Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

San Andreas, a by-the-books disaster movie in which Dwayne Johnson fights an earthquake, is exactly the movie you suppose it to be, except in one, absolutely crucial regard: it’s weirdly allergic to fun. By which I guess I mean that “by-the-books disaster movie” suggests one particular register of sobriety and anguished emotions, where as “Dwayne […]

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: we all know that San Andreas brings back the noble and intensely clichΓ©-happy formula of the all-American disaster picture. […]

It is not uncommon, when people swan about, cooing with praise for the New Hollywood Cinema and the exciting American cinema of the 1970s, to act as if the whole of the film industry was engaged in thrilling experiments that met with broad favor from audiences, who for once in history were interested in being […]

Of all possible outcomes for the new American-made Godzilla, one that I wasn’t prepared for at all was that, at the macro level, it would have exactly the same structural problems that the last Godzilla film, 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars did. To wit: in a movie just a smidigen north of two hours, the best […]

Darren Aronofsky has, we are told, been nursing the idea behind Noah for fifteen years, or basically immediately after making his feature debut with Ο€. It was only the spectacular and unexpected success of his 2010 Black Swan that finally convinced a studio to give him the giant sum of money needed to make it, […]

The foremost of all the non-pressing questions I have regarding the 1998 American Godzilla – pro tip: there is no such thing as a pressing question about the 1998 Godzilla – is whether or not it’s the worst film of the Godzilla franchise. And I suppose I should really first ask the question if it’s […]

The opening image of Pompeii is an extreme close-up of a body covered in the ancient ash that exactly preserved its shape, against a black background, the sinewy camera movements letting us see every angle and the 3-D camera accentuating and exaggerating all the crags and shapes in glorious detail, using the best and brightest […]

This week, our marathon of Toho’s daikaiju eiga takes us to a pair of movies that are not, in the general scheme of things, considered to be monster movies in any real way at all. But like the fella once said, “come on, it has a giant damn monster walrus. Don’t be such a hard-on”. […]

In truth, there’s no good reason to review The Core of all movies in honor of the fact that we didn’t all die a horrifying death on 21 December, 2012, but I’d already watched it, and by God, I was not going to write that off as time wasted. The one thing you don’t fucking […]

So as it turns out, the cultural hegemony angle on The Impossible is a bit of a non-starter. You know the one I’m talking about, if you’ve been paying much attention to the talk around the movie: the first major international film about the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, which tells the story of how hundreds […]

“There’s nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” -Daniel C. Dennett The Day After Tomorrow is, in a certain light, one of the very oddest blockbuster movies of the 2000s. One of the immutable truths of blockbuster filmmaking is that most really expensive Hollywood tentpoles go as far […]