Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

A version of this review was published at the Film Experience There’s a good movie to be made out of Pixels, and it would be the easiest thing in the world to get there. First, keep all of the visual effects setpieces from the movie as it exists, for they are surprisingly beautiful and convincing […]

The late 1990s were a deeply insincere moment in American pop culture. Emboldened primarily, I suppose by the enormous success of Jerry Seinfeld’s famous stand-up and television comedy about nothing, every facet of music, movies, and television were infested by a great desire to indulge in something that was not, in fact, irony, but was […]