Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

So, what do you think used to be the most boring comic book movie ever made? Superman Returns? Iron Man 2? Green Lantern? The Amazing Spider-Man? X-Men: Apocalypse? Anyway, it doesn’t actually matter, because now we have Justice League, and that settles it. For right now (and I’m not optimistic enough to suppose it will stay […]

I suspect, with absolutely nothing to back it up besides anecdotal data and hunches, that Murder on the Orient Express, from 1934, is Agatha Christie’s best-known mystery novel; or at least the best-known title to one of her mystery novels, which is the same thing as far as film producers go. And yet here we […]

There was a time once, and not so very long ago either, when a chainsaw-wielding psychopath in a Madea film would have been Madea herself, as was so memorably, dispiritingly seen in the character’s very first big-screen appearance, 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman. But times change, and with Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, […]

Director Tomas Alfredson has, with rather unseemly eagerness (I suppose he knew that his otherwise admirable career couldn’t afford such a nasty black mark at this point, without getting in front to go on the offensive), told all of us how The Snowman production was so fraught that he and his crew didn’t even film […]

Idris Elba is a damned handsome man, and that’s very close to the solitary reason it’s worth paying any attention at all to The Mountain Between Us. The only other reason I could come up with was the film’s terribly beautiful cinematography, courtesy of Mandy Walker, whom I would like to see get more attention […]

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 […]