Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

So, his name is Stu, and he drives an Uber. This really is the sum total of what what qualifies for wit in Stuber, a deeply unsatisfying movie that typifies almost everything wrong with comedies in modern American cinema, save one: it appears to have a proper screenplay, by Tripper Clancy, and not just a […]

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: the finest scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood finds Sharon Tate raptly watching herself in the […]

Taking a piece of pop culture as profoundly yoked to a specific moment in cultural and social history as 1971’s Shaft and updating it for modern tastes is a fool’s game, one that has fooled people twice now. Which, I mean, if a talent as undeniable as John Singleton couldn’t crack the problem with 2000’s […]