Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Toy Story 4 isn’t bad. This is, already, a huge achievement, for there was every reason in the world for it to be bad: Pixar Animation Studios has a fairly unimpressive track record with sequels and is nowhere near the regular level of absolute brilliance they were when the last film in this series, Toy Story 3, came out in 2010. Not to mention that the same Toy Story 3 […]

So the summer that time forgot marches on, having finally produced one single truly worthwhile film, which is not hardly enough to redeem everything else sucking the air out of movie theaters across America. July looks like it might be bringing another; but God only knows, at this point. (By the way, to everyone who noted that I missed Eclipse last month: yes, but only out of the intense hope […]

Ho-hum. Another summer, another Pixar feature, another masterpiece. This time, though, the stakes were higher for the studio than they ever have been: for not only was there the pressure of continuing the run of magnificent CGI cartoons that have left Pixar arguably the most consistently excellent filmmaking body in history, there was also the pressure of paying due respect to what is probably the most beloved movie franchise of […]

A full review is, obviously, forthcoming, but I must just say this about Toy Story 3. Not very long ago, I had to this to say about the film: “I am more excited about Toy Story 3 than anything else in the next six months; I am dreading Toy Story 3 more than anything else in the next six months, as well.” Let me say only this at present: Pixar, […]

The story goes that the Disney execs, flush with the excitement of direct-to-video sequels (a hellish new revenue stream they first discovered with 1994’s bland but inoffensive The Return of Jafar, though the Pandora’s box of inanity was really opened with 1997’s Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas), commanded John Lasseter and his Pixar minions to produce a DTV continuation of Toy Story, and Lasseter was unable to disagree. […]

It’s almost hard to remember, but in 1995, Disney Animation Studios was still a pretty well-regarded brand name. They were fresh off the run of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King that had resulted in some of the biggest box office receipts and most glowing critical acclaim of the company’s nearly 70-year history, and while the summer of ’95 did bear witness to Pocahontas – in hindsight, […]

A review requested by Rebecca S, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Toys is one of the best examples I can think of why “kill your babies” is held to be important artistic advice. It is also one of the best examples of why I’m always privately happy when artists leave their babies alive, even if – especially if – they’re malformed and […]

Batman’s arch-enemy, the Joker, is getting his very own movie, and we’re celebrating by looking at our all-time favorite movie villains. From wicked witches to evil space cyborg wizards to petulant octopus women, it’s all about the colorful monsters who are the very best at being very bad. In Worth Mentioning we discus Abominable, Hustlers, Batman Ninja and Toy Story 4. ********** Please take a few seconds and fill out […]

Just in time for the new release Yesterday, director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis’s celebration of the enduring music of The Beatles, we are joined by the fantastic singer/songwriter Kevin Andrew Prchal, for an episode-length conversation about what the movie tells us about performance, music stardom, and the legacy of the iconic rock band. Be sure to stick around to the end of the episode to hear Settling Cliches from the […]

I can admit when I’m a little bit wrong: June’s offerings weren’t quite as inspid as I feared they would be (both Toy Story 4 and Child’s Play outperformed my hopes – the latter wildly so). This maybe suggests that a bit of humility is in order: perhaps the films of July won’t be the complete fucking desert it looks like right now. But if there are to be nice […]

With both Toy Story 4 and a remake of Child’s Play coming out the same weekend, did we even have a choice? We take a look at out all-time favorite dolls in the movies: from beloved child’s playthings to unfathomably evil vessels for demonic energy, and everything in between. In Worth Mentioning, we discuss The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, Chernobyl and The Holy Mountain by request of Patreon Dan Prestwich.

From where I stand, the summer movie season of 2019 has just tipped off of a cliff. Godzilla: King of the Monsters was the last popcorn movie I was looking forward to for over two months – and look at how well that turned out for me – and while June isn’t quite the wasteland that July is shaping up to be, it’s been a good long while since the […]