Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Of all the rides or other attractions in any of the theme parks operated by the Walt Disney Company, if you were going to make a motion picture based on any of them – in this case, “you” are presumably either Chairman & CEO Michael Eisner or President & COO Bob Iger, and in either […]

My younger readers may not recall a curious media phenomenon, a relic of the ’90s and the period when the Walt Disney Company was expanding its theme parks at a rate unmatched before or since. To promote these new attractions – Disneyland Paris, Animal Kingdom in Florida, various new rides and facelifts to existing attractions […]

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 […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales shouldn’t exist, but as far as movies that shouldn’t exist go, it’s not actually half-bad. Six years after the franchise’s last, worst movie came out – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – it would have taken absolutely nothing for this to have avoided being […]

There has been some effort online to stress Damon Lindelof’s presence as co-writer of Tomorrowland and thus somehow save the reputation of the film’s director and other writer, Brad Bird. Which presumes in the first place that Tomorrowland is bad enough to justify insulating the beloved auteur from it, and I think that’s far from […]

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: Disney’s latest effort in brand-mining, Tomorrowland, takes the name (if nothing else) from one of the most famous attractions […]

Pirate movies were dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. The pirate movie had died many times since its heyday, from the early-’20s through the mid-’50s. It had a very high-profile death in […]

I think this is a telling anecdote: the night after I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I found myself at a party with some other gentlemen who’d already seen it as well. “Wasn’t it the worst thing ever?” one of them asked (no, but that’s a forgivable response), and then the important […]

A touch of theory: in general, no film comedy should be longer than 105 minutes, no action movie should be longer than 135 minutes, no children’s movie should be longer than 90 minutes, and no film with the word “Pirates” in the title should be longer than two hours. In general. Pirates of the Caribbean: […]

I’ll presume that everyone who might conceivably want to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest has done so already, given the incredible sum of money it has already taken in. I’d take this moment to complain about the nature of the Hollywood marketing beast that can turn anything into the Hit Film of […]