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The Twenty-One Best Films of the 21st Century

I probably should have written this list at the very beginning of the year.  2021 wasn’t a great year in cinema, nor was the year before it.  In fact, the last couple of decades have not been particularly great for cinema as an art medium nor a positive force for shaping popular culture. But since […]

“Nightmare Alley” (2021): Get Him to the Geek (Review)

★★★½ This movie references both of the two things that scare Austin Powers: (1) nuclear war, and (2) carnies. Every Guillermo del Toro movie has at least two monsters.  There’s the movie monster, and there’s the “real” monster.  The movie monster is usually a victim or a misunderstood friend, or, perhaps, if it’s still something […]

“The Matrix Resurrections” (2021): The Metatrix

★★ The end credits replay the Rage Against the Machine song that had famously closed The Matrix. While Rage was always only ever good for its guitar, the new version is a kidz-bop style shallow cover. Ironic that a song called “Wake Up” can put you to sleep; but credit where due – this is […]

“The Lord of the Rings” (2001-03): V’s Favorite Movie

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in December, 2018. “You’re a critic?  What’s your favorite movie?” I’m asked this a lot, and I often suspect that people are looking for an obscurer answer than the one in my pocket.  But it also feels like asking “what’s my favorite dream.” Although […]

“West Side Story” (2021): Who Wants to Live in America (Review)

★★ Steven Spielberg (without Tony Kushner) already made a musical.  It was called Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  In that film, anything went.  In West Side Story (2021), nothing did. When the two leads aren’t there, the picture is occasionally tolerable.  Like the original, the two leads are the least interesting pieces of […]

The Trial of the Citizen

High-tech and low-tech lynchings in America still happen. It is imperative to the interests of justice, racial harmony, and the rule of law in America that Kyle Rittenhouse be acquitted of all homicide charges, and that Travis and Gregory McMichael (and Roddie Bryan) be convicted of all respective charges for what they did to Ahmaud […]

“Love Hard” (2021): Die Actually (Review)

★★½ Love Hard is an enjoyable, sweet, uplifting Christmas picture stemming from a silly premise and full of needless references to silly cultural questions outside it.  It’s awful… yet I’m embarrassed to admit that I liked it. I don’t like reviewing movies like this.  Not because I hate watching them, but rather because both romance […]

“D U N C: Part One” (2021): Where There’s a Worm, There’s a Way (Review)

★★★ The moment DUNC was finished, I really wanted Part Two.  That was the problem. It is a testament to the skill of Denis Villeneuve, the production crews, Hans Zimmer, and the sound producers to make such worlds, planets, environments, and surfaces come alive in a grandiose fashion that mirrors (albeit more by suggestion than […]

“No Time To Die” (2021): James Bond’s Coronavirus Endgame (Review)

★★ The nationwide and global lockdown was one of the worst things that happened in this century.  One of its victims was No Time To Die. To be sure, No Time To Die is a bad film, and would have been bad no matter when it was released, but as I argued just recently in […]