Tag Archives: movies

The Worst Movies of 2023

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

The worst movie I saw in 2023 was at a film festival; it was an indie production that has yet to be released and, perhaps sparing the filmmakers’ dignity, will remain in this liminal state indefinitely. This is a perfect encapsulation of why many people understandably dislike worst-of-the-year lists. To take a shot at some big hit or critical favorite or Oscar contender when countless genuinely incompetent or horrible productions circulate through the movie world seems disingenuous. And to compose a list of ten such productions seems cruel. Classic lose-lose situation.

At the same time: Sometimes enormous hits are absolutely terrible (particularly when, say, informed by YouTube fandom, rather than any sense of genre, style, or narrative). Sometimes awards contenders go into rigor mortis while you’re watching them. Sometimes other critics inexplicably give a pass to absolute garbage. And sometimes scrappy independent productions are genuinely loathsome. Ah, the dimensions of cinema! Also, watching and writing about movies is how I make (most of) my living – which most of the time constitutes a miraculous stroke of luck on my part. But it can nonetheless involve some measures of frustrations, insecurity, and uncertainty. Those things aren’t the fault of the worst ten movies I see in any given year – but the worst movies of the year can do their part to exacerbate those conditions, however briefly or superficially. These are the moments where this job starts to feel really stupid. That, this year, there are only 10 such occasions out of 200-plus movies is a great sign of life at the movies. So if you’ll indulge me a lot of paraphrasing myself, let’s review the worst of this particular year.
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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Labor Day Special

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

Happy Labor day from your pals at SportsAlcohol.com! We got you a podcast episode! Earlier this summer, Ben convened a small panel of labor experts (by which we mean Marisa, Jeremy, and Jesse) to talk about the bumper crop of movies about companies making products. Air, Blackberry, Flamin’ Hot, and Tetris all came out within months of each other — what gives? In this episode, led by a bona fide MBA, we talk about each movie, which ones (if any) appealed to us and why, and the greater meaning of this trend. (We recorded this episode before The Beanie Bubble dropped but you know what? It’s barely worth discussing anyway!) Please, spend your hard-earned Labor Day with us! Download link available on the embedded player below!

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Top Summer Movies of 1993

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

Remember 1993? Remember the summer? Remember the summer movies of 1993? Remember dinomania? Remember dad-movie-mania? Remember Nora Ephron movies making $125 million at the box office? Remember 10-to-12-year-old boys starring in movie after movie after movie? Remember legal thrillers? Remember Michael Crichton? Remember riding your bike around by yourself while your mom was out of town and your dad was at work, hitting the curb and going over the handlebars, scraping the hell out of both your knees and walking yourself home in search of first aid? Remember your dad dropping you and your brother off at the mall to see Coneheads and So I Married an Axe Murderer and the first big-budget movie based on a video game? Remember Stallone trying to be normal? Remember renting these movies on VHS around Christmas 1993 or seeing them in second-run all the way in summer 1994? Remember Last Action Hero vs. Jurassic Park? Remember playing the Jurassic Park theme at your piano recital? Remember sequels, but not that many sequels? Remember when sequels were kinda low-rent most of the time? Remember?!?!?!

SportsAlcohol.com remembers. We remember every year! So here, finally completing our long-running series-within-the-series about summer movies of the 1990s, is a look at the summer movies of 1993. Nathaniel, Sara, Jeremy, Ben, Marisa, and Jesse are all here to talk about our hazy memories, our more recent rewatches, and, yes, dino-mania as we lived it.

Here’s the full set:

1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast Oscar Special 2023!!!

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

Welcome to the 95th Annual SportsAlcohol.com Oscar Special! True, our podcast has only been around for nine years (!), but the Oscars have apparently been at it for 95, and one day they’ll get it right! Will that happen for the 2022 movies, including Everything Everywhere All At Once facing off a bunch of challengers including The Banshees of Inisherin, Top Gun 2, Avatar 2, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Fabelmans, and a bunch of Talking Women?!? Tune in to our Oscar special to find out what “getting it right” would even mean for Sara, Jeremy, Marisa, and Jesse, who offer their selections for who will win, who should win, and who was SNUBBED in each of the big eight categories! You can download our Oscars ep here or listen below!

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Best Movies of 2022

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

Movies! Now more than ever! For this late-but-not-that-late episode on the Best Movies of 2022, the SportsAlcohol.com movie core of Marisa, Sara, Jeremy, Jesse, and Nathaniel each submitted a list of, yes, their 20 favorite and/or best movies of 2022, aggregated into a single list. Four of us then run through those collective choices in this loose countdown, which means talking about movies that are and are not actually about the magic of cinema. Musicals, multiverses, Hitchcockian thrillers, dark comedies, and emotional devastation… this year’s best movies of 2022 had it all! Along with our group’s consensus choices, we offer occasional dissent with each other’s picks, plus a quartet of outliers that only made certain individual lists. There’s a lot to enjoy here, so get to listening!

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA is all small favors

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

“Worlds within worlds.” That’s the well-worn descriptor—Quotation? Catchphrase? Cliché? Really, that universal catch-all-three “from the comics”—one character uses to characterize the primary setting of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The characters are goggling at the previously glimpsed and now heavily explored Quantum Realm, a beyond-microscopic section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe reachable only by advanced (and dangerous) shrinking technology. Ten years ago, though, this phrase might have applied to the MCU’s numerous overlapping mini-franchises, Iron Man’s world not quite the same as Captain America’s which was not quite the same as Thor’s—until they pulled a few narrative threads together and converged into The Avengers. Now, it could also apply to the way the MCU seems obligated, whether by due dates, artistic conviction, or pure high-roller self-confidence, to paste together its wonders with green-screen, dim lighting, and suspiciously empty one-shots. Whenever it’s possible to look at Quantumania and idly wonder whether anyone on screen was actually in a room together during shooting—which is often!—you may be peeking at the worlds-within-worlds built by visual effects artists and actors’ conflicting schedules. In other words: a Zoom call with (somewhat) better backgrounds.

Which is not to say Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania entirely lacks for sights. Previous looks at the Quantum Zone somewhat resembled the spongy insides of Fantastic Voyage crossed with a lava lamp; this time, we see cityscapes that look like a more gelatinous Star Wars, and creatures to populate them. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), also known as Ant-Man, is on accidental extended visit there, along with his girlfriend Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), his teenage daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), and Hope’s parents Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer). The whole family gets sent there in a sequence of admirable expediency and perhaps not a lot of sense; the stakes may be higher in this third Ant-Man movie than they were in the previous palate-cleansing adventures, but returning director Peyton Reed seems to vaguely recall the crispness of his best comedies like Bring It On and Down with Love (if not their colorfully winking wit), and attempt to bring things in around the two-hour mark. (For a contemporary superhero movie, this is the equivalent of 91 minutes.)
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The Worst Movies of 2022

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

Best Movies of the Year lists seem to pop up earlier and earlier, but you don’t see quite as many Worst of the Year equivalents. I understand why: It seems mean, it flirts with Golden Raspberry-level cluelessness, and it doesn’t seem worth the effort telling people to avoid a few movies they might have already seen (or, as with smaller movies, would probably never come across anyway) rather than telling them to check out any number of gems. And yet: There is something satisfying about rounding up a motley crew of the year’s most annoying, inexplicable, and/or painfully inept cinematic experiences, if only to see where the bad trendlines are headed (and maybe compile some writing that hopefully justified the critic’s investment of time). This year, perhaps owing to my co-hosting a horror movie podcast, I saw plenty of bad horror movies (and this was a very good year for horror in general). I also saw a lot of movies rolling the dice on Get Out-style social commentary, and then watching as the dice skipped down the sidewalk and fell through a sewer grate. So take a look at my least-faves of 2022, check out some writing and podcasts from the past year, and be glad that I left off Resurrection, and see how they compare to 2020 and 2021.
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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The Films of Wes Anderson

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

How did it take us this long to get to a Wes Anderson podcast episode?! Though The Grand Budapest Hotel was our consensus choice for the best movie of 2014, our site’s very first best-movie-of-the-year pick, we hadn’t yet dedicated a full episode to Anderson’s full filmography. With the recent of release of The French Dispatch, we decided to change that, assembling Marisa, Jon, Sara, Jeremy, and Jesse to rank Anderson’s movies and discuss all ten of them. Which film edged out which other film for the number one spot? Which one was lowest on multiple lists? What do we think of his latest movie (now available to stream, rent, or buy on disc)? And where do the stop-motion animals fit in?! All of this information and more is contained in this podcast episode, our first in too long, but also one of our best. So switch off the Kinks for just a couple of hours and listen up!

We are now up to SEVEN (7) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

  • You can subscribe to our podcast using the rss feed.
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  • I don’t really know what Stitcher is, but we are also on Stitcher.
  • SportsAlcohol.com is a proud member of the Aha Radio Network. What is Aha? It’s kind of like Stitcher, but for your car.
  • You can download the mp3 of the episode directly here.
  • Our most recent episode or two will sometimes be available on our Soundcloud. We don’t always have it working right but there’s good stuff there regardless!
  • You can listen to the episode in the player below.

DEAR EVAN HANSEN has broken all contracts

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

The new stage-to-film musical Dear Evan Hansen tosses out established, unspoken contracts left, right, and center. It nixes the contract between stage production and audience, dictating that the energy of live theater overrides desire for literal realism in casting, sets, and developing relationships. It violates the contract between film musical and audience, where we accept the artifice of characters breaking into song and/or dance, so long as those songs or performances sweep us out of the dull constraints of the real world with emotion or spectacle. Perhaps most famously, it breaks, breaks, and re-breaks our collective agreement that it is permissible for actors well into their twenties to pretend to be teenagers on screen, so that we may enjoy the fruits of cruel 16-hour-a-day shooting schedules and more finely honed acting instincts.

On this point, I wondered—as I think others have—whether in a way, Dear Evan Hansen might be extraordinarily effective. Most teenage-misfit stories produced by major Hollywood studios feature misfits who have, at best, slightly obscured their supernatural-yet-conventional attractiveness with costuming, or “overcome” any perceived deficiencies in catalog-model attractiveness with boundless charisma. I haven’t seen the stage version of Evan Hansen played by Ben Platt, but his cinematic incarnation is genuinely, thoroughly, irretrievably off-putting, and also played by Ben Platt.

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Acting, My Dear Boy: THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE and BLUE BAYOU

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.
Jesse

In The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a new sort-of biopic about the spouse of disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker, Jessica Chastain gives us the visible-acting works. She does stuff to her voice, taking on a pinched midwestern sing-song, and does stuff to her face, using both her expressiveness and a ton of makeup—the latter used first to emulate the ritual face-slathering undertaken by her subject, and then to replicate the shifting contours of her actual face. It’s an approach that I’ve sensed may be going out of style—at least among some viewers, who are more attuned than ever to the shifty politics of “transforming” actors into shapes, sizes, and bodies (plus, in the not-especially-distant past, races and genders!) that don’t much resemble their own. It’s called acting, sure, but questions nag at these monuments to dedication and, yes, actorly ego: Must the same small pool of beautiful people be tasked with portraying the full range of humanity?
Continue reading Acting, My Dear Boy: THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE and BLUE BAYOU