• Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★★

    The Great Superhero Watch Adjacent

    I find myself in a precarious position with this film. More so with any Marvel Cinematic Universe installment to date, I feel like it's getting more and more like these movies are being tailor-made for people who are already fans -- not just of the movies, but of the characters and the brand and all the ancillary media -- and it's at the point where I have to question whether somebody who isn't already invested…

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★★½

    The Great Superhero Watch Adjacent

    Like The Dark Knight, this is less of a superhero movie and more of a crime drama set in Gotham City. But as dark as Christopher Nolan got, this movie is even more brutal, more grim, and more uncompromising. It's part serial killer mystery and part conspiracy thriller, and it has one of the most realistic and plausible supervillain schemes I've ever seen in a movie like this. While I agree with the general sentiment…

  • It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

    It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

    ★★★½

    I love how the only real continuity in these specials is that every so often somebody dogs on Linus for the whole "Great Pumpkin" fiasco.

  • Untamed Youth

    Untamed Youth

    Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode 112

    Untamed Youth is the sort of movie that leaves you wondering what in the hell they were thinking when they made it. Some teenage girls are unjustly railroaded and sent to a work camp where they... sing and dance and meet hot guys. Like, was this supposed to make it look unappealing? Was this supposed to be a cautionary tale? If so it failed. If it was just supposed to be simple entertainment... it also failed. For the nascent Joel and the Bots, it was a perfect film to sharpen their skills.

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★

    The really amazing thing about West Side Story is that it's a better Romeo and Juliet story than Romeo and Juliet. In West Side Story, the tragedy builds and grows organically out of cultural differences, racial tensions, and youthful impulsiveness and heartbreak, whereas in Romeo and Juliet, the tragedy happens because everybody in that play is dumber than a sack of hammers.

  • Moon Zero Two

    Moon Zero Two

    Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode 111

    Released the year after 2001: A Space Odyssey, this effort at making a "space western" has all the elements of a frontier adventure with none of the excitement. Who in the hell, for example, thought that performing the required saloon fight in forced slow motion would make it more exciting? It's slow and ponderous and dull, and without Joel and the bots it's hard to imagine anybody could stake awake for the film's horribly tedious climax.

  • Xico's Journey

    Xico's Journey

    ★★

    Part of FebNEWary 2022

    X: Xico's Journey (2020)
    Platform: Netflix

    Lush and beautiful animation covers up a seriously heavy-handed "message" movie that goes well beyond kids, not to mention a mayor with an unhealthy Oedipal Complex.

  • Werewolves Within

    Werewolves Within

    ★★★★½

    Part of FebNEWary 2022

    W: Werewolves Within (2021)
    Platform: Plex (Personal Collection)

    A new forest ranger comes to a small town divided over a proposed pipeline. A rash of violent crimes gets worse when the ranger and a group of townspeople are trapped in a lodge together during a snowstorm. In close quarters, accusations begin, and blood begins to flow.

    Josh Ruben's previous film, Scare Me, impressed the hell out of me. After this, I'm comfortable in saying that he's…

  • Vacation Days

    Vacation Days

    ★★

    Part of FebNEWary 2022

    V: Vacation Days (1947)
    Platform: RiffTrax

    Shockingly, this is the fourth of EIGHT movies about these high school pals and their wacky misadventures. In this one, they graduate high school and take a vacation on a ranch. A dull, stale comedy with boring performances that's really improved by the commentary by Bridget and Mary Jo. Plus, it features an immediately pre-Lois Lane Noel Neill, which makes me more excited than I should probably admit.

  • Ultraviolet

    Ultraviolet

    Part of FebNEWary 2022

    U: Ultraviolet (2006)
    Platform: HBO Max

    From the opening credit sequence, which is done in the style of a series of mock comic book covers, I knew we were gonna be in for a ride. This seems to be the calling card for a director saying "I'm gonna make a live-action comic book!" which is another way of saying "I'm gonna make a movie that looks like Adam West's Batman because that is the only thing…

  • Things to Come

    Things to Come

    ★★

    Part of FebNEWary 2022

    T: Things to Come (1976)
    Platform: Plex (Personal Collection)

    Before physical media began to die out, I amassed a sizeable collection of DVDs, many of which included big compilation sets of five, ten, even 50 movies that a studio put together with the flimsiest of justification such as "sci-fi." As such, I've got weird stuff like this in my collection now.

    I honestly didn't know that sci-fi exploitation was a thing before, but I really can't…

  • You Again

    You Again

    ★★★½

    Part of FebNEWary 2022

    Y: You Again (2010)
    Platform: Hulu

    Kristen Bell goes home for her brother's wedding only to find out he's marrying the girl who made her life a living hell in high school. Her mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) tells her that it's been a long time and people change, until she meets the girl's aunt (Sigourney Weaver) an old thorn from HER past that evokes the same reaction. The premise is so broad that it almost feels…