Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

It is a little tempting to overvalue Logan for its novelty. And I do use “novelty” advisedly – it’s no less than the tenth movie in the broadly-construed X-Men movie franchise to come out in the last 17 years, and one of God knows how many superhero comic book adaptations during the same period. But […]

A third review requested by Brian Malbon, with thanks for his multiple contributions to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The 2005 motion picture version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is, as they say, neither fish nor fowl. It skips over enough of the details of the plot with little or […]

My hat’s off to Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: it surely does seem to mean its title literally. When it’s over, the series mythology has been wrapped up nice and snug, and while it leaves the promise that there will be many more adventures to be had in this universe, it does so in exactly […]

It’s not that Monster Trucks is “bad”, which would be comprehensible. It’s that it is enormously dispiriting. The kind of dispiriting that causes a film shot in the spring and early summer of 2014 to receive four different release dates before it’s finally quietly dumped into the hostile snows of January, almost two years after […]

The good news is that Assassin’s Creed is probably the most stylish video game adaptation ever, for what that’s worth. As you may have heard, movies based on video games sometimes aren’t very good. So the bar for Ass. Creed to stand out was in fact quite low. But still, let’s not get to pissing […]

A review requested by Patton, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Pop culture knows Deep Blue Sea, from 1999, as the movie in which Samuel L. Jackson delivers a big, operatic summer action movie monologue, and then right when he gets the soaring inspirational part, a giant super-intelligent […]

It’s not just that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is my favorite Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back; it’s how damned easy it was for me to come that conclusion. Like, not a fraction of a second of hesitation. For those of you who just wanted the opinion & would prefer to […]

“The Empire Strikes Back is the darkest Star Wars film”, they say; “the Rebellion loses everything, Luke has an existential crisis, Han is gone”. Or, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is the darkest Star Wars“, the say; “the whole galaxy is overrun by evil, the very flesh is burned off of […]

What we all know – and like most things we all know, it’s a simplification, but in this case not such an extreme nor indefensible one – is that George Lucas stuck the Ewoks into Return of the Jedi to sell toys. “Warrior teddy bears” isn’t the most all-time slam-dunk moneymaking idea, to be sure, […]

A second review requested by Cammy, with thanks for contributing twice to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. There’s not all that much competition, but I rather think that Gattaca is among the very best of all the original “thoughtful” sci-fi movies out there (by which I mean, not quite hard, not quite […]

Arrival is one of the most entirely ideas-based sci-fi films that I have ever seen; even its late turn from linguistics to moral philosophy is squarely in the realm of the intellect, and while it is in its own way heart-rending, that way is all mixed up in an impressively dense matrix of theories of […]

Like many another film lucky enough to share a series with a real piece of crap, the 1956 sci-fi/horror film The Creature Walks Among Us had a nice, easy, eminently surmountable bar to clear. That being, in this case, to be better than 1955’s Revenge of the Creature, an endlessly tedious film about which I […]