Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Sequels that are really more like unrelated entries in an anthology series are nothing new at all, especially in the horror & thriller genres, so the fact that 47 Meters Down: Uncaged has absolutely not one blessed thing to do with 47 Meters Down, the banal shark film from 2017, is not surprising. That it […]

The killer alligator picture Crawl is maybe the least Alexandre Aja-esque film that Alexandre Aja has directed thus far, which I imagine is even a good thing for some people. The filmmaker’s body of work, to date, has been one of extreme violence and gore, with highlights including the 2003 New French Extremity barnburner High […]

Intermittently 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: Crawl, brings back to the big-screen the ancient rivalry between human and alligator. There have been more than a few […]

So here’s the thing: The Meg is actually able to concoct a reason for Jason Statham to get into hand-to-hand combat with a 75-foot shark. That is, in a sense, the whole of what the film needs to do, and I unhesitatingly admire it for this, and even love it for this, even though I’m […]

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 Meg has decided that 60 feet isn’t nearly imposing enough of a size for a giant shark and […]

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: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation demonstrates all the fun times that can be had when a collection of monsters […]

Twice isn’t enough to make a trend, but it’s maybe cause for hope: apparently any animated franchise, no matter how crappy, can reach its third entry and simultaneously hit the “we don’t give a fuck” point, and suddenly become good. In 2012, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted succeeded in being the first Madagascar film that […]

Movies can be frustrating in any number of ways, but maybe the most frustrating is when an almost-great movie misses that target for just one dumb reason. Witness A Quiet Place, which is microscopically close to being my favorite American thriller in at least several months, maybe even a year or two, and instead has […]

The pleasures of 2013’s Pacific Rim are not extreme, but they do exist, mostly because of the unstinting pleasure director Guillermo del Toro self-evidently took in his fantasy of giant robots squaring off against giant alien monsters. It stands to reason that the absence of del Toro means the absence of that pleasure and lo! […]

So, Kong: Skull Island isn’t “bad”, exactly. I don’t know, is it bad? It’s kind of bad. But the thing is, it wants to do one thing, and it does it, the thing promised right there in the title. Not “Kong” – this is closer to the dullest screen depiction of the giant ape Kong […]

An older review of this film can be found here When Peter Jackson, somewhat shockingly, used his brand-new Best Director Oscar and all the accumulated clout from having forced the three massive hit films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy into existence to get Universal to sign off on a new iteration of the […]

Popular history records the 1976 remake of King Kong as a terrible failure, but this is not in fact the case. The film cost a shocking amount of money, much of it wasted on a terrible-looking and dysfunctional live-sized robot Kong, but it also brought in a pretty healthy box office return, emerging as one […]