Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Way back in the foggy mists of 2015, the world was graced with Fifty Shades of Grey, a film that found a way to make BDSM dull as dishwater. And so, first principles: at least Fifty Shades Darker isn’t quite as boring. It’s not not-boring. But compared to the first film, it possesses at least […]

The multi-media franchise known under the broad name of Power Rangers in the United States (a substantially revised localisation of the even bigger franchise called Super Sentai in Japan) has been through so many iterations and revisions along the way, why not a franchise-starting action movie remake? Albeit one that seems to have pretty securely […]

In what surely counts among the least-surprising developments of the 2017 movie year, it turns out that you can’t keep making the same feature-length commercial over and over again with the same plot and the same jokes, and expect that it’s going to keep working out. 2014’s The Lego Movie remains a modern miracle for […]

The Wall isn’t a movie so much as an amuse-bouche, and one that’s none too amusant. I rescind none of my faith in director Doug Liman, who has made a few good films, a couple of great ones, and only one that’s actually bad, 2008’s Jumper, but this first of his two 2017 releases (the […]

The controversy is dead, dead, dead, and far be it from me to bring it up at this late, but I think the pre-release outrage in the United States over The Great Wall is telling. Matt Damon in a historical action movie set in 11th Century China? Must be a pandering White Savior gesture, went […]

I was all set. I had this whole thing I was going to do where I complained about how the Weinstein Company took what was self-evidently not a very great film in the form of the French animated film Ballerina, and made it even worse in remolding it for the U.S. market as Leap!, but […]

It might be a fun idea to think up ways to tell the same basic biographical story depicted in Birth of the Dragon – in 1964, on the brink of his explosion into pop culture stardom with TV’s The Green Hornet in 1966, San Francisco-based Wing Chun master Bruce Lee (Philip Ng) squared off with visiting […]

The concept of Colossal is so irresistible, it’s almost impossible to believe that a movie as fumbling as Colossal could have possibly been made out of it. Herein is the story of a woman named Gloria (Anne Hathaway), who has succeeded in fucking up her whole adulthood as a New York-based writer due to alcohol, […]

I thought about opening with some variation on “More like “The Shitman’s Bodyguard“, but that’s really not fair. The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t very good, indeed may very well be shit, but I take no pleasure in calling attention to it for such a failing. It’s much sadder and pathetic as a bad movie than monstrously […]

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: in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, a hitman has a bodyguard. Do you perceive the knee-slapping humor of this incongruity? Because […]

The Ardennes is a very frustrating movie in a very limited sense: it seems absolutely no-two-ways-about-it certain that it’s going to be just great based on the first scene, and the whole rest of the movie is at best a significant step down in inspiration and execution. And what it turns out to be after […]

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 […]