Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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, […]

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 […]

A review dedicated to T. Rice, as part of the to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. In 1966, stand-up comic and television comedy writer Woody Allen wrote a new dub script for the 1965 Japanese spy comedy Key of Keys, at the behest of U.S. distributor American International Pictures. The result (somewhat […]

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 fact that Elle isn’t punishingly unpleasant is maybe the most unpleasant thing about it. One longs for the film to tip fully over into brutal viciousness, so we could be sure that it’s got the proper outrage about its sordid subject matter; or for it to go all-in on sleazy exploitation, so we could […]

Four unfathomably long years ago, so long ago that animation studio Illumination Entertainment didn’t much seem like they’d necessarily amount to anything, particularly given that one-third of its output up to that point was the incomprehensibly awful Hop, I remember being impressed by the production design of the studio’s Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax. Absolutely […]

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: thirteen years later, Finding Nemo finally gets a sequel in Finding Dory. In contrast, it took less than sixteen […]

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: Warcraft is hardly a blockbuster, at least not in the U.S., in no small part because it’s a film […]

A review requested by David Lewellyng, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I was born near the end of 1981, which means I was about a month shy of my 15th birthday on 15 November, 1996, which was the day that Space Jam opened. This means that I […]

There’s some real nice texturing, that’s what there is. I mean, real nice textures. In the extreme close-ups of the birds’ bodies (of which there aren’t all that many, but enough to make the point), you can see feathers that have been individually delineated, and even barbs that have been individually delineated, all of them […]

A review requested by Grace C, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Bad comedies, as I’ve had cause to mention before, are the very worst, because you can laugh at bad action or melodrama or horror. But the definition of a bad comedy is that it’s not funny, […]

This review is based on the most commonly-available copy recorded from the broadcast by the CBS affiliate in Baltimore, MD, with all commercial breaks intact. When we began our little retrospective of the Star Wars franchise, I asked you to do something unfathomably difficult, and pretend that it was 1977, and you just saw Star […]