Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

We’ve got to start somewhere, so why not with the question that I’ve been kicking around in my head since I finished Space Jam: A New Legacy: how can anyone worship a God vindictive and hateful enough to allow this movie to exist? No wait, that’s the other question I’ve been kicking around. The one […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: after 25 years, Space Jam: A New Legacy returns the classic animated figures of the Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies series […]

More than any American animation studio that exists, one gets the feeling that Pixar Animation Studios would love it very much for us to compare all of their movies to the work of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, and especially that studio’s co-founder and most prolific director, Miyazaki Hayao. So first things first: congratulations to Luca, the […]

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: Disney’s latest live-action branding deposit, Cruella, finds everyone’s favorite puppy-killing fashionista showing up in the flesh for the second time. The […]

I genuinely cannot think of any way in which humanity is advanced by taking an all-time magnificent psychopathic comic villain like Cruella De Vil, raving madwoman of the 1961 Walt Disney animated feature One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and giving her a sympathetic origin story. But then, I cannot think of any reason to have […]

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 […]

Probably the simplest way to start explaining what the living hell we have in front of us with The Twentieth Century, the first feature-length film by avant-garde director Matthew Rankin (who had some fairly substantial attention, by the standards of such things, with the shorts Mynarski Death Plummet in 2014 and The Tesla World Light […]

A short while ago, a friend of mine suggested that we all have something like a quota of major contemporary world cinema directors that we can love, and once we’ve hit capacity, we’re not going to be able to get really excited anybody else. He was of course being facetious, but I take comfort in the […]

In fairness to Thunder Force, a high-concept science-fiction comedy vehicle for Melissa McCarthy written and directed by her husband Ben Falcone that was released as a direct-to-streaming exclusive in the first third of 2021: it is better than Superintelligence, a  high-concept science-fiction comedy vehicle for McCarthy directed (but not written) by Falcone that was released […]

At this point, in the third decade of the 21st Century, “terrible late-career comedies starring the formerly great actor Robert De Niro” has become its own genre, and I don’t think there’s a person among us who would claim that it’s a good one. Even so, The War with Grandpa is impressively terrible. The warning […]

There’s a certain slobbering, puppy-dog shamelessness to how desperately Psycho Goreman wants to be anointed a new cult favorite. The formula behind writer-director Steven Kosinski’s script is clear as a summer day: take the aesthetic of cheesy children’s television shows about people in very elaborate foam suits punching each other in the kind of spirited […]

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 […]