Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Goddammit, but I wish A Ghost Story was a masterpiece. It comes real close. The opening half of writer-director David Lowery’s 92-minute feature is a marvel and then some, marshaling some highly idiosyncratic cinematography, sound design, and performances in the creation of a breathtakingly good exploration of different forms of existential loneliness. And the second […]

Once upon a time, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form co-founded a production company called Platinum Dunes, whose purpose was to remake old horror films, but shinier and worse. I mean, presumably the “worse” part wasn’t in the corporate statement of principals, and it just worked out that way. I think it’s entirely fair […]

The Amityville Curse wasn’t the worst Amityville film at the time it came out (no haunted lamp, no sale). But it was undoubtedly the most boring, and isn’t that really just as bad? At least Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes lets you gape at it with unreasoning bafflement that numerous intelligent people decided to make […]

In November of the year of our Lord 1983, the holy trinity was completed. That was when the third of the “Part 3-D” movies was released, an increasingly degraded attempt to cash in on the short-lived 3-D fad of the early 1980s before it reached its inevitable end, by slopping some cheap 3-D effects onto […]

Amityville II: The Possession is coated in sleaze, filled with hokey bargain basement haunting effects, and it telegraphs its lack of inspiration on any level other than cashing in on a fad or two for a quick buck so intently, it feels almost like it must be proud of itself. It therefore should come as […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales shouldn’t exist, but as far as movies that shouldn’t exist go, it’s not actually half-bad. Six years after the franchise’s last, worst movie came out – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – it would have taken absolutely nothing for this to have avoided being […]

Here begins the 2017 Summer of Bl the 2017 Summer of Haunted New York Real Estate The thing about The Amityville Horror, the 1979 blockbuster film and the bestselling 1977 book it was based upon alike, is that it’s been solved, quite as thoroughly as any work of narrative fiction can be said to have […]

Personal Shopper was booed at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival en route to winning the award for Best Director for Olivier Assayas, both of which are exactly right. I would be inclined to call it not merely a great film, but a very great film, and comfortably the best thing Assayas has directed since 2002’s […]

We can talk about how bad it is in a minute (spoiler alert: very bad), but first, I think we should pay full respect to the title of The Bye Bye Man. It is just spectacularly the worst thing ever. I would prefer, as a dignified adult filmgoer, to loudly ask the ticket seller for […]

A third review requested by Sara L, with thanks for contributing three times to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I expect that some of my loyal readers will be surprised to learn that it is only now, in the year 2016, that I’ve finally seen The Ring. There are reasons for this: […]

A review requested by a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Ugetsu is everything. I don’t think it’s the best movie ever made – I don’t, in fact, think it’s even the best Japanese movie of 1953, what with Tokyo Story sitting […]

Scary is subjective, what makes one person quiver down to the base of their spine makes the person sitting next to them yawn with boredom, all that good stuff, and I wasn’t thinking about any of that “let us be sensibly objective” bullshit while I was quivering in pleasurable agony in the mostly dark theater […]