2000s

The Matrix, Ranked

The Matrix, Ranked

In 1999, The Matrix, written and directed by the Wachowski Sisters, was released and instantly became a cultural phenomenon, thanks to its ground-breaking visual effects and thought-provoking philosophical themes. The film launched an entire media franchise, and since then, three direct sequel films, an animated anthology film, three video games, a comic book series and numerous books have been released. While none of the subsequent films admittedly quite live up to the quality of that first film, a couple of them come damn close, even if the worse films in the franchise leave a lot to be desired. Here is…
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The Jackass Films, Ranked

The Jackass Films, Ranked

Before there was TikTok, or Vine, or even YouTube, there was MTV's Jackass TV series, which fed viewers (mostly teenage boys and young men) a constant, uninterrupted stream of dudes with questionable intelligence performing ridiculous stunts (with often disastrous results) and tormenting each other with disgusting or dangerous pranks. Even though the show only ran for three seasons between 2000 and 2001, the concept proved so popular and the group of lovably bone-headed guys proved so beloved that the series was spun-off into multiple subsequent TV shows and, perhaps more culturally significantly, a total of nine feature-length films. While it…
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Review: Of Time and the City

Review: Of Time and the City

Year: 2008 | Rating: You know, it's a funny thing: Counting the "Terence Davies trilogy" (1983) as one film, I have now seen four of Terence Davies' films, and they all portray more or less the same story of growing up in Liverpool in the '40s and '50s, struggling with the ever-looming guilt and repression of Catholicism, and coping with being a gay man at a time when it was very socially unacceptable to be homosexual. You would think, then, that by the time Of Time and the City was released in 2008, telling the same story over and over…
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Review: Bad News Bears (2005)

Review: Bad News Bears (2005)

Year: 2005 | Rating: Look, I'm likely the biggest Richard Linklater fan you'll ever meet, and there's a reason why Bad News Bears was the last feature-length narrative film that I hadn't seen from him. I totally get what drew him to this project; he's a lifelong baseball fan, and after the success of School of Rock (2003), I understand the impulse to strike while the iron is hot and go back to that well. And with the writing duo behind Bad Santa (also 2003) teaming back up with Billy Bob Thornton, I can see why on paper this project seemed like a home-run (shameless…
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Quick Hits: My Fake Boyfriend, Justice League: The New Frontier, Windfall

Quick Hits: My Fake Boyfriend, Justice League: The New Frontier, Windfall

Quick Hits In the latest edition of Quick Hits, we've got a gay movie made by BuzzFeed that brings shame to the Queer Cinema Movement, one of the weaker films in the DC Animation Universe series, and a minimalist crime thriller that is well worth your time. My Fake Boyfriend Year: 2022 | Rating: My Fake Boyfriend is, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. I knew when I saw the Buzzfeed Studios production logo at the beginning of the film that I should significantly lower my expectations, and yet it still managed…
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Quick Hits: The Little Hours, G.B.F., Push

Quick Hits: The Little Hours, G.B.F., Push

Quick Hits In this edition of Quick Hits, I review a strange comedy about temptation and repression, a gay Mean Girls knockoff that is anything but "fetch," and a bizarre sci-fi thriller that is far too convoluted for its own good. The Little Hours Year: 2017 | Rating: The Little Hours is a very strange film that I am having a very hard time deciding how I felt about it. On one hand, this was billed as a comedy, and I didn't really think that it was that funny. Aubrey Plaza's shtick didn't land for me in the opening scene, and…
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Quick Hits: Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, SubUrbia, Tape

Quick Hits: Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, SubUrbia, Tape

Quick Hits In the latest edition of Quick Hits, I take a look at a new animation/live-action hybrid comedy on Disney+ and two under-seen (and possibly underrated) works from a definitive voice of the American independent film movement. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Year: 2022 | Rating: The plot and story of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers are pretty flimsy, and the dialogue and animation is not great in places. But the gags and jokes and references are fun! I laughed a lot while watching this. Overall, I don't think this was great, but I mostly enjoyed it, so that's a…
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Short/Feature: Short Term 12

Short/Feature: Short Term 12

Short Term 12 The Short: Year: 2008 | Rating: Literally the only way I could find this short film was by buying the Short Term 12 Blu-ray from Amazon, and after watching it, I can kind of see why. I haven't seen the feature film since it came out back in 2013, but I definitely don't remember it being so unrelentingly tragic and bleak. Compared to other short/feature combos I've watched, like The Way He Looks and Whiplash (both 2014), I will say that Short Term 12 is perhaps the best example of a microcosm of what the feature film actually ended up being. Thankfully the feature…
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Quick Hits: Raising Arizona, The Dead Don’t Die, School of Rock

Quick Hits: Raising Arizona, The Dead Don’t Die, School of Rock

Quick Hits In the latest edition of Quick Hits, I take at look at three lesser-celebrated films by iconic American auteurs: a Coen Brothers comedy featuring a madcap performance from Nicolas Cage, the latest quirky offering from the "master of cool" Jim Jarmusch, and a family studio comedy from Richard Linklater that deserves to be counted among his best work. Raising Arizona Year: 1987 | Rating: Welp, chalk Raising Arizona up as yet another Coen Brothers film that I walked away from thinking that it was aggressively...fine. And as usual, I can't really describe why I wasn't enthralled with this…
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