Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

2020 has been a complete disaster for movies, on top of all the other things it has been a disaster for, but it managed to scrounge up a miracle in its last days: Pixar Animation Studios is alive and well. It was far too easy to wonder if the studio, a full decade after its […]

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 […]

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 […]

Being the best film adaptation of an opera doesn’t take all that much. Stage-to-screen adaptations are, in general, tough to get more than passably well, and opera has the additional challenge of being exceptionally “stagey” and beholden to the peculiarities of live theater. Listening to a character spend five minutes singing to establish one plot […]

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 […]

That the new film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 book The Witches would be worse than its source, and worse as well than the 1990 version of the story directed by Nicolas Roeg, is hardly any surprise at all, and really not even worth commenting on. What shocked me is just how bad it is, […]

“The feature film directorial debut of former superstar Disney animator Glen Keane” cannot possibly help but be a big deal, even if it’s not a big deal. Apologies for trying to be cryptic right out of the gate, but I’m doing it with a purpose: the unfortunately reality is that Over the Moon – the […]

In 1963, Ingmar Bergman was hip deep in an attempt to translate the theatrical devices of August Strindberg’s chamber plays into a cinematic idiom, with Through a Glass Darkly and Winter Light already behind him, and The Silence right around the corner. In this middle of this unusually intense period of producing some of the […]

“What if we did a horror movie version of Fantasy Island?” is an idea that makes a certain kind of cock-eyed sense. The TV series in question, which ran from 1977-1984, is about an island in the Pacific where a mysterious man named Mr. Roarke allows visitors to experience their deepest fantasies come to life. […]

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 […]

The Bill & Ted series is made up of nothing but miracles. 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure obviously intended to be nothing but a disposable lark, mocking some cultural trends of the day on the way to being forgotten by the world at large; instead, based really on nothing I can point to except […]

Director Stuart Gordon is probably best known for his extremely violent genre films made for tiny indie production companies. But he also had an inexplicable relationship with Walt Disney Pictures, dating the late ’80s when he and his producing partner Brian Yuzna, along with Ed Naha, screenwriter of the Gordon/Yuzna film Dolls, pitched a project […]