Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Three stars gets absolutely nowhere close to my actual feelings about The Mitchells vs. the Machines, the new film by Sony Pictures Animation that has, after pandemic-related delays, settled into a home on Netflix. There are, in fact, three entirely different films happening here, and I would give three stars to none of them; but […]

I have never read Patrick Ness’s 2008 YA novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, the source material for the feature film Chaos Walking (the movie takes its title form the overall series of which the book was the first part). Indeed, until a day ago, I had never heard of The Knife of Never […]

We could run through a decent list of the things about the (for now) newest cinematic adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio that sound like they should be interesting, but are in fact not actually very interesting. This is different than saying the film is “bad”: it is on the […]

The one and only Ivan who gives Disney’s pandemic-stricken direct-to-streaming refugee The One and Only Ivan its title is a very subdued gorilla played by a CGI effect and voiced by Sam Rockwell, and he spends mot of the the movie doing almost nothing other than just kind of hanging out, being quiet, and looking […]

The simple part first: the massive, monumental beast of a comic book movie released under the gravely ponderous title Zack Snyder’s Justice League is better in basically every single way that can be quantified than just plain Justice League from 2017, which is both fundamentally the same thing and so wildly, indescribably different that it […]

Some years ago, I began a review of 2015’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water by noting that it was the first piece of media in the SpongeBob SquarePants universe that I had ever encountered. Flash-forward to 2021 and I shall begin my review of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run much the […]

Given the pandemic-related days to its release date, Raya and the Last Dragon, the 59th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animation Studios canon has by chance landed on exactly the same weekend, relatively speaking, as Pixar Animation Studios’ first release of 2020, Onward – the tenth weekend of their respective calendar years. And this […]

I’m honestly quite glad I was never much of a fan of Tom and Jerry, the cat-and-mouse slapstick cartoon series started by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in 1940. Because if I was, I can only imagine how much more disgusted I would be by what has happened to the characters and the franchise since […]

“Lunatic visionary cult director Sono Sion makes his English-language debut with a post-apocalyptic samurai Western starring Nicolas Cage” is a collection of words that feels like it was lab-created to end up with a kind of heavily self-aware “Weird”-in-square-quotes example of something too knowing and calculated in its what-the-fuck wildness to be authentic. And arguably, […]

Lord forgive me for starting with the most obvious question, but in the case of Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, it is the most obvious because it is also the most dumbfounding: how is it that one goes from directing the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture to making a direct-to-streaming children’s movie […]

The film that has been released in the United States and the United Kingdom as [The] Iron Mask, with the article disappearing if you (like me) are west of the Atlantic – that banal little title covering up a truly dumbfounding number of AKAs in at least English and Russian including Viy 2, Journey to […]

There are so god-damned many film and television incarnations of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic misanthropic detective, it would be ludicrous to make a definitive claim about any of them being the best or worst, the most or least faithful, or just about anything else. But I will nudge far enough into this dangerous […]