Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The promotional subtitle of First They Killed My Father (as well as the subtitle of the 2000 memoir from which it has been adapted) is A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, and it’s that last word, “remembers”, that ends up being the key to the whole film. With a screenplay adapted by Loung Ung and director […]

The two-part TV miniseries Salem’s Lot, the second film ever adapted from the writings of Stephen King, premiered on CBS in November, 1979, and other than a scant handful of anthology series episodes, that was it for King on television for eleven years. The two-part TV miniseries It premiered on ABC in November, 1990, and […]

A Monster Calls will make you cry. I suppose I ought to qualify that in some way – it will make some of you cry based on certain life experiences you might have had, etc. etc. – but that barely seems correct. A Monster Calls will make you cry the same that that way that […]

Every week 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 Amazing Spider-Man 2 is, like, the eightieth frigging superhero movie to come out since I first started this […]

Every week 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: at the time of this writing, Premium Rush has already spectacularly failed to be a blockbuster or even a […]

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial premiered in North America on 11 June, 1982, and was initially meant to be a smallish personal project (for a big-budget sci-fi picture) that would give director Steven Spielberg a chance to recuperate from the hectic production of the previous year’s Raiders of the Last Ark. It ended up devouring the Zeitgeist […]

The blog has been on a bit of an ’80s kick lately, and Adam Bertocci did his part to keep things going when he donated to the Carry On Campaign and requested today’s review. Three cheers for the decade of Reagan, leg warmers,and hair metal! Even for a decade in which the high-concept comedy reached […]

The second-highest grossing film of 1994, and at the time the record-holder for most successful animated feature ever released, The Lion King occupies a very special place in my development into the angry contrarian that I am today, for it was the first time that the twelve-year-old me had ever felt something that I’ve come […]

When I decided – like a damn idiot – to spice up my 45-day Disney retrospective by also taking into consideration the four films directed in the 1980s by former Disney animator Don Bluth, who in that time came very close to shattering his former employer’s once-iron stranglehold on American theatrical animation, there was one […]

With The Rescuers, it seemed that the new blood at the Disney Animation Studios had figured out what was what, and were all pumped up to do something even bigger and better, for with the great majority of the old guard retired or planning on doing so any moment, it was clearly a rich time […]

It is readily observed that there were six package films produced by the Disney Studios from 1942 to 1949, a desperate cost-saving measure in the years during and immediately following World War II. Not so obvious is the fact that these six films can be easily broken into three pairs: two Latin American goodwill efforts, […]

The first five animated features produced by the Disney Studios between 1937 and 1942 represent a level of sustained artistic achievement virtually unheard of elsewhere in cinema history. Pixar Animation Studios has a good shot at replicating the feat if they keep up their current level for just a couple more years, but outside of […]