Daniel Radcliffe Redemption Tour

I'm preparing myself to forgive you

Daniel Radcliffe Redemption Tour

Popcorn Digest is a weekly round-up of the best (and worst) movies I've watched over the last 7 days.

This week, as part of the research for The Extended Universe, I followed a hunch and read the definitive study on Nazi Cinema, Ministry of Illusion by Eric Rentschler. And while research on the ideological underpinnings of cinema and intellectual property rarely has exciting discoveries, the fact that Walt Disney was the favorite American director of Joseph Goebbels, and the model he imagined for a Third Reich Cinema—not because of his avowed politics, but because of the subtle and quiet calming and ideological function of his ouevre—is as close to a slam dunk as you can get in this business. It has also made me feel kinda weird about spending a lot of my time recommending genre movies as entertainment to people I care about

Oh well!

Week of Saturday, November 12

Movies Watched: 13

Countries: 2 (USA, South Korea. How Provincial!)


Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (Anthology series with multiple directors, USA, 2022)

I was very excited when I learned Guillermo Del Toro was producing and heading an anthology series. I think GDT is overrated as a director, but he has amazing visual ideas, great capacticy for lore and world building, creates exquisite vibes, and has a track record as an awesome curator and champion of international horror and genre cinema. So this is exactly the kind of project that I think goes directly to his strengths: a series he helped curate, guide, produce and design creatively, but one where the acting-direction and image-making is done by other artists. And what a group of directors he got! Jennifer Kent (Babadook), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), David Prior (The Empty Man), Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) etc.

By far my favorite film in the series if Amirpour’s The Outside, as if Larry Cohen got to make a movie in the Fargo universe, but Prior’s The Autopsy, Kent’s The Murmuring and Panos Cosmatos’ The Viewing were all also really solid. The only ones that I thought were meh were the two Lovecraft adaptations, Pickman’s Model and Dreams in the Witch House. The well is truly dry, please, no more Lovecraft, make up an original story about how desire is evil and self-knowledge is madness if you must, at least it wont be unbearably boring on top of being structurally queerphobic and white supremacist.

The Lost City (USA, 2022, dir. Adam and Aaron Nee)

I saw this in theaters this winter, and watching it again with friends this week just cemented that this is a hilarious and super fun feel-good action-comedy for the girls, and is officially in the rotation of “movie to throw on when I need to feel better about things” (also currently in this rotation: Moonstruck, Kamome Diner, A Bread Factory Part 1, Paddington 2). Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum (and Brad Pitt) doing high-stakes will-they-wont-they romance novel slapstick in the jungle is just a really really fun time.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (USA, 2022, dir. Eric Appel)

In a year where I actually liked a music biopic (Elvis was good, folks), this send up of music biopics is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year, and joins last year’s Nobody in the ranks of evisceratingly excellent parody. Where Nobody was bone dry, this movie, much like Weird Al’s ouevre, went full-on balls to the wall totally stupid and absurd, and it was the most I’ve laughed in a long time. Keeps upping the ante where you think it can’t possibly keep escalating. Finally a challenger to Walk Hard’s throne

Kundo: Age of the Rampant (South Korea, 2014, Yoon Jong-Bin)

From two lighthearted comedies to a very heavy martial arts epic, this tale of inusrrectionary social banditry in the 1850s points to the 1980 Gwanju uprising while also being an excellent period saga in its own right. My friend Io put this movie I had never even heard of on my radar, and watching it with them was a real delight. Violent, tragic, bad ass and revolutionary.


Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return (1999, USA, dir. Kari Skogland)

One day I will run out of Children of the Corn sequels to watch and then dutifully put in this section, but today is not that day.

Off the top of your head, how many Children of the Corn movies do you think there are?

I guarantee you are not going to say enough. Because there are ELEVEN of these suckers. ELEVEN!