Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A review requested by Robert Hamer, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. It’s important to get it read into the record, right up front, that in a very real and very important sense, The Thief and the Cobbler doesn’t actually exist. Parts of it exist, and from these […]

Stephen King’s seven-volume fantasy series The Dark Tower was completed in 2004; the attempts to turn it into a film (or film + TV) franchise began nearly immediately thereafter. And now we come at the end of ten full years of development hell, and what do we find? A big old wet squib of a […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: after many, many years, Stephen King’s most monumental work, The Dark Tower, is finally seeing the first fraction of […]

I’m going to throw all caution to the wind and declare that The Emoji Movie has the worst concept of any film ever given a wide release in the United States of America. I try not to hold concepts against movies: it’s all about the execution, and you can make any movie sound ridiculous if […]

Before I go on and on about how Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is such aΒ  good example of the transporting cinematic power of unbridled spectacle, so profoundly, importantly great at creating a brand new world for our eyeballs to soak up and our brains to play in, that it almost completely […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: if we are being strict with words, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is closer to the […]

Two things first. One, War for the Planet of the Apes is an entirely excellent bit of popcorn drama, the first summer movie of 2017 (an important, subtly different thing than any old movie released in the summer) that I think has a fighting chance of still being passionately remembered 20 years hence, but having […]

There aren’t all that many endings that would seem to automatically forestall any possibility of a sequel, but surely “destroying the whole world in a massive nuclear explosion” would make that short, elite list. Nevertheless, after Beneath the Planet of the Apes played precisely that card, it fell to that film’s screenwriter, Paul Dehn, to […]

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is a tough one to deal with. Soldier all the way on through to the ending, and your reward is one of the most impressively demented (in my opinion) and most influential (somewhat more objective) conceits in all of 1970s movie sci-fi – and with the ’70s just five […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: War for the Planet of the Apes is likely to be the last film in that franchise for a […]

So, Despicable Me 3, then. Why not, I guess. It was almost a given that this was going to be an improvement over the last film in the Despicaverse, 2015’s utterly stagnant Minions. And it turns out to be at least a fractional improvement over 2013’s Despicable Me 2, as well, for the same reason: […]

Whatever else is true of Bong Joon-ho’s filmography as late, I’m glad that we have one filmmaker in the business of treating global capitalism as cartoonishly evil in madcap genre films that have the approximate rationality of 1960s European comic books. Okja, Bong’s latest film isn’t as visually brazen & thus not as successful as […]