-based filmmaker Joel Potrykus has made films that focus on young members of the American underclass, who …

Lessons from Barbara Loden’s “Wanda”

This “Lessons From” column aims to spotlight low-budget films that filmmakers might find educational for the creation or development of their own projects. In 1970, Barbara Loden premiered “Wanda,” a feature film that she wrote, directed, and starred in. Wanda …

Lessons from Richard Linklater’s First Film

The goal of this “Lessons From” column is to spotlight low-budget films that filmmakers might find educational for the creation or development of their own projects. In 1991, Richard Linklater released Slacker, a $23,000 independent film in which nothing really …

Weekend Binge (7/7) | Which Netflix Top 10 Movie Should You Watch this Weekend?

While it’s not quite scientific, Netflix’s list of Top 10 Movies in the U.S. gives us an idea of what sort of movies Americans are watching. And with four weeks of Weekend Binge under our belts, we now have a …

Weekend Binge (6/30) | Which Netflix Top 10 Movie Should You Watch this Weekend?

According to the Washington Post, there are 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 9 seconds in a year. If you do some simple math, you can use this information to find the exact midpoint of the year. Now, as …

Weekend Binge 6/23 | Which Netflix Top 10 Movie Should You Watch this Weekend?

We made it — the weekend is finally here. We’re back with the second iteration of Weekend Binge — where we break down each of the movies in Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. to help you decide what movies …

Weekend Binge | Which Netflix Top 10 Movie Should You Watch this Weekend?

There’s no need to be ashamed— we’ve all been there. After a long week of work, you throw on some comfortable clothes, order some food, grab your favorite drink, and sit down on your couch. As you take a sip, …

Tour Chicago Film Locations From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) in a Day

The High Fidelity location post was such a success that 4 years later I’ve decided it’s time to do a second blog post, so call in sick if you haven’t already because today we’ll be visiting film locations from the …
the fields studio

The Fields Studios Opening in Logan Square/Avondale Area

A new film studio is coming to town, and it’s looking to be right up there among the largest in Chicago. The Fields Studios recently launched a website and Instagram page, billing itself as the “first purpose-built studio campus in …

Page To Screen | The Lost City of Z

Man, it’s been so long since I’ve written a series article for this website, yet alone the inaugural post of a new series. Looking back, the last series post I posted was my Old Man Movie Corner review of The …

2022: The Year Anime Took Over My Screens

With 2022 in the rear-view mirror, I can safely say one thing; 2022 was a weird year for me. I left my job of 5 years in health insurance to go back to college, my writing has hit a frustrating …

Yogi Bear (2010) is an Incisive Critique of Deforestation and Capitalism

Rating: 4/4 stars Yogi Bear is surely one of the most subversive and intelligent children’s films ever made. There, I said it. I don’t care if I am attacked by the many film critics who awarded this movie a 13% …

The Future (of Film) is Female

We have a long way to go before women are treated as equals in the entertainment industry, but it’s at least safe to say that female filmmakers are finally getting some of the opportunities and recognition they deserve. In honor …

The Best Honorable Mentions of 2021 (According to Jeff)

Hey there everybody! It’s Jeff once again. I hope you read my “Top ten favorite films of 2021” list. At the end of that one, I said I would make another list celebrating the films that just missed my top …

The Best Films of 2021 (According to Jeff)

Hello all! It’s that time of year again. As you may know, it is practically impossible to see every good film that came out in a certain year. This past year’s list though? I feel pretty good about it. It …

Five Favorite Underrated Christmas Films

That one big holiday is upon us again. There are many films out there about Christmas and I’d like to spotlight a few. You see, in my residence, It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf are the standbys. Last year, I …

The McNeil Minute | The Very Best Films of 2021

Table of Contents ToggleA Bounce Back Year or a Course Correction?Honorable MentionsPigKing RichardC’mon C’mon10. Licorice Pizza9. Last Night in Soho8. Belfast7. No Time to Die6. CODA 5. Red Rocket4. Spencer3. The Green Knight2. Dune1. Titane A Bounce Back Year or …

Not Another Listicle: The Devil Finds Work

“The language of the camera is the language of our dreams” – James Baldwin James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work is as esoteric as Documentary Now! is to the general audience. It can be enjoyed, but holds special meaning if …

The McNeil Minute | Two Similar Strangers

Table of Contents ToggleA New Project With an Important Message from Alex MorenoThe PremiseThe CampaignPromote AwarenessAlex Moreno and the FLOW Project A New Project With an Important Message from Alex Moreno Two Similar Strangers is a socially relevant project created …

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: An Anti-Musical

What some may consider a fluff-piece, others consider a masterpiece. And so be The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (dir. Demy, 1964). Reviewed as both “banal” and “brilliant,” this film went on to win the Palm d’Or in 1964 and secured five …

Watercooler Reviews | Last Night in Soho

Table of Contents ToggleA More Restrained Effort From Edgar WrightThe ProductionThe PerformancesThe ScreenplayThe Verdict A More Restrained Effort From Edgar Wright Last Night in Soho is the latest film from acclaimed writer/director Edgar Wright. His first film since the summer …

“Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Finale: “Inverting the Pyramid of Success”

Alright, friends. Ted Lasso has concluded its second series finale. I didn’t cry as much as I did the first time around in series 1, but just as much went down for our characters. Let’s get into it. Table of Contents …

“Dear Evan Hansen:” Today is Going to be… Fine-Ish, and Here’s Why

Dear Evan Hansen was the first ever show I saw on Broadway, in 2019. Which means, for someone with a degree in theatre, who has loved it all her life, that I’ve never forgotten it. I sat down in my seat, …

The Ultimate James Bond Film Ranking (Including No Time to Die)

I know what you’re thinking, please God no, not another James Bond movie ranking, I would rather be tortured by Le Chiffre. I’m well aware over the past couple of weeks the world wide web has been flooded with these …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Episode 11: “Midnight Train to Royston”

Okay, maybe the whole detour from the main series storyline in Beard After Hours was in actuality just a plot to make me forget how much I now dislike Nate. Wasting no time this week, here’s why: Nate the Not-So-Great Nathan started …

Vudu Child #1: Exploring You’re Next and The Guest

Hello all! Welcome to something I’d like to call “Vudu Child.”  Over the past copy of years, I’ve gathered together a sizable collection of digital film releases mostly through Fandango-owned website Vudu. And rather than let them sit there and …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Episodes 9 and 10: “Beard After Hours” and “No Weddings and a Funeral”

Beard After Hours  Usually when a show’s narrative takes a mini vacation from the main one, one or two things are being signaled: a side character is about to get a backstory, or sh*t is about to go down for …

Seance Mistakenly Skips the Mystery | Watercooler Reviews

Seance (2021) directed by Simon Barrett is a paranormal, mystery film that flounders with a crucial element- suspense. The film ignites with a student death at an all girls boarding school after a group of friends performed a seance to …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Episodes 6, 7 and 8: “The Signal,” “Headspace” and “Man City”

There were a lot of complaints, somehow, following season 1 of Ted Lasso that the show didn’t have enough conflict. That it was simply too… happy. After sitting through Ted and Michelle’s breakup scene, it astounds me that this was ever a …

Watercooler Reviews | The Card Counter

Table of Contents TogglePaul Schrader Plays Close to the VestOscar F*cking IsaacThe CinematographyThe ScreenplayThe Verdict Paul Schrader Plays Close to the Vest The Card Counter is the latest psychological drama from writer/director Paul Schrader. His previous effort, First Reformed from …

Summer Wrap-Up: My Favorite Films of Summer 2021

Hello all! Can you believe it’s the end of summer already? I thought this was a fairly good summer movie season. I saw several films I liked and even some films I loved. Below, in no particular order, is a …

Watercooler Reviews | Candyman

Table of Contents ToggleIt was never about the candy, was it?Nia DaCosta’s DirectionThe CinematographyThe Theme(s)The Verdict It was never about the candy, was it? Candyman is a horror remake from Jordan Peele’s studio, Monkeypaw Productions, also produced and co-written by …

Not Another Listicle: Superhero Trash

Just in time for the wrap on the remake of The Toxic Avenger, I’ve compiled a list of films that I regard as Superhero Trash. I think these viewings started as an unconscious search for alternative superhero films that set …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Episode 5: “Rainbow”

Continuing the rom-com action from last week’s Love Actually surprise, Ted Lasso truly outdid itself with an episode-ending, tear-jerking sequence involving my man Roy Kent and his decision to return to Richmond… as Coach. But a lot happened to get us to that point …

Lovecraft Country | Season 1, Episode 7: “I Am.” ‒ The Timeless Hippolyta Freeman

Lovecraft’s seventh episode is titled “I Am.”  Finally we get Hippolyta Freeman starring as the heroine of an episode, and her journey thru not-quite-time-travel is strange, magical and super inspiring.  The final half hour was everything that many feminists viewers …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Episode 4: “Carol of the Bells”

A short personal anecdote to start off this week’s review: In early 2016, I spent four months studying in London and fell in love with the city. I’d been before (on much shorter visits) and felt the same way, but …

Watercooler Reviews | CODA

Table of Contents ToggleThe Sundance Favorite Has ArrivedThe ScreenplayThe PerformancesThe DirectionThe Verdict The Sundance Favorite Has Arrived CODA might be known for winning both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it …

Watercooler Reviews: “The Mysterious Benedict Society” Episodes 5-7

Episode 5 = 3/4 stars Episode 6 = 3.5/4 stars Episode 7 = 3/4 stars Now that’s more like it. In my past reviews, I expressed concern over lazy writing in “The Mysterious Benedict Society.” However, I’m happy to report …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2, Episode 3, “Do the Right-est Thing”

It’s 8:21pm, about nine and a half hours since I finished watching this episode, and I have finally stopped crying long enough to start writing. While every episode of Ted Lasso has left me impressed and emotional to some extent, the first …

Watercooler Reviews | The Green Knight

Table of Contents ToggleA Sumptuous Visual TreatThe CinematographyThe ScreenplayThe CraftThe Verdict A Sumptuous Visual Treat David Lowery’s slow-burn medieval epic is sure to be one to divide audiences, and it already has been. Even the A24 faithful can’t seem to …

Watercooler Reviews | “Ted Lasso” Round Table: Season 2 Episodes 1 and 2, “Goodbye Earl” and “Lavender”

God, I’m so happy this show is back. Ted Lasso was arguably the best piece of media in any category to emerge during the worst of the pandemic (although I unfortunately may be speaking too soon here, thanks to Ms. Delta …

Watercooler Reviews | Old, Snake Eyes, The Last Letter From Your Lover

Hey everyone. Below are a few bite-sized mini-reviews for three films that came out recently. Here are my brief thoughts on Old, Snake Eyes, and The Last Letter From Your Lover. Please enjoy. Old Plot: A vacationing family find out …

“Black Widow” Story is Finally Told, After Years of Begging from Marvel Fans | Watercooler Reviews

Finally.  We’ve been anxiously awaiting a Black Widow-centric film for ages, and I think most rational Marvel fans agree that one is long overdue. Regardless of varying degrees of support for Scarlett Johansson and her other recent work, it’s rather …

McNeil Minute Reviews | P-Town

Table of Contents ToggleA Different Look at Racism and Homophobia The PerformancesThe FIlmmakingThe ScriptThe Verdict A Different Look at Racism and Homophobia P-Town is a dark and gritty look into racism and homophobia but also approaches it with a different …

Watercooler Reviews: “The Mysterious Benedict Society” Episodes 3-4

Rating: Episode #3 = 3/4 stars, Episode #4 = 2/4 stars  (Although I reviewed Episodes 1 and 2 of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” without giving too much away, that is not the case with this review and all future reviews …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Blood, Sweat, and Years

Table of Contents ToggleAnother Matt Boda Home RunThe Heart of the StoryThe CraftThe PerformancesThe Verdict Another Matt Boda Home Run After reviewing several films from creator Matt Boda’s slate, he’s struck again with yet another high quality production. Blood, Sweat, …

Watercooler Reviews – Summertime

Summertime is the latest project from Carlos Lopez Estrada. Lopez Estrada has already directed two films that I am a big fan of. There’s this year’s Raya and the Last Dragon and 2018’s Blindspotting. First, let’s address something: if you …

FREE ADVANCE SCREENING of the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan film “OLD” today in Chicago

7:00 PM AMC River East 21 322 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611  Register for your ticket here! About the film:  Genre: Thriller   Cast: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff,   Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken  …

Burnout Defense: Treat Yoself

Table of Contents ToggleGive Yourself a Break: Thank Me LaterAvoid Burnout at ALL Costs The Time Will Come When We HAVE to WorkWays to Fend Off BurnoutThis Vacation Could Be Exactly What Your Script Needed Give Yourself a Break: Thank …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Clairevoyant

Table of Contents ToggleA Mockumentary for the Modern AgeThe Lead PerformanceThe Clever ScriptThe Mockumentary Style ApproachThe Verdict A Mockumentary for the Modern Age Clairevoyant is a mockumentary style film in the vein of The Office which essentially satirizes the lifestyle of a …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Rise: The Artist Within

Table of Contents ToggleA Different Spin on the DocuShortThe Remarkable True StoryThe CraftThe ContinuityThe Verdict A Different Spin on the DocuShort An absolutely incredible story of dreams, loss, struggle, perseverance, and hope. It’s a very well-made documentary about an abstract …

Watercooler Reviews | “Loki” Round Table: Episode 6, “For All Time. Always.”

Season 2! Season 2! The Loki season finale continued to throw around one too many Wizard of Oz references, but was pretty well executed, and instead of trying too hard to wrap things up in the allocated number of episodes, the show has …

Watercooler Reviews: Good on Paper

Netflix has been a saving grace for many people when it comes to binge-able content that has us glued to our couches, longer than we’d like to admit. One of Netflix’s newest comedic flicks “Good on Paper”, is a movie …

Watercooler Reviews | The Forever Purge

The Forever Purge is the fifth film in the Purge franchise. It’s strange because I’ve seen all five films and they’ve gotten increasingly better with each one. I haven’t seen the first entry since I saw it way back in …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Teetering

Table of Contents ToggleA New Kind of Dramatic ShortThe CraftThe WritingThe PerformancesThe Verdict A New Kind of Dramatic Short Teetering is an impressive dramatic short film about a couple in bed who get to know each other, essentially. It sounds …

McNeil Minute Reviews | The Martial Artist

Table of Contents ToggleA Solid Comedic EffortThe EditingThe ScriptThe PerformancesThe Verdict A Solid Comedic Effort The Martial Artist is a comedy short produced by the likes of Get It Made. It’s a short comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, …

Watercooler Reviews | “Loki” Round Table: Episodes 4 and 5, “The Nexus Event” and “Journey Into Mystery”

Loki really just keeps getting better and better, Wizard of Oz parallels, alligator Variants and all. First off, a moment to note that even if you’ve hated everything else about Loki to date, you can’t deny that by the end of episode five, Tom …

Watercooler Reviews | Zola

Table of Contents ToggleA Stylish Take on the Faux DocuDramaThe Unbelievable True StoryThe FilmmakingThe PerformancesThe Verdict A Stylish Take on the Faux DocuDrama Why did I refer to this film as such, you ask? Maybe you didn’t ask, but I’ll …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Everyone’s A Critic

Table of Contents ToggleOh, The IronyThe MessageThe ExecutionThe ScriptThe Verdict Oh, The Irony There’s a bit of irony in the fact that I’m even reviewing this. I feel like I may be the next critic who dies… In any case, …

McNeil Minute Reviews | ClassMasters

Table of Contents ToggleA Masterclass in Masterclasses The HumorThe Lead PerformanceThe CraftThe Verdict A Masterclass in Masterclasses This mockumentary short about masterclasses in film/directing is not just hilarious, but also smart about it. It’s completely self-aware and knows exactly what …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Cole & Colette

Table of Contents ToggleDon’t Freak OutThe SetupThe Payoff/TwistThe FilmmakingThe Verdict Don’t Freak Out “Telling me not to freak out, I’m gonna freak out.” This contained thriller short Cole & Colette explores anxiety, home invasion, and paranoia in a very palpable …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Cravings

Table of Contents ToggleA Therapy Short Drama with a TwistThe ScreenplayThe PerformancesThe Production ValueThe Verdict A Therapy Short Drama with a Twist Cravings written by David Rasch and directed by Katie Pyne is a short drama produced by Matt Boda …

Old Man Movie Corner | The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

Now I’m betting some of you fine CFS readers are at least tangentially aware of movies that feature some kind of giant monster. I mean, there’s my boy Godzilla, but since you can see I’m talking about the 1953 monster …

McNeil Minute Reviews | Haunts

Table of Contents ToggleA Get It Made LA Horror Short ProductionThe SimplicityThe PremiseThe ExecutionThe Verdict A Get It Made LA Horror Short Production Haunts is a dark, contained horror short and another production from Matt Boda and his Get It …

Cruella Explains Not Sympathizes | Watercooler Reviews

Cruella (2021) began its theatrical run and landed on Disney+ ($30 for premier access) at the end of May. The film will not be available with the Disney+ subscription until August 27th of this year. Glossing over $30 spent, I sat …

From Pages to Film: How I am Legend Fails as an Adaptation

Despite Francis Lawrence’s I am Legend being a box office success, it fails in countless ways living up to its source material. I want to go through both novel and film, examining their differences while discussing how the film falls …

Watercooler Reviews | “The Mysterious Benedict Society” Episodes 1 – 2

Rating: Episode #1 = 3/4 stars, Episode #2 = 2.5/4 stars   If I were tasked to list the books that are closest to my heart, Trenton Lee Stewart’s “Mysterious Benedict Society” series would be near the top. As a child, …

Watercooler Reviews | Luca

Table of Contents ToggleA Fish Out of Water, or Dead in the Water?The Originality (or Lack Thereof)The ScriptThe AnimationThe Verdict A Fish Out of Water, or Dead in the Water? The latest from Disney/Pixar promises to be the beautiful summer …

Watercooler Reviews | F9: The Fast Saga

F9: The Fast Saga is the ninth film in the main Fast and Furious storyline. Technically it’s the tenth film with the name Fast and Furious since 2019 had the spin-off Hobbs and Shaw. That is a lot of tank …

Watercooler Reviews | “The Boy from Medellín,” an apolitical aging millennial

In early June, I turned a year older and my hair grew a little greyer. This past year’s been challenging and scary, and it’s been revolutionary largely because of the youth who’ve taken to the streets in protest.  An aging …

Watercooler Reviews | “Loki” Round Table: Episode 3, “Lamentis”

Alright, now we’re getting somewhere! I really liked this episode. Perhaps I’m biased as it had a very Doctor Who-ish vibe to it, which I am admittedly a big fan of. Nevertheless, getting away from the somewhat monotonous tone of …

Watercooler Reviews | “Gangs of London” Round Table: Finale

Oddly, my first thought after watching this finale was that every death (and apparent death) in the episode was very quiet and intensely intimate compared to the rest of the show. After seeing Sean go Full Drama™ in episode nine …

Watercooler Reviews | “Loki” Round Table: Episode 2, “The Variant”

Loki wasted no time in ramping up the action this week as we ended on the cliffhanger that had been speculated about for months prior to the series premiere, even as we were still making our way through every WandaVision enigma and Falcon and …

Watercooler Reviews | “In the Heights:” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pre-“Hamilton” Stunner, a (Mostly) Spoiler-Free Review

My family and I took a trip to New York City in the summer of 2008, and we did not see a Broadway show. I remember the views from the top of the Empire State, I remember wandering Greenwich Village …

Watercooler Reviews | “Gangs of London” Round Table: Episodes 7, 8 and 9

Good God, the Wallaces really unravelled in these three episodes. In episode 7, we watch as the broken family retreats to a safe house, where even the Dumanis are not so welcome (more on this later). And suddenly, Billy is …

Off the Beaten Path | Star Trek: The Animated Series S1

Now I bet some of you are asking “Joe, why are you covering a Star Trek show for Off the Beaten Path? Dune based posts are one thing, what with Dune not (yet) having many high profile adaptations for the …

Watercooler Reviews | “Loki” Round Table: Episode 1, “Glorious Purpose”

NOT SPOILER FREE If the WandaVision pilot was the wildest thing we’d ever seen and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier pilot was the most predictable, Loki landed somewhere in between. The first thing we can all do is let out a sigh of… not …

The Only Piece of Quarantine Media I Want: Bo Burnham’s “INSIDE”

As a self-proclaimed inside kid, I can empathize with Bo Burnham in his latest special, INSIDE. I understand the comfort of indoors but also how suffocating it can be, even though I don’t want to be anywhere else. Inside can …

Lovecraft Country | Season 1, Episode 6: “Meet Me in Daegu”

This sixth episode of Lovecraft takes a break from Chicago and heads back in time to Atticus’ tour in South Korea.  Ji-Ah is a Korean nurse who treats wounded American soldiers, and this is how she becomes the love interest …

The Screen’s Unseen: “The Peanut Butter Solution” is Completely and Utterly Surreal

Rating: 1.5/4 stars “The Peanut Butter Solution” is the cinematic equivalent of a dream. I’m not using “dream” to convey enthusiasm for the movie; I mean to say that watching “The Peanut Butter Solution” is literally like watching the nonsensical …

Not Another Listicle: Chi-Town Films

I have an obsession with lists. Part meditation, part personal archiving, these lists help me focus and have become a haven for my obsessions. After Criterion shut down their platform for creating public film lists, I started making my own …

Watercooler Reviews | The Indecisiveness of The Unholy

The Unholy (2021) could have capitalized on a fresh take to possession films, especially the classic ones involving the Catholic Church. The story of pagan times in early America mixed with witchcraft and corn husk dolls piqued interest in the …

The Future of Hollywood and Cinema

As theaters slowly begin to reopen across the country and with delays on films coming to an end, we see an effect that has been years in the making. Major changes are happening in Hollywood and films in general. Let’s take a …

Watercooler Reviews | Special Season 2

Like many people, I have been guilty of binge watching some of my favorite, cult-classic tv shows to pass the time, until some new television series catch my eye. Either that, or I use them to pass the time until …

Watercooler Reviews | Concrete Cowboy – a story about humans and their horses

Our main character in Concrete Cowboy is Cole, a 15-year-old boul growing up in Detroit where he keeps getting into trouble at school, so his mother drives him to Philadelphia to live with his estranged father Harp for the summer.  …

Watercooler Reviews | Army of the Dead

Let me take you back to a time that was many moons ago. It’s 2004. The grandaddy of all zombie movies is George A. Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of thew Dead. To what I assume was the dismay of many …

Watercooler Reviews | Those Who Wish Me Dead

Table of Contents ToggleThose Who Wish This Was BetterThe ScreenplayThe DirectionThe VisualsThe Verdict Those Who Wish This Was Better It brings me no joy to write that Taylor Sheridan’s adaptation of Those Who Wish Me Dead is really nothing more …

Watercooler Reviews | What is the Book of Saw?

Last week Spiral: From the Book of Saw hit theaters foregoing a streaming platform release for the time being. The film was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman who directed and wrote Saw II and directed Saw III & IV. I …

Watercooler Reviews | The Woman in the Window

Table of Contents ToggleLet’s Please Stop Subjecting Amy Adams to ThisThe ExecutionThe ScreenplayThe….EverythingThe Verdict Let’s Please Stop Subjecting Amy Adams to This As many of you may already know, Amy Adams is my favorite actress. I saw that she was …

Lovecraft Country | Season 1, Episode 5: “Strange Case” & Ruby’s Womanist Woes

Warning:  This (very belated) article contains spoilers for Lovecraft Country in general. The series’ fifth episode “Strange Case” contains images of gore, as well as scenes of transphobia and rape.  There are also scenes of consensual sex. In Lovecraft’s first …

The Screen’s Unseen: “Max Magician and the Legend of the Rings” is Hilariously Bad

People say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but paying sufficient attention to the minimal information that one can find about Max Magician and the Legend of the Rings online might have tipped me off that the …

Watercooler Reviews | Love, Death & Robots S2

If you’re a regular reader of this website, I think you’ll know Love, Death & Robots has a special place in my heart. If you scroll back far enough in our now extensive post archives, you’ll see it was the first collection …

Watercooler Reviews | “Gangs of London” Round Table: Episodes 4, 5 and 6

It always gets complicated when the hero falls for the villain. Or so Elliot must be thinking to himself, as he finds himself struggling to say no to Shannon Dumani, daughter of Ed, the once-right hand man of none other …

Watercooler Reviews | The Consequences of Desires in ”The Djinn”

The Djinn (2021) The Djinn (2021) carefully crafts a ‘be careful what you wish for’ story that holds strategic suspense throughout its concise runtime of 82 minutes. This self-contained tale starts with an ominous scene of a young, mute boy named …

Off the Beaten Path | Frank Herbert’s Dune

All right folks, it’s time for a fresh Off the Beaten Path review. This time, I’m dipping my toes back into the well of literary miniseries adaptations with Frank Herbert’s Dune, one of the more famous examples from the 21st century. I’m going …

Watercooler Reviews | The Mitchells vs. the Machines

The Mitchells vs. the Machines is immediately something special. That really shouldn’t be any surprise given the movie’s pedigree, it’s the feature directorial debut of Gravity Falls alum Michael Rianda and the most recent animated film from Lord Miller Productions …

Watercooler Reviews | Things Heard & Seen

Things Heard & Seen, the new Netflix released haunted house film from filmmaking team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (best known for multi-award winner American Splendor), may be the epitome of high class schlock. The movie doesn’t bring anything …

The Screen’s Unseen: Ride a Wild Pony is Admirable, but Mediocre

Despite the fact that I delight in both children’s fare and obscure movies, the principal emotion that the 1975 Australian-American Disney production Ride a Wild Pony evoked in me was frustration. The movie exhibits an admirably grounded approach to storytelling …

Watercooler Reviews | “Stowaway:” A Simple, Surprisingly Captivating Concept

I really enjoyed this one, which surprised me a bit. The concept isn’t new: a small team of people on a mission to Mars, and not everything is as it appears. Martian dramas never get old onscreen, or in real …