Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

If there is one thing that I was not prepared for with Disney’s much-delayed Jungle Cruise, an action-adventure based on the Disneyland theme park ride that has been ready to go since late 2019, it’s that I would negatively compare it to the 1972 Werner Herzog film Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Which is not […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

I have certainly not seen every single movie released in 2020, but I have an extremely hard time imagining any of them beginning with a more profoundly horrible bit of screenwriting than Godmothered, a Disney thing that clearly hoped to capture some of that old Enchanted magic, and had to settle for being shit out […]

I have one thing about Disney’s new live-action Mulan that makes me extremely happy: it’s not a mindless shot-for-shot remake of the 1998 animated film, and in this respect is considerably less irksome than the 2017 Beauty and the Beast and the 2019 Aladdin and The Lion King, the other remakes of films from the […]

There is, to my knowledge, no evidence that the Walt Disney Company was so mortified at the thought of releasing Artemis Fowl to theaters that it engineered SARS-CoV-2 and triggered a global pandemic solely to have a reasonable excuse to dump the film to the Disney+ streaming service. But one cannot help but wonder. The […]

Lady and the Tramp was the fifth, count ’em, fifth film released by the Walt Disney Company in 2019 that was more or less a redo of one of their classic animated features done up in some ungainly combination of live-action videography and CGI, following Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, […]

Once upon a time, when the Walt Disney Company released a massively successful animated feature and wanted to wring some sequel dollars out of it, they would have the decency to farm them out to the B- and C-team animators at Disneytoon Studios and bury them on home video. In 80 years covering 56 feature […]

The problems with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil begin right with its title. It’s a reference to a climactic moment in the 1959 Disney animated feature Sleeping Beauty, in which the imperious evil fairy Maleficent, voiced with haughty cruelty by Eleanor Audley, reveals to the protagonists that they have failed in their single goal: “You poor, […]