Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Nothing about Abominable is even mildly surprising (unless it’s that an English-language movie made by American creators and mostly at an American animation studio should be set in China and have a female protagonist, and neither of these facts are even briefly commented upon), which is kind of a great thing. It doesn’t feel like […]

The Angry Birds Movie 2 is a misnomer twice over. First, the onscreen title treatment and all of the advertising material state, clear as day, The Angry 2 Birds Movie. Second, the birds in this one are not angry. But I imagine that The Birds with Depression Movie would sell fewer tickets. As you undoubtedly […]

There is simply no reason for a live-action adaptation of the interactive children’s cartoon Dora the Explorer to be good. And when we add in the ugly wrinkled that the beaming seven-year-old of the show has been aged up to an improbably innocent teenager forced to go to public school for the first time, I […]

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: Dora and the Lost City of Gold makes a tiny form of history as the first live-action feature based on […]

A cursory perusal of the reviews for Disney’s new remake of The Lion King reveals that even some of the pointedly negative ones will concede that it is, at least, a very visually amazing, even beautiful film. This is wrong. It looks like a dead dog’s asshole on a hot day. I have never been […]

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: Disney’s new version of The Lion King presents painstakingly animated photorealistic CGI lions milling about doing lion shit. This might […]

Toy Story 4 isn’t bad. This is, already, a huge achievement, for there was every reason in the world for it to be bad: Pixar Animation Studios has a fairly unimpressive track record with sequels and is nowhere near the regular level of absolute brilliance they were when the last film in this series, Toy […]

I’m not going to go around calling 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets a good movie, because it ain’t. At best, it’s a mid-tier film for Illumination, the animation studio best-known for those damn walking yellow Tic-Tacs with the prominent butt cheeks. Considering that Illumination’s top tier only just surpasses “affable mediocrity”, its middle tier […]

(Almost) 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. Last week: Pokémon Detective Pikachu represents the first time that the beloved video game animals called Pokémon have appeared in […]

Take out the end credits, and UglyDolls is about 80 minutes long. I spent every single one of them trying to figure out what hell was wrong with their mouths. Let’s do an exercise, you and I. Lightly put your hand on your face, right around your cheekbones. I’m serious, please do it. So much […]

Look deep inside your heart, consider the matter as bloodlessly as possible, and confront the question of whether a movie can be “objectively good” in the first place, and we must ask ourselves, is Pokémon Detective Pikachu (the lack of a colon in that title makes me sad in my heart) actually a good movie? […]

One wishes to never have to say anything negative about a Laika film. The company only exists because multi-billionaire Phil Knight, founder and former CEO of Nike, is an indulgent father, and his son Travis wanted to run an animation studio; it’s been a possibility with every new feature that this might be the one […]