Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #86: The Lion King, Crawl, The Farewell and Fan Letters!


"The Lion King" is a visual marvel, but does it also kind of suck? This week on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold review the latest Disney remake, along with new releases "Crawl," "The Farewell," "The Art of Self-Defense," "Point Blank" and "Into the Ashes!"


Also this week, Bibbs and Witney say goodbye to the late, great Rip and answer YOUR letters! 

Give it a listen!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #155: Here and Now (2018)


From Alan Ball, the creator of "Six Feet Under," comes the ambitious HBO series HERE AND NOW, about a diverse family in Portland, Oregon who struggle to adapt to turbulent social times. Oscar-winners Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins headline an ensemble cast through a series about racial tensions, infidelity, mental illness and - possibly - magic.

Despite the impressive pedigree, HERE AND NOW was canceled after only one season. But was it... CANCELED TOO SOON? Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore this ambitious misfire to figure out what went right, what went wrong, and what the heck 11:11 means.

Give it a listen!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Two-Shot: 3 Dev Adam (a.k.a. Turkish Spider-Man) vs. Dick Tracy!


Most people don't know that the first live-action Spider-Man movie was made in 1973, in Turkey. That's because it wasn't official, it's never been released in America, and because it turned the friendly neighborhood wall crawler into a serial killer who also counterfeits money! It's 3 DEV ADAM, aka TURKISH SPIDER-MAN, and it also features Captain America and El Santo as the international team of superheroes enlisted to take Spidey down.

It's cheap, it's strange, it's got almost nothing to do with the characters we know and love. So why is it the perfect double feature with Warren Beatty's DICK TRACY, the Oscar-winning comics adaptation with an all-star cast, and one of the most painstakingly accurate translations of comic book panels to the screen in movie history?

You'll find out in this all-new episode of THE TWO-SHOT, featuring film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold!

Give it a listen!


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Witney Seibold Presents The Best Horror Films of the Millennium!


Movies are only a century old, but they've shaped our perspective of history by turning the past into a living, breathing reality. And that reality is often terrifying.

In his latest article for Bloody-Disgusting, Witney Seibold presents The Best Horror Films of the Millennium, highlighting the greatest scary movies that take place every century, from A.D. 1,000 to A.D. 2000!

Read: Witney Seibold Presents The Best Horror Films Set Within Each Century at Bloody-Disgusting!

Top Photo: Criterion

William Bibbiani Reviews 'The Art of Self-Defense'


Jesse Eisenberg plays a mild-mannered office drone who gets beaten up by a motorcycle gang and starts taking karate classes to protect himself, only to wind up in a cult-like community of macho monstrousness in "The Art of Self-Defense." Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots co-star in the new dark comedy from writer/director Riley Stearns.

In his review of "The Art of Self-Defense" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani calls the film "fiercely satisfying" and "one of this year's best," and praises Stearns' intelligent re-imagining of the toxic masculinity narrative popularized by "Fight Club."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "The Art of Self-Defense" at The Wrap

Top Photo: Bleecker Street

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Crawl'


Kaya Scodelario ("The Maze Runner: The Death Cure") stars in "Crawl," a new claustrophobic thriller from director Alexandre Aja ("Horns") about a college student trapped in a crawlspace in the middle of a hurricane with her injured father, played by Barry Pepper, and a man-eating alligator. 

In his review of "Crawl" at Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani says the film boasts an "exhilarating sense of hopelessness," and argues that in addition to being scary, it's pretty inspiring too!

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Crawl" at Bloody-Disgusting

Top Photo: Paramount

William Bibbiani Reviews 'The Lion King' (2019)


Disney's 2D animated classic becomes a CG-animated blockbuster with photorealistic animals in Jon Favreau's "The Jungle Book!" Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, John Oliver, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen and James Earl Jones co-star in the ambitious new remake.

In his review of "The Lion King" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani says the film is "mostly to be recommended for its visual spectacle," but argues that the new technology almost completely undermines the story.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "The Lion King" (2019) at The Wrap!

Top Photo: Disney

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

William Bibbiani Compares 'Midsommar' to Larry Cohen's 'A Return to Salem's Lot'


Ari Aster's acclaimed new horror thriller "Midsommar" is impressing audiences all over the world, but there's something familiar about its story of morally compromised anthropologists getting suckered into a deadly cult. No, it's got nothing to do with "The Wicker Man" or "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre," but it's eerily similar to Larry Cohen's forgotten and underrated "A Return to Salem's Lot!"

In his latest editorial for Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani looks back at the "Salem's Lot" sequel to figure out what it does better than "Midsommar," and why "Midsommar" seems destined to be remembered instead.

Read: William Bibbiani Writers "Larry Cohen's A Return to Salem's Lot and Its Surprising Parallels to Midsommar" at Bloody-Disgusting!

Top Photo: Warner Bros.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Two-Shot: Silent Rage and The Guest!


In SILENT RAGE, Chuck Norris is an all-American macho male named Dan Stevens, who fights an evil super soldier. Meanwhile, in THE GUEST, Dan Stevens plays an all-American macho male who IS an evil super soldier. 

Wait... what, WHAT?!

It's a match made in heaven and hell, and it's the latest episode of THE TWO-SHOT, where film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold put notoriously bad movies (like "Silent Rage") side-by-side with some of the best movies ever made (like, believe it or not, "The Guest")!

Give it a listen!


Friday, July 5, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #85: Spider-Man: Far From Home, Midsommar and The Best Movies of 2019 So Far!


We're halfway through 2019 and it's time to take a look back at the films most critics will forget about at the end of the year! This week on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold present their five favorite films of the year, and there isn't a single film that appears on both of their lists! 

What films earned acclaim from the critics at CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED? And what did they think of the new releases SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME and MIDSOMMAR? And what the heck happened between Bibbs and Witney on this week's episodes of THE MOVIE TRIVIA SCHMOEDOWN?

Give it a listen and find out!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #154: Wizards and Warriors (1983)


Thirty years before HBO's "Game of Thrones" came another fantasy epic about warring factions, sorcery and swordplay. But CBS's WIZARDS AND WARRIORS was a little different. Instead of telling harsh, violent stories about political strife, it was a bright and silly series about quirky jokes and invisible dragons.

It won an Emmy Award and has a cult following, but was "Wizards and Warriors" really... CANCELED TOO SOON? William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take a look at a show that was either ahead of its time, or had too much of it!

Give it a listen!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Five-Shot: All the 'Peanuts' Movies!


Charles M. Schulz's melancholic comic strip PEANUTS is a pop culture juggernaut, with toys, amusement parks, holiday specials and five feature films produced about its unforgettable characters! 

Now, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Snoopy and Woodstock are getting their very own episode of THE TWO-SHOT, in which film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold review all those theatrically released features and reveal what works, what doesn't feel like it's an accurate representation of Schulz's vision, and why these films may have had a lasting and painful emotional impact on one of our hosts!

Join film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold as they show you the place where good taste and bad taste collide, every week on THE TWO-SHOT

Give it a listen!


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #84: Toy Story 4, Child's Play and Annabelle Comes Home!


It's a cavalcade of all-new movie reviews on this week's CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED!

Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold catch up on the new releases "Toy Story 4," "Child's Play," "Annabelle Comes Home," "Anna," "Ophelia" and "Endzeit" on the latest episode of the podcast, as they gear up for next week's big episode, with their picks for the best movies of the year so far!

Give it a listen!


Witney Seibold Reviews 'Midsommar'


"Midsommar," Ari Aster's follow-up to "Hereditary," evokes "The Wicker Man" and, like its predecessor, a whole lot of emotional angst. It's a harrowing film with a slow pace and a lot of wailing and weeping. And, yes, it will eventually explode into violence, even as the Swedish citizens remain placid and smiling. 

In his review of "Midsommar" on IGN, Witney Seibold calls "Midsommar" a "languorous and meticulously crafted slow-burn horror films about real-life grief interrupted by encroaching, unexpected outerworld dread." It's a film of emotional isolation, but, unfortunately, it has some of the same structural problems as "Hereditary." 


Read: Witney Seibold Reviews "Midsommar" at IGN 


Top Image: A24

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #153: Gene Roddenberry's Spectre (1977)


Everyone knows Gene Roddenberry created the utopian sci-fi series "Star Trek," but most people don't realize he also produced a failed TV pilot for a show about demons and orgies! SPECTRE starred Robert Culp and Oscar-winner Gig Young as paranormal investigators who get roped into a supernatural conspiracy involving John Hurt and fetish outfits aplenty.

It might seem like an odd chapter in Gene Roddenberry's career, but as film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold point out in this episode the podcast, it's not that much of a stretch if you track the subtext (and text) of Roddenberry's work. 

But the real question is, was "Spectre" really... CANCELED TOO SOON? !

Give it a listen and find out!


Monday, June 24, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Annabelle Comes Home'


The evil doll Annabelle is back in "Annabelle Comes Home," a supernatural thriller about teenagers who get trapped in a house with an army of demons while the paranormal investigator Warren family is out for the evening. Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife star in a supernatural thriller from writer/director Gary Dauberman.

In his review of "Annabelle Comes Home" at Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani calls the film "satisfying, dramatic and spooky spin-off," and praises the performances as well as the new, demonic additions to the "Conjuring" franchise.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Annabelle Comes Home" at Bloody-Disgusting

Top Photo: Warner Bros.

Canceled Too Soon #152: Exo-Man (1977)


In 1977, just a few weeks after the release of "Star Wars," came a failed TV pilot that so much like "Iron Man" people thought it was actually Iron Man for decades! It's the story of a physics professor who gets paralyzed by the mob and uses a high-tech supersuit to exact his vigilante revenge on the mob! 

It is... EXO-MAN!

On the latest episode of CANCELED TOO SOON, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold sit down with EXO-MAN and decide, once and for all, if this notorious failed pilot deserved to go to series.

Give it a listen!



Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Two-Shot: Virtuosity and Enchanted!


In the 1990s, when cyborg Denzel Washington wasn’t fighting white supremacists in a futuristic prison, he was hunting virtual reality serial killers in nanotech bodies that looked just like Russell Crowe. That’s the premise of the supremely weird VIRTUOSITY, a cyber thriller about artificial intelligence and Russell Crowe eating glass.

And somehow, it’s the perfect double feature with ENCHANTED, a modern Disney classic about an animated princess who gets trapped in the cynical, real world! See where we’re going with this?

Join film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold as they show you the place where good taste and bad taste collide, every week on THE TWO-SHOT

Give it a listen!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

William Bibbiani Ranks All the 'Child's Play' Movies!


Chucky the killer doll has been committing heinous acts of murder for over 30 years now, and that means - with the release of the new remake of "Child's Play" - the time has come to look his whole franchise!

Check it out, because William Bibbiani has ranked all of the "Child's Play" movies, from the original to the weirdo sequels to the remake, this week at The Wrap!

Read: William Bibbiani Ranks the "Child's Play" Movies at The Wrap

Top Photos: United Artist

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Child's Play' (2019)


The killer doll franchise gets an update in Lars Klevberg's "Child's Play," a remake of the 1988 horror classic about a boy whose best friend, a toy, turns out to be a serial killer. Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry and Gabriel Bateman co-star in the new version, in which Chucky is a high-tech luxury item that can also control other household objects and use them to commit murder.

In his review of "Child's Play" at Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani says the film is "fast-paced, gory, inventive" but held back by its awkward attempts to harken back to, whilst differentiating itself from, the original film.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Child's Play" at Bloody-Disgusting

Top Photo: United Artists 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Midsommar'


Ari Aster's follow-up to the critically acclaimed horror thriller "Hereditary" is here, and it's "Midsommar," an ambitious folk horror fable about American students getting swept up in a Swedish cult. Florence Pugh ("Fighting With My Family") and Jack Reynor ("Free Fire") and Jack Reynor star, in a film produce by A24.

In his review of "Midsommar"at Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani calls it "as ambitious and overpowering a horror movie as you are likely to see this year," but finds fault with the film's familiar structure, slow pacing and ham-fisted allegories.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Midsommar" at The Wrap

Top Photo: A24

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #151: Still Star-Crossed (2017)


Did you ever wonder what happened AFTER the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? If you hadn't, there's no need to start now! STILL STAR-CROSSED has all the answers, in a historical epic set in Verona, where the surviving cast of William Shakespeare's timeless tragedy continue their never-ending feud even after they were supposed to have learned their valuable lesson.

"Still Star-Crossed" hails from Shondaland, the hit television production company that brought you "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder," but this one only lasted one season! On the latest episode of CANCELED TOO SOON, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold dive into this ambitious, slightly campy series to figure out what worked, what didn't, and what's just plain weird.

Give it a listen!


Monday, June 17, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #83: Men in Black: International, Shaft and Listener Mail!


You took the time to write us and we're going to answer your emails in the latest episode of CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED! 

William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold answer questions about everything from "Home Alone" to the purpose movies can serve in these tumultuous times in the latest episode of the podcast!

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review the new releases "Men in Black: International," "Shaft," "The Dead Don't Die" and "The Spy Behind Home Plate!"

Give it a listen!


Friday, June 14, 2019

Witney Seibold Reviews 'Toy Story 4'



It was nine years ago when “Toy Story 3” seemingly closed out its series on a perfect note: Woody the cowboy, Buzz the spaceman, and all his toybox compatriots were handed – in a wistful scene that evokes tears just in the recollection – from the hands of Andy, their now college-aged owner, into the waiting arms of an enthused toddler named Molly. Kids grow up. It was time to put away childish things. And, once again, Pixar, with rare universal access to it, opened up the pipeline directly into our collective hearts.

As such, the announcement of a late-in-the-game follow-up to “Toy Story 3” elicited rage from my blackened soul. 

The Two-Shot: The 15:17 to Paris and The Best Years of Our Lives!


Clint Eastwood cast real-life heroes in "The 15:17 to Paris," a biographical film about the American friends who seemed fated to save the day when a terrorist strikes aboard a train in Europe. And yet critics balked, the mainstream audiences didn't go for it, and generally speaking - when it comes to the movie at least - most people didn't seem to care.

So why is "The 15:17 to Paris" the perfect double feature with "The Best Years of Our Lives," a 1946 drama made by and for real-life veterans, about the trials and tribulations that befell soldiers after they returned home from war? One film made no impression, while the other was a box office blockbuster that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore what makes one film work and another fall flat in the latest episode of THE TWO-SHOT!

Give it a listen!


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Shaft' (2019)


Shaft is back, and so is Shaft, and so is Shaft! Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their title roles in Tim Story's "Shaft," which adds a new generation to the family, played by Jessie T. Usher. They unite and overcome their differences to solve a murder and uncover a conspiracy in the latest reboot of the iconic franchise.

In his review of "Shaft" (2019) at IGN, William Bibbiani laments the transformation of the franchise into a comedy featuring "jokes that would have been outdated and ignorant decades ago," as well an unsettling streak of homophobia.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Shaft" for IGN

Top Photo: Warner Bros.

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Men in Black: International'


Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite in "Men in Black: International," a globetrotting sci-fi adventure from director F. Gary Gray ("The Fate of the Furious"). A spin-off of the hit comedy series starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, "Men in Black: International" tells the story of two mismatched agents who get embroiled in an intergalactic conspiracy. Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani and Rafe Spall co-star.

In his review of "Men in Black: International" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani says the film proves "Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are two of the most likable movie stars in the galaxy," but laments the "highly conventional screenplay" which boasts "no new ideas."


Top Photo: Sony Pictures

Monday, June 10, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #150: 'The Lone Gunmen' (2001)


It's time to bring CHRIS CARTER MONTH to an appropriately abrupt conclusion with THE LONE GUNMEN, one of the most notorious one-season wonders in TV history. The comic relief sidekicks from "The X-Files" got their own TV series, with decent ratings and critical acclaim, with conspiracy-driven storylines that accurately predicted tech companies spying on consumers and - in the show's shocking pilot - the 9/11 attacks.

"The Lone Gunmen" is a show with a huge cult following, and that's why we saved it for a special occasion! Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold dive into the show that only lasted one short season, before getting an unexpected and disappointing conclusion on "The X-Files." 

Was this show the classic everyone makes it out to be? Was "The Lone Gunmen" really... CANCELED TOO SOON?

Give it a listen and find out!


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #82: Dark Phoenix, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Our Favorite Food Movies!


Most movies don't really care what the characters are eating, but some movies make our mouths water! In the latest episode of CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take a look at their favorite "food movies," the films that turn our daily need for sustenance into dramatic inspiration, telling funny, romantic and even frightening stories about what we devour to stay alive.

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review the new releases "Dark Phoenix," "The Secret Life of Pets 2," "Late Night" and "Funan!"

Give it a listen!


Thursday, June 6, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'


The secret life of pets gets a lot less secret with "The Secret Life of Pets 2," the sequel to the original animated blockbuster about adorable critters with personalities and adventures that would surprise the heck out of their owners. The sequel stars Patton Oswalt (taking over for Louis C.K.), Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey and Harrison Ford as critters with adventures like trips to the farm, losing an important chew toy, and rescuing a white tiger from an abusive circus.

In his review of "The Secret Life of Pets 2" at IGN, William Bibbiani calls the film "a mediocre retread of the original, with a few good gags but very little reason to exist, aside from temporarily distracting children and putting their parents to sleep."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "The Secret Life of Pets 2" at IGN

Top Photo: Universal Pictures

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Nine-Shot: All the 'Planet of the Apes' Movies!


It's one of the most important and influential sci-fi movie franchises in history, but have you actually seen all nine of the "Planet of the Apes" movies?

On a very special episode of THE TWO-SHOT, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold review every single "Planet of the Apes" movie. From the groundbreaking, Oscar-winning original to its extremely weird sequels, to Tim Burton's notorious failed reboot, to the blockbuster visual effects extravaganzas starring Andy Serkis and a team of VFX artists and animators!

How do these films hold up? What does the original series have that the more popular reboots are lacking? And is the Burton film REALLY all that bad?

You'll have to listen to this week's episode of THE TWO-SHOT to find out!

Give it a listen!


William Bibbiani Reviews 'Dark Phoenix'


The X-Men are back for one last adventure in "Dark Phoenix," the final film in the main X-Men franchise before Disney takes over. Sophie Turner ("Game of Thrones") takes the spotlight for a retelling of "The Dark Phoenix Saga," a classic comic book storyline about Jean Grey going mad with power, that was previously adapted in "X-Men: The Last Stand." James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jessica Chastain co-star.

In his review of "Dark Phoenix" at The Wrap, film critic William Bibbiani praises the action sequences but says the new film "makes the same old mistakes" as the "X-Men: The Last Stand," the first attempt to adapt the saga to the big screen, calling the new version "one-sided, paranoid and sexist."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Dark Phoenix" at The Wrap

Top Photo: 20th Century Fox

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #81: Godzilla, Ma, and The Best Animal Movies Ever!


The winner of our Critically Acclaimed sweepstakes asked us to do an episode about our favorite animal movies, and by golly, we're going to give it them! This week on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold present their favorite movies starring animals of all shapes and sizes, from kids movies to horror movies, from doggies to fishies and beyond!

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review the new releases "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," "Ma," "Domino" and "Always Be My Maybe," and tell you everything you need to know about Robert Pattinson starring last he

Give it a listen!


Friday, May 31, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #149: 'The After' (2014)


Chris Carter Month continues!

Years before Chris Carter returned to "The X-Files," the producer revealed his most ambitious series to date: "The After," a 99-episode sci-fi/fantasy series about a group of mismatched strangers who, in the pilot, seem to be stuck together after a mysterious apocalypse.

Twists and turns aplenty awaited fans of "The After," including a real doozy at the end of the episode, but Amazon chose not to proceed with any more episodes, and Chris Carter's story remains untold!

What Was "The After," what strange entity was it transforming into, and was it... CANCELED TOO SOON?

Let's find out.

Give it a listen!


Thursday, May 30, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Domino' (2019)


Brian De Palma is back with a new thriller starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carice van Houten from "Game of Thrones." They're Danish detectives investigating a murder of a fellow cop, at the hands of a vigilant on a one-man mission of vengeance against ISIS.

In his review of "Domino" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani laments that "an actual game of dominos has more entertainment value," and "more depth and panache," but notes that the virtuosic director does occasionally put an interesting idea on screen.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Domino" at The Wrap!

Top Photo: Saban

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Ma'


Octavia Spencer reteams with Tate Taylor, the director of "The Help" (which earned her an Oscar), in the new thriller "Ma." Spencer stars as a woman who buys liquor for a group of teenagers, then begins to feed off of their attention, opening an underage tavern in her basement to lure adolescents. When they reject her, the dark side of "Ma" gets reveal. Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis and Luke Evans co-star.

In his review of "Ma" at Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani praises the film's smart writing and creepy deaths, and in particular Octavia Spencer's performance, saying she "has the potential to become a classic horror villain."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews 'Ma' at Bloody-Disgusting

Top Photo: Universal

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'


Godzilla is back, and this time he's bringing some old friends with him! "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" teams Godzilla back up with his old pal Mothra, as they fight to save the world from the awesome and terrifying powers of Ghidorah and Rodan. Oh, and a bunch of humans are in it too, like Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe, Bradley Whitford, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Thomas Middleditch, Zhang Ziyi and Charles Dance!

In his review of "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" at Bloody-Disgusting, William Bibbiani calls the movie "impossibly huge," and compares it to "an exhilarating theme park attraction where the guides are all award-winning Hollywood stars," but laments that the movie wastes its impressive ensemble cast.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" at Bloody-Disgusting!

Top Photo: Warner Bros.

Critically Acclaimed #80: Aladdin, Brightburn, Booksmart and The Future of Non-Blockbuster Movies!


"Aladdin" made all the money in the world at the box office! But while audiences are flocking to mediocre remakes and expensive sequels, they're choosing to eschew smaller films like "Booksmart" in theaters, instead choosing to wait until these films are on streaming. Is there any future for smaller movies at the box office? Is there any reversing this trend? And is it even worth worrying about in the first place?

Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold tackle one of the biggest questions facing the film industry on this week's CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED! They also review a bunch of new releases, including "Aladdin," "Brightburn," "The Perfection," "See You Yesterday" and - you guessed it - "Booksmart!"

Give it a listen!


Friday, May 24, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #148: 'Harsh Realm' (1999-2000)


After years of teasing, it's FINALLY here... CHRIS CARTER MONTH!

The creator of "The X-Files" may be best known for his genre-defining sci-fi classic series, but that doesn't mean everything Chris Carter touched turned to gold. He's had a LOT of flops over the years, and we're going to tackle a whole bunch of them, starting with HARSH REALM, a sci-fi series about a virtual reality world, released just months after the smash hit "The Matrix," which only lasted three episodes before Fox canceled it and burned off the rest of the series the next year on another station.

Was "Harsh Realm" canceled too soon? Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold tell you everything you need to know about this ambitious, but failed experiment from Chris Carter, in the latest episode of CANCELED TOO SOON!

Give it a listen!


The Two-Shot #10: 'Bride Wars' and 'Death Becomes Her'!


Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson aren't just brides, they're WARRIOR BRIDES in the 2009 comedy "Bride Wars!" It's a bizarre and off-putting comedy about two women who used to be friends and then vow to destroy each other for the sake of pride and vanity, and although it's a rather bad film about that topic, "Death Becomes Her" does the same thing BEAUTIFULLY, and all it does is add Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and ultraviolent zombie mayhem!

Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take another crack at one of the best movies ever made, and one of the worst, in this all-new episode of THE TWO-SHOT!

Give it a listen!


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Critically Acclaimed: 'John Wick: Chapter 3' and Why 1999 Was the Best Year for Movies Ever


"The Matrix," "Fight Club," "The Sixth Sense," "Being John Malkovich," "Office Space," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Iron Giant," "All About My Mother." What do these classics - and dozens of other great and classic movies - have in common? 

They all came out in 1999, a year which - as we sift through the ubiquitous nostalgic 20th anniversary articles - is increasingly called one of (if not the) best years for movies ever. In the latest episode of CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore how such an incredible year came about, revisit how these movies changed cinema's landscape, and point out some unsung classics that nobody seems to be talking about.

They also review the brand new releases "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum," "Photograph," "Trial By Fire" and "The Souvenir!"

Give it a listen!


Witney Seibold Reviews 'Brightburn'


A horrifying reimagining of the Superman mythos, "Brightburn" tells the story of an alien boy who comes to Earth, gets raised by two decent midwestern parents, and turns into a horrifying monster anyway. Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn star, in a film directed by David Yarovesky.

In his review of "Brightburn" at IGN, Witney Seibold calls the film "a dark little hoot" and praises its efficacy as a "superhero murder thriller," but argues that it "doesn't take its satire to any kind of satisfying extreme." 

Read: Witney Seibold Reviews "Brightburn" for IGN

Top Photo: Sony Pictures

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Aladdin' (2019)


"Aladdin" is the latest Disney animated classic to get the live-action treatment. The new "Aladdin" stars Mena Massoud as the title character, a "diamond in the rough" who finds a Genie (Will Smith), woos a noble princess (Naomi Scott) and saves a country from the evil Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), in a film directed by Guy Ritchie ("The Man from U.N.C.LE.").

In his review of "Aladdin" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani calls the film "a chintzy revival, specifically designed to appeal to audiences who think 'that looks familiar' qualifies as entertainment," but praises the leads for their charming performances.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Aladdin" at The Wrap

Top Photo: Disney

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Brightburn'


What if Superman was a homicidal sociopath? That's the premise of "Brightburn," a new horror-thriller about a midwest couple who find an alien child in the woods and raise it to adolescence, when his powers kick in and give him all the opportunity he needs to do unspeakable things. Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn star in a film directed by David Yarovesky.

In his review of "Brightburn" at Bloody Digusting, William Bibbiani says the film "walks a fine line between wry pop culture commentary and genuine terror," but the refusal to take a thematic stance leaves the story open to some potentially ugly interpretations.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Brightburn" at Bloody Disgusting!

Top Photo: Sony Pictures

Monday, May 20, 2019

Critically Acclaimed Commentary Track: 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'


It's a FREE PREVIEW of our Patreon Exclusive commentary tracks! 

Now you can listen in while William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold watch and rant about some of the most beloved movies ever made, starting with Steven Spielberg's RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK!

It's one of the best action movies, and in this free preview, Bibbs and Witney discuss the history of the film, its many cinematic influences, why some of the most famous plot holes aren't plot holes at all, and more! 

Just synch up your copy of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to listen along in real time, or - if you know the movie pretty well already (and you probably do) - just listen to the episode like you would any other podcast.

Give it a listen!

Next time on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED COMMENTARIES, Bibbs and Witney dive into the late 1990s slasher hit I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER! But that one (and every commentary track in the future) will be a Patreon Exclusive, so head on over and sign up!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Witney Seibold Reviews the First Season of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'



[The following article was sponsored and assigned by our Patreon subscriber Brian Niland. To learn how to sponsor and assign articles to William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold for publication at Critically Acclaimed, visit our Patreon page.] 


“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” a TV show created by Joss Whedon, based on his screenplay for a 1992 horror/comedy film, ran from 1997 until 2003 on various networks, accumulating a cult audience that from a brief glimpse appears to be even more passionate about their object of affection than your average cult audience.

The Two-Shot #9: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Phantom of the Paradise!


Everyone loves The Beatles, so why does nobody love the movie "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?" It probably has something to do with the film's tedious story, forgettable cover songs and completely wasted all-star cast, which includes The Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Earth Wind and Fire, Steve Martin and George Burns!

But hey, at least it's the perfect double feature with Brian De Palma's passionately eccentric camp musical " Phantom of the Paradise," about a musician who sells his soul for rock and roll!

This week on THE TWO-SHOT, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold review one of the worst movie musicals ever made, and a film that deserves reputation - according to one of our critics, at least - as one of the best.

Give it a listen!


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #147: The 3rd Annual Canceled Too Soon Awards!


It's finally here: THE 3RD ANNUAL CANCELED TOO SOON AWARDS!

This week, William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold run down all the best, the worst, and the WEIRDEST failed television shows they reviewed in the third, epic year of the CANCELED TOO SOON podcast!

Was anything stranger than the teleporting Rodney Dangerfield sitcom "Where's Rodney?" Was anything worse than "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids?" And was anything better than the spectacularly twisted "Blood Drive?"

You'll have to listen in to find out. So give it a listen!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #79: 'Pokémon Detective Pikachu' and The Dark Side of Letting People Enjoy Things



"Shhhhh..." they tell you. "Let people enjoy things," they tell you. But in a fantastic new article at Medium, Esther Rosenfield argues that "letting people enjoy things" is just a self-serving way of shouting down dissent, and if we don't let people criticize the most powerful franchises in the world, what has popular culture become?

On the latest episode of "Critically Acclaimed," William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take their own look at the "let people enjoy things" phenomenon, and - surprise! - these two film critics argue in favor of being critical. 

They also review the new releases "Pokémon Detective Pikachu," "The Wandering Earth," "The Professor and the Madman" and "Tolkien," and say goodbye to the late, legendary John Singleton and Peter Mayhew!

Give it a listen!


Monday, May 13, 2019

William Bibbiani Answers Your Questions on 'Collider Mailbag!'


William Bibbiani and his old Schmoedown rival John Rocha team up to answer YOUR questions on this week's Collider Mailbag! 

Watch the latest episode for insights on the box office failure of "Hellboy," the best action movie franchises ever made, how to get your start as a film critic, how Captain America returned those Infinity Stones in "Avengers: Endgame," and the best film composers in history!

Hit the jump to see the fabulous video!