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 #47: 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!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Two-Shot #8: Joe Wright's 'Pan' and Jan Švankmajer's 'Alice!'


The 2015 fantasy prequel "Pan" is one of the most catastrophic motion picture disasters in years, an arch and overpowering and completely overblown mega-budget spectacle that critics and audiences completely rejected. So why did one of our critics really like it, and why is it the perfect double feature with surrealist Czech stop-motion animator Jan Švankmajer's horrifying "Alice in Wonderland" adaptation, "Alice?"

You'll find out in this week's episode of THE TWO-SHOT, hosted by film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold!

Give it a listen!


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Only the Best: The Best Picture Nominees of 1934 (Part 2)!



ONLY THE BEST returns with the second half of the Best Picture Oscar-nominees of 1934! There were twelve nominees, and in this episode we dive into "Imitation of Life," "One Night of Love," "The Thin Man," "Viva Villa!," "The White Parade" and the winner, one of the most influential comedies ever made, Frank Capra's "It Happened One Night."

It's a strange ensemble of radically different movies, including progressive social dramas, creepy Opera romances, drunken murder mysteries, Mexican war epics, serious nursing school dramas and wacky road trips! 

And it's a veritable "who's who" of classic Hollywood, with performances by the great Claudette Colbert, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Wallace Beery, Loretta Young, Clark Gable and, well, Claudette Colbert (again)!

Only The Best is a Patreon-exclusive podcast, and you can listen right now for a $10 monthly pledge! You'll also get more bonus podcasts, the chance to vote for future episodes and the power to assign articles to Witney Seibold and William Bibbiani!

Head on over to sign up, and to give Only The Best a listen!

Photo: RKO

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

William Bibbiani Picks the Best 'Hellraiser' Straight-To-Video Sequel!


For nearly 20 years, every film in the "Hellraiser" horror movie franchise has had almost nothing to do with "Hellraiser." The straight-to-video sequels have mostly been original screenplays, hastily retrofitted to include some of Clive Barker's iconic, sadomasochistic monster, whether or not it makes any sense for them to be there.

And, arguably, none of them are particularly good. But which one is the BEST?

William Bibbiani explores the unpleasant nether-regions of one of the best known, but most mistreated horror franchises in his latest article at Bloody Disgusting!

Read: William Bibbiani Picks the Best Straight-To-Video "Hellraiser" Sequel!

Top Photo: Dimension

Monday, May 6, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #78: 'Long Shot,' 'Meeting Gorbachev,' 'Extremely Wicked' and the Sonic the Hedgehog Controversy


Fans complained that Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t look like Sonic the Hedgehog in the "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie trailers, so the filmmakers are redesigning him. But are they giving too much power to fans before they see the movie, or are they just listening to their target demographic? 


William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold debate this, the most pressing issue of the day, and also review the new releases "Long Shot," "Meeting Gorbachev," and "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" on this week’s Critically Acclaimed!

Give it a listen!


Friday, May 3, 2019

'PAW Patrol': A Dark Randian Fantasy


My son is 4, which means, as of this writing, I have watched several dozen hours of "PAW Patrol," Nickelodeon's current cash cow. While "PAW Patrol" isn't a terribly nuanced or sophisticated piece of children's entertainment - it's yet another nondescript object in a long, long line of friendly, color-coded crime-fighting animal shows - I constantly thank my lucky stars that, as a parent, it could be so much worse. My son, for instance, could have chosen something truly intolerable, forcing a wedge between us, causing a schism in our lives that would never be bridged until a tearful reconciliation 30 years later.


William Bibbiani Reviews 'Meeting Gorbachev'


Werner Herzog sits down with Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the USSR, in the new documentary "Meeting Gorbachev." Co-directed by André Singer and Herzog, the documentary mostly features interview footage alongside historical context, but also features some of the unlikely humor and insight that fans have come to expect from Herzog's work.

In his review at The Wrap, William Bibbiani says "Meeting Gorbachev" is "a conversation so deeply fascinating that there's nothing else the filmmakers could have done to spice it up," and praises the film's emotional depth along with Herzog's interview style.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Meeting Gorbachev" at The Wrap

Top Photo: 1091

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Tolkien'


The author of "The Lord of the Rings" gets his own biopic starring Nicholas Hoult ("The Favourite") and Lily Collins ("The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"). "Tolkien" foreshadows J.R.R. Tolkien's literary creations with a story of love and war.

In his revel of "Tolkien" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani calls out the film's embarrassing clichés and contrivances, comparing it (unfavorably) to a Lifetime Original Movie and declaring "If you were trying to produce a parody of what a Tolkien biopic would look like, you'd get the exact same film."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews 'Tolkien' at The Wrap

Top Photo: Fox Searchlight

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Three-Shot: Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy!


They're three of the most beautiful, celebrated motion pictures in history, so why hasn't everyone seen, or even heard of THE APU TRILOGY? This series of Indian classics from director Satyajit Ray tell the story of a young Bengali boy's life from infancy to adulthood, encompassing all the tragedies and victories of life, death, love, and suffering. 

Beautifully photographed and rich in detail, "The Apu Trilogy" nevertheless remains one of the most universal artistic accomplishments in film history. So we're really glad our listeners voted for us to review it on THE TWO-SHOT, the podcast where we review the best and worst movies ever made... usually at the same time!

Join film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold as they delve into this acclaimed series of films, and hopefully introduce it to a whole new audience.



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

HUGE PATREON UPDATE!!!


We're combining our podcasts under one Patreon banner! Head on over to Patreon.com/CriticAcclaim for an updated list of bonus features we offer exclusively to our subscribers, including ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (the podcast where we review every single episode of every single Star Trek series, in production order), ONLY THE BEST (the podcast where we review every single nominee for Best Picture, in chronological order), COMMENTARY TRACKS and more!

Subscribe Today to Get All Your Cool Stuff!

Only The Best: The Best Picture Nominees of 1934 (Part 1)!


ONLY THE BEST is back with a deep dive into the Best Picture nominees of 1934! There were twelve nominees at the 7th Academy Awards, and film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take you back in time to review the first six: "The Barretts of Wimpole Street," "Cleopatra," "Flirtation Walk," "The Gay Divorcee," "Here Comes the Navy" and "The House of Rothschild!"

It's a cavalcade of iconic Golden Age Hollywood stars, including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Norma Shearer, Charles Laughton, Claudette Colbert, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, George Arless, Loretta Young, James Cagney and Gloria Stuart!

Only The Best is a Patreon-exclusive podcast, and you can listen right now for a $10 monthly pledge! You'll also get more bonus podcasts, the chance to vote for future episodes and the power to assign articles to Witney Seibold and William Bibbiani!

Head on over to sign up, and to give Only The Best a listen!

Photo: RKO

Monday, April 29, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #77: 'Avengers: Endgame' and What ARE Spoilers, Anyway?


Nobody wants you to spoiler "Avengers: Endgame," but what ARE spoilers, and why do critics define them differently than many audience members? The concept has evolved and a lot of us are still playing catch up, and this week on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics have a long, serious discussion about why they're important, how they hold us back, and why we're probably all thinking about them in completely the wrong way!

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review the new horror comedy "Body at Brighton Rock," the biopic "JT LeRoy" and the blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame!" (And yes, we WILL talk about "Avengers" spoilers, but don't worry, we WILL warn you!)

Give it a listen!


Canceled Too Soon #146: 'Madballs' (1985 and 1986)


The Madballs were some of the coolest, creepiest toys on the market in the 1980s. And yet, somehow, they never had their own cartoon series!

It wasn't for lack of trying. This week on CANCELED TOO SOON, William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold dig up not one but two failed TV pilots for "Madballs," including a weird rock 'n' roll anti-fascism parable and an even weirder, MADBALLS-centric riff on "Monty Python!"

Were either of these shows Canceled Too Soon? There's only one way to find out, and that's by listening to this epic new episode!

Give it a listen!


William Bibbiani Reviews 'Avengers: Endgame' and 'Body at Brighton Rock' on KCRW Press Play!


In his latest radio appearance, William Bibbiani went on KCRW Press Play with esteemed critic Christy Lemire, to review the new releases "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Body at Brighton Rock!"

Give it a listen!


William Bibbiani Picks the Best Horror Films on the Criterion Channel!


The Criterion Channel is now live, and it's an absolute must for film lovers of any kind. In his latest article at Bloody Disgusting, William Bibbiani highlights the best and scariest horror movies currently available on the new streaming service, with frights of every classy, crazy, creepy kind!

Read: William Bibbiani Picks the Best Horror Movies on the Criterion Channel!

Top Photo: Criterion

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #145: Bionic Woman (2007)


Michelle Ryan is the "Bionic Woman" in this short-lived reboot of the hit 1970s series. Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Hale and Miguel Ferrer co-star in a sci-fi action thriller, from the producer of the rebooted "Battlestar Galactica" and the co-writer of "Alita: Battle Angel," about a normal woman given powerful cybernetic limbs that allow her to fight crime.

It was ambitious, it was grim 'n' gritty, and it didn't last a full season. But was "Bionic Woman" really... CANCELED TOO SOON? 

William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore what we got and what could have been in the latest episode of the podcast!



William Bibbiani Picks The Avengers' Greatest Horror Hits!


We get so wrapped up in franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe that sometimes we forget to let these blockbusters introduce us to worlds outside themselves. For example, if you wanted to see some amazing horror movies, all you have to do is check the filmographies of the cast and crew of "Avengers: Endgame!"

In his first article for Bloody Disgusting, William Bibbiani guides you through the best horror movies starring the cast of "Avengers: Endgame," including terrifying ghost stories, badass monster flicks and modern camp classics.

Read: William Bibbiani Picks The Avengers' Greatest Horror Hits at Bloody Disgusting

Top Photos: MGM / Warner Bros.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #76: 'The Curse of La Llorona,' and What Happens After Superhero Movies Die Out?


Superhero movies are the most powerful force in the entertainment industry, and they have been for decades. But nothing lasts forever! This week on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore how superhero movies got so big, what it would take to dethrone them, and the next logical step for popular culture. Or at least, the next logical step for superhero movie fans who start searching for more!

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review the new releases "The Curse of La Llorona," "Fast Color," "Red Joan," "Disney's Penguins" and "Hagazussa!"

Give it a listen!


Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Two-Shot: The Apartment and Joe's Apartment!


Billy Wilder’s "The Apartment" is often called one of the best motion pictures ever produced, and with good cause! It’s a brilliantly funny and emotional motion picture, with important things to say about living with moral compromise in a complex modern world. 

So why, oh why is it the perfect double feature with the legendarily gross and awful singing cockroach MTV comedy "Joe's Apartment?" You'll find out in this week's episode of THE TWO-SHOT!



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #75: Hellboy, Missing Link and 10 Films That Deserve Their Own Cult!



Film critics talk a lot about "cult movies," but what the heck is a cult movie? How do obscure and unpopular films find an audience, what are the classics of the genre (if you can call it that) and where can you find them, anyway? 

William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explain the phenomenon and recommend ten films that don't have a cult following, but might finally have by the time we're done with this week's CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED! 

And hey, we've also got reviews of the new releases "Hellboy," "Missing Link," "Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy" and "Mary Magdalene!"

Give it a listen!

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Devon's Ghost: Legend of the Bloody Boy'



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


You know that feeling when you’re watching a pretty bad slasher movie and halfway through it turns into a pretty good “Power Rangers” episode?

Of course you don’t… because you’ve never seen “Devon’s Ghost.”


Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Randomizer: 'The Vampire Diaries: Episode 4.18 - American Gothic'


Nobody has time to watch everything, but what if you only had time to watch ONE episode of a popular, long-running series? And what if that episode was chosen completely at random?

THE RANDOMIZER is a very special bonus podcast, exclusively for Canceled Too Soon patrons, in which William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold review just one random episode of show they've never seen, guided by a super fan of the series!

In the latest random episode of The Randomizer, Bibbs and Witney are joined by their Patreon subscriber Topher White to discuss "The Vampire Diaries," episode 4.18, "American Gothic." It's a series that William Bibbiani thought was literally about a woman finding a vampire's diary. Let's find out how wrong he was!

THE RANDOMIZER is now available on the Canceled Too Soon Patreon. So head on over and subscribe!

Give it a listen!

Photo: The CW

Friday, April 12, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy'


The 'Ip Man' franchise carries on without its hero in 'Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy," a spin-off which follows the real-life martial arts master's antagonist from 'Ip Man 3,' instead of the title character. Cheung Tin Chi (Zhang Jin, "Pacific Rim: Uprising") has given up fighting but gets dragged into a complex crime story involving opium dealing, corrupt policemen and Hong Kong nightclubs in a kung fu action thriller co-starring Michelle Yeah, Dave Bautista and Tony Jaa.

In his review of "Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani praises the film's production design and choreography but calls the film a "step down" for the series, arguing that "following the three 'Ip Man' movies with 'Master Z' is a bit like following the first three 'Rocky' movies with 'The Fast and the Furious.'"

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews 'Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy' at The Wrap

Photo: Well Go USA

Witney Seibold Reviews 'Hellboy' and 'Missing Link' on KCRW


Witney Seibold guest stars on "Press Play With Madeleine Brand" with fellow critic Katie Walsh, where they review the new releases "Hellboy," "Missing Link," "Teen Spirit" and "Little."

Give it a listen!


Photos: Lionsgate / LAIKA

Canceled Too Soon #144: Probe (1988)


Isaac Asimov co-created a television series about solving sci-fi murders?! Why the heck hasn't everyone heard of PROBE?!

Parker Stevenson from "Baywatch" stars as super-scientist Austin James, who along with his secretary Mickey (Ashley Crow) gets invited to all kinds of strange crime scenes, with killer A.I. elevators, sci-fi writers who get all their best ideas from alien balls of lightning, and hyper-intelligent apes!

How the heck did PROBE get canceled, and was it really too soon? William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore this forgotten cult series in the latest episode of... CANCELED TOO SOON!

Give it a listen!


Movie Trivia Schmoedown: William Bibbiani vs. John Rocha vs. Ethan Erwin


William Bibbiani follows up his epic Free For All performance with a Triple Threat match in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown! 

It's William "The Beast" Bibbiani facing his old rival John "The Outlaw" Rocha and the 2018 Rookie of the Year Ethan "Big Time" Erwin! Three former champions with a title shot on the line! 

Who will emerge victorious? You'll have to watch the latest Movie Trivia Schmoedown to find out!

Watch the match after the jump!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Hellboy'


David Harbour ("Stranger Things") stars as "Hellboy," a demonic superhero who fights demonic supervillains, in the latest comic book reboot! Guillermo Del Toro's series has come to an end, and now Neil Marshall ("Doomsday") has taken over, with a story about Hellboy fighting a Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) to stop her from taking over the world.

In his review of the new "Hellboy" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani critiques the film's shoddy visual effects but praises the hard-R horror creativity, describing the film as "like an issue of 'Fangoria' exploded, and all the movies in it got splattered onto the storyboard of a superhero flick."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews 'Hellboy' at The Wrap

Photo: Lionsgate

Sunday, April 7, 2019

William Bibbiani Ranks All The Theatrically-Released Stephen King Movies!


Stephen King isn't just a prolific horror author, he's a cultural force, defining the nightmares and nostalgia for his readers all over the world. 

His work has been adapted to film and television for decades, and with remakes of King's classic film adaptations now dominating the box office, William Bibbiani is looking back at his many great theatrical releases... and also his many awful ones. He's ranking all 41 of the official Stephen King movies (barring TV adaptations, serialized adaptations, and the many sequels which had nothing to do with his original work), up to and including the latest version of "Pet Sematary!"

Read: William Bibbiani Ranks All the Stephen King Movies at The Wrap!

Top Photos: Paramount / Warner Bros.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'The Haunting of Sharon Tate'


"The Haunting of Sharon Tate" is the latest motion picture to attempt to dramatize the shocking story of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger and Steven Parent, the victims of The Manson Family. Hilary Duff headlines a film that dramatizes the last few days of Tate's life as a series of foreboding scares and disturbing dream sequences.

In his review of "The Haunting of Sharon Tate" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani calls the film "astoundingly tasteless," arguing that whatever intentions the filmmakers had, the writing, performances and filmmaking winds up "exploiting five tragic deaths for cheap matinee scares."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "The Haunting of Sharon Tate" at The Wrap!

Photo: Saban Films

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Shazam' and 'Pet Sematary' on KCRW


Witney Seibold guest stars on "Press Play With Madeleine Brand" with fellow critic Roth Cornet, where they review the new releases "Shazam," "Pet Sematary" and "The Haunting of Sharon Tate!"

Give it a listen!

Photos: Warner Bros. / Paramount

Canceled Too Soon #143: Mrs. Sundance (1974)


When she wasn't bewitching sitcom audiences as the star of the classic TV series "Bewitched," Elizabeth Montgomery took over the "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" franchise! In the failed pilot for "Mrs. Sundance," Montgomery plays wild west outlaw Etta Place (previously played by Katharine Ross) in her very own adventure!

It's a great idea and it's got a great star, but was "Mrs. Sundance" really CANCELED TOO SOON? Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold unearth this forgotten foray into spin-off territory in the latest episode of the podcast!

Give it a listen!


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #73: Dumbo, The Beach Bum and How to Watch Classic Movies!


One of the questions film critics get all the time is where young film fans, who have over a century of catching up to do, should start their journey into classic cinema! How can they acclimate to older storytelling styles, and contextualize decades-old movies with the films they like today? And how can you even find these old films, when most audiences watch movies on streaming services and most streaming services don't offer much older content? 

In this week's episode of CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold try to give you the tools you'll need to explore and appreciate classic cinema! They also review the brand new releases "Dumbo" and "The Beach Bum," and talk about their latest appearances on "The Movie Trivia Schmeodown!

Give it a listen!


William Bibbiani Reviews 'Mercy Black'


A young woman with a violent past leaves a mental institution, only to find the ghosts of her past coming back to haunt her. But are there literal specters, or is the legend of "Mercy Black" all in her head? Daniella Pineda, Elle LaMont and Miles Emmons star in a brand new horror film from Blumhouse, which premiered exclusively on Netflix!

In his review of "Mercy Black" at IGN, William Bibbiani describes the film as "a disturbing premise, some decent performances and a few good shocks, trapped inside a generic presentation and an unremarkable plot."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Mercy Black" at IGN

Photo: Netflix

Monday, April 1, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #142: 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids' (1973)


The blockbuster western "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" did NOT become an animated series by Hanna-Barbera, but those real-life outlaws' names are in the public domain, so the studio released a show called "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids" anyway!

It's the umpteenth in a seemingly infinite number of kids shows about teen rock bands with wacky comic sidekicks traveling the world solving mysteries, but "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids" is probably the only team that works for a supercomputer suffering from dog allergies.

The real question is... was it CANCELED TOO SOON? Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold delve into this forgotten animated series in the latest episode!

Give it a listen!


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Witney Seibold Reviews 'Once Upon a Time in the West'


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

Sergio Leone's 1968 classic “Once Upon a Time in the West” is the purest of his westerns.

With his acclaimed "Man With No Name" films, Leone established what had become the archetypal style and mood for any and all deconstructionist westerns that were to follow for the next few decades (at least up until “Unforgiven” in 1992). As such, the story, the characters, and even certain shots and photography choices feel uncannily familiar even to the uninitiated. It is, wielding American studio dollars, an impeccable, high-profile version of the slightly more ragged films that preceded it.


Movie Trivia Schmoedown Free-For-All 3: Critically Acclaimed Does Trivia LIVE!!!


William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold, Critically Acclaimed themselves, appear in front of a LIVE audience in the ultimate movie trivia competition! Forty players enter, and two of them are Bibbs and Witney, and if you want to know how they stacked up against all this competition you HAVE to watch this epic competition.

Seriously... if you're a fan of Critically Acclaimed, you HAVE to watch this. Trust us.

Enjoy!

The Six-Shot: All the 'Bring It On' Movies!


Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union and Eliza Dushku starred in "Bring It On," a slumber party classic about a championship cheerleading squad which learns that, unbeknownst to them, their success was based on plagiarism and cultural appropriation! It's surprisingly smart, thoughtful and funny, and it's considered a minor classic. But while people may remember "Bring It On" fondly, most people don't realize there were SIX movies in the franchise, five of which went straight to video and starred recognizable actors like Rihanna, Felicia Day, Hayden Panettiere and Solange Knowles!

This week on THE SIX-SHOT (a very special episode of THE TWO-SHOT), film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore the entire "Bring It On" series to reveal which sequels work and which ones barely seem like real movies!

Give it a listen!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

William Bibbiani Ranks All the Disney Live-Action Remakes!


Disney's lucrative business plan, of remaking all their animated classics in big-budget live-action (or arguably live-action) productions, has led to an extremely uneven series of films! In his latest article for The Wrap, William Bibbiani is ranking every single live-action Disney remake, from the 1994 version of "The Jungle Book" that nobody talks about, to contemporary smashes like "The Jungle Book," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Dumbo!"

Read: William Bibbiani Ranks All the Disney Live-Action Remakes at The Wrap!

Photos: Disney

Critically Acclaimed #72: Us, Larry Cohen, and the Dark Side of the Fox/Disney Merger


Jordan Peele is back with a new horror blockbuster and this time... the evil is "Us." On this week's CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold delve into the film everyone is talking about, the trippy murder mystery "Out of Blue," and the re-release of the 1999 teen cult classic "Cruel Intentions!"

Also this week, William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold look back at the celebrated history of the late genre filmmaker Larry Cohen, and examine the dark underbelly of the Disney/Fox merger that everyone is talking about. Maybe it's NOT such a good thing...

Give it a listen!


Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Two-Shot: 'Catwoman' and 'Working Girl' with Rachel Cushing!


Rachel "The Crusher" Cushing from The Movie Trivia Schmoedown joins us this week, and she brought the Halle Berry "Catwoman" with her! It's one of the most baffling superhero movies ever made, and the trivia champ helps us dissect everything that works (not much), doesn't work (a lot) and almost works (more than you'd think) about this notorious 2004 disaster of a movie, in an all-new episode of THE TWO-SHOT!

And on the classics front, Rachel Cushing helps William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold introduce and analyze another film about a meek woman, spurned by her wicked boss, who adopts a new identity and finds her power. It's the Oscar-winning Mike Nichols dramedy "Working Girl," starring Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack!

Give it a listen!


Friday, March 22, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #141: 'Dead Last' (2001)



A group of rock musicians develop the power to talk to ghosts, and it turns out the ghosts are really, really annoying! That's the premise of "Dead Last," a short-lived and mostly forgotten supernatural comedy series from The WB, from the writers of "Grosse Point Blank" and "High Fidelity," and that's the show our Patreon subscribers wanted us to review in the month of March!

Was "Dead Last" a forgotten gem, or does it deserve to wallow in obscurity? Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take a dip into the early 2000s to figure out if this series was... CANCELED TOO SOON!

Give it a listen!


Movie Trivia Schmoedown: Critically Acclaimed vs. The Shirewolves!


William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take on their fiercest opponents yet in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown: Rachel Cushing and Clarke Wolfe, the champions themselves, The Shirewolves!

In this epic championship match these two teams will push each other to the limit, and the only watch to find out who wins is to watch it below! (Or you could look it up, but how much fun would THAT be?)


William Bibbiani Reviews 'Out of Blue'


Patricia Clarkson plays a detective solving the case of a murdered astrophysicist in "Out of Blue," a new high-minded thriller about the parallels between the investigative and scientific methods, in which every clue makes the universe in which we live more complicated and confusing.

In his review of "Out of Blue" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani praises the film's fleeting moments of philosophical inspirations, but argues that it holds the film back It's "a detached motion picture," Bibbiani argues, "and it's hard to get away with that clinical approach and still adhere to a thriller format."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Out of Blue" at The Wrap

Photo: IFC Films

Thursday, March 21, 2019

William Bibbiani Talks Movie Posters on "All Things Considered"


William Bibbiani guest stars on NPR's "All Things Considered" this week, to talk about the latest posters for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," why they're enduring such harsh criticism, and the role that movie posters play in a marketplace where social media seems to drive the conversation, instead a rectangular piece of art.

Listen: William Bibbiani Talks About the Role Movie Posters Play in the Digital Age on "All Things Considered"

Photo: Sony Pictures

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #70: 'Triple Frontier,' 'Captive State,' 'Wonder Park' and The Best Films of 2014


Film critics make "Best of the Year" list every single year, but time makes fools of us all, and five years later we've changed, the world's changed, and sometimes - in unexpected ways - the films change. 

That's why this week on CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold are revisiting their picks for the Best Films of 2014, re-examining how they feel about those movies, and revealing which films got better (or worse) over time, to come up with a brand new list!

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review a whole bunch of new releases, including J.C. Chandor's "Triple Frontier," the sci-fi thriller "Captive State," the animated kids fantasy "Wonder Park," the classic Rastafarian crime drama "Babylon," the brand-ew Rastafarian crime drama "Yardie" (directed by Idris Elba!), the quirky fiberoptic heist drama "The Hummingbird Project," and the acclaimed, nearly four-hour drama "An Elephant Sitting Still!"

Give it a listen!