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  • Over the Garden Wall

    Over the Garden Wall

    ★★★½

    This musical fantasy evokes a range of influences—The Wizard of Oz, Spirited Away, Edward Gorey, the Fleischer Bros.—while sustaining a glissando across a whole spectrum of emotions, from goofy to wistful to heartbroken and back again. It's a world of its own, sparkling new but faintly familiar. (Here's Christopher Lloyd, and there's Tim Curry: the cartoon antagonists of decades past.) Jokes and myths, which I suspect may be interchangeable, accumulate into a compact edifice that you can ascend and gaze down from, at which point you may as well clamber back down and watch all ten episodes again.

  • Princess Warrior

    Princess Warrior

    ★½

    This starts out as a sloppy, sluggish attempt to fuse Star Wars with The Terminator, then develops into a nocturnal tour of whichever Los Angeles dives and warehouses would let this production use them as shooting locations. An evil space princess chases her innocent sister across the city—it's a little like a no-budget sci-fi King Lear—crossing paths with a hapless bartender and a pair of bumbling cops. Every showdown is interminable and tension-free. Eventually good triumphs over evil. The villains spend the whole movie clad in stylish workout clothes; I wonder if I could track those down on Amazon.

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  • Jodorowsky's Dune

    Jodorowsky's Dune

    ★½

    Watching this I was initially intrigued and a little amused, but then became quickly and thoroughly pissed off. What little worth this documentary has as a showcase for Moebius and Christopher Foss's concept art just makes me wish I'd read a coffee table book instead; the rest of the doc, meanwhile, is devoted to telling us how brilliant, how ambitious, and how eccentric an artist Alejandro Jodorowsky really is. I swear, the filmmakers giving him a blow job would've been…

  • Saving Mr. Banks

    Saving Mr. Banks

    ½

    Patronizing, terrifying, sexist, saccharine, tedious... evil, really! This is a movie about a woman being manipulated and beaten down over two lethargically paced hours by a rich, whimsical man and his corporate machine until finally, finally he unlocks her psyche and she gives in. Every character in this is one-dimensional, granted a single trait or explanatory secret. Every conversation is premised on the laziest kind of historical irony and the assumption that Mary Poppins in its finished form is the greatest thing mankind has ever wrought. Fuck this movie. This is roughly how I expect Oceania's Ministry of Truth would adapt 1984.