Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

Not everyone will agree with me, I know, but to my mind, 2017’s Wonder Woman sets up a pretty high bar to clear, as one of the few superhero movies of the 2010s to successfully thread the needle between “superhero comics are modern mythology, with all the gravity that entails” and “popcorn movies need to […]

2013’s The Croods is a pretty comfortably average effort from DreamWorks Animation, with  the rather serious caveat that DreamWorks’ average is low enough that this is neither an impressive nor a promising bar to clear. So the existence of a seven-years-later sequel is certainly not the kind of thing that fills a body with optimism, […]

At the dawn of the third decade of the 21st Century, I for one am ready to anoint Cartoon Saloon the finest animation studio in the world outside of Japan. The studio’s wonderful first three features – 2009’s The Secret of Kells, 2014’s Song of the Sea, 2017’s The Breadwinner – might have been enough […]

So, Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite! You’ve just got to love the stubborn optimism of that exclamation point, by the way. Like we’ll be convinced that it’s a bubbly, fun bit of high-energy nonsense if our brain reflexively rises up in volume as we read it Also, I cannot shake the feeling that it […]

To begin with the only issue of any real importance: in the Netflix original movie The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two, Kurt Russell isn’t nearly as much pure, weightless fun in the role of Santa Claus as he was in 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles. This is in part, of course, because The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two […]