Review: ‘Downsizing’ Goes Big with Ideas But Stays Small in Execution

Alexander Payne’s 2017 science-fiction picture Downsizing is so cleverly conceived you might forget how poorly made it is. Undoubtedly, it’s not a horrible movie. In fact, it’s quite watchable, though it drags at certain points and has its share of frustrating moments. The problem is that it should have been better, given the talent behind…

By Simon Hardy Butler
The President’s Analyst

The President’s Analyst: The 50th anniversary of a prescient classic

“We, the undersigned mental health professionals, believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of the President of the United States.” That is how a recent petition began and it gathered close to 30,000 signatures in a few weeks.…

By Jonathan Eig

More Sleaze, if You Please: ‘Nightcrawler’ Takes TV to Task

Satire has got to be one of the hardest things to do right – especially when it comes to films about the TV industry. They can either be ferocious and telling, as Network (1976) is, or dismal and ludicrous, which is how To Die For (1995) turned out. The world of television is such an…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Jaws criticism

(Mis)reading Film: Jaws and The Onion

I enter into evidence a biting satire of analysis run amok: The Onion has produced a range of very funny videos that provide pseudo-critical responses to popular films, which are as much parodies of their subject as they are satires of the nature of critical analysis itself. In this video from last year, The Onion…

By Jason Lajoie