Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In 1909, during the final ten years of his short life, Jack London published a novel called Martin Eden. The story of a young man attempting to make his way in the world by becoming a successful writer, the film was, and was understood to be, London’s attempt to showcase all of the maddening problems […]

We could run through a decent list of the things about the (for now) newest cinematic adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio that sound like they should be interesting, but are in fact not actually very interesting. This is different than saying the film is “bad”: it is on the […]

Director Edoard Ponti, in making The Life Ahead, a new adaptation of Romain Gary’s 1975 novel La vie devant soi (which has been published in English as both Momo and The Life Before Us), did as many filmmakers have over the years, and cast a family member in a major role. In fact, one might go […]

The good news first: Waiting for the Barbarians is one of the finest overall pieces of craftsmanship I have seen in any film released in the United States (for the appropriately cautious definition of “released”) in 2020, a heady mixture of gorgeous cinematography, deliberately cautious editing, aggressive sound design, and atmospheric music that combine to […]

As a genre, the making-of documentary is down near the very bottom of where you’d expect to find genuine artistic inspiration. At their worst, these are absolutely nothing but promotional puff pieces, and even when they are impressively packed with interesting and rare information, presented in a clear and engaging way (my mind immediately goes […]

Between 1962 and 1986, Andrei Tarkovsky directed a mere seven feature films, and every single one of them was greeted as a major work. But 1983’s Nostalghia, the sixth of those seven features and the firs made outside of the Soviet Union (it was shot in Italy, mostly in Tuscany), was regarded as being perhaps […]

The powerful thirst of the Italian children’s movie marketplace for animated Titanic features was not slaked at one, nor even two. That is why, five years after the batshit crazy The Legend of the Titanic and four years after that film’s gruesome rip-off Titanic: The Legend Goes On…, the world finally received a proper sequel […]

It is simply impossible to think that 1999’s The Legend of the Titanic, one of the worst animated films I have ever seen  or could imagine seeing, was such a big deal that it could inspire a quick, cheap knock-off, but here we are with 2000’s Titanic: The Legend Goes On… or Titanic: The Legend […]

The new film directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by David Kajganich under the title of Suspiria is a remake of the 1977 Dario Argento film also titled Suspiria. It’s official, in the credits and everything, and they share the same plot: an American girl named Susie Bannion (“Suzy” in the original) travels to Germany […]

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: Alpha demonstrates the time that humans first turned wolves into dogs. This relationship has been commemorated in countless artworks; […]

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: Alpha dramatises the time that humans first turned wolves into dogs. The subsequent relationship between species has been commemorated […]

From among the Video Nasties If you were to know only the title of the film Tenebrae, you might think- actually, you would probably have no clue. Before I saw it the first time, I think I had some vague sense that it might have something to do with the spinal column, because of -brae. […]