Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The most interesting thing about 6 Underground The only thing that is interesting about 6 Underground whatsoever is how it was financed and distributed. The 14th film directed by Michael Bayย  comes after a bizarre dozen years in his career, during which time he focused on only two kinds of production: five Transformers pictures, each […]

A quarter of a century has passed since commercial & music video director Michael Bay made his first feature, and rapper and sitcom actor Will “The Fresh Prince” Smith made his big push into movie stardom, with 1995’s Bad Boys, a big, bombastic action-comedy extravaganza that is, by Bay standards, unusually tidy and legible. Those […]

You’ve got to hand it to the Walt Disney Company: in only four years and two days, they managed to completely slaughter the golden goose of Star Wars. Like, the strongest brand name in the history of popcorn cinema. That Star Wars. I say this on the occasion of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, […]

It’s been a good few years for films that have next-level animation tied to a garbage screenplay, but even in the company of Loving Vincent or Klaus, Promare is on some other plane entirely. It is, I say without any excess of hyperbole, one of the most extraordinary triumphs of color, character design, camera movement, […]

Midway is an English-language film financed substantially with Chinese money, directed by a German, about one of the defining American victories of World War II. If you’re thinking that means it’s probably a muddle, I have good news: you’re not wrong. We could put it another way: you know how Roland Emmerich has kind of […]

Being the best Terminator film since Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 isn’t even a low bar to clear. It is a line painted on the ground. But I’m happy anyways that Terminator: Dark Fate is able to step across that line. It gets there largely by being the first time in four tries to […]

One of those facts that keeps getting passed around about Gemini Man, to such a degree that I feel like a dull-witted asshole for bringing it up at all, is that the project (from a screenplay originally by Darren Lemke) was initially put into development at Disney in 1997. After being pushed at several of […]

For a decades-later fifth entry in a franchise that really wasn’t very good to start with, Rambo: Last Blood is surprisingly non-terrible. To be sure, Rambo III, way the hell back in 1988, set the bar extremely low for “not the worst Rambo film”, and I’m not willing to make any stronger claim for Last […]

I have no intention of ranking the …Has Fallen films. They haven’t earned that. You rank things because it is fun to think about their relative merits, not their relative flaws; one could as well rank one’s sinus infections as rank the …Has Fallen films. But I will, albeit sullenly, hazard the quasi-praise that Angel […]

Intermittently 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: I regret to say, Angel Has Fallen exists now, bringing back Gerard Butler’s meaty Secret Service agent Mike Banning for […]

Intermittently 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: in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Dwayne Johnson plays a character who was introduced as a villain in […]

Furious 7, the last altogether good movie in the Fast & Furious series, came out in April 2015. This is very recent according to any human-scale accounting of time; but it has been an entire generation in American action cinema. The intervening four years have borne witness to a veritable golden age: while Furious 7 […]