Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

This does not strike me as an unreasonable set of expectations: give me a movie musical with lots of wide shots to show off the dancing, long takes to serve the same end, tuneful songs to drive the dancing forward, and good color saturation to make it all pop off the screen, and I’m happy. […]

There’s no reason for Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga to be good, and since in fact it isn’t good, that works out. But oh, how tantalisingly close to “good” it comes! The latest entry in the moribund “Will Ferrell does a profession poorly but arrogantly, perhaps while adopting a goofy accent” genre […]

Pablo Larraín, probably the most prominent Chilean director in the world right now, has at this point directed eight feature films. Most of these are period films; most of these are explicitly about politics; most of them have a certain performative sense of irony. His eighth and newest film, Ema falls into not one of […]

For such a tiny sliver of a thing – 70 minutes long, set almost entirely in one location, almost nothing “happens” – Lovers Rock feels like it’s almost boundless in how much it can yield up to its viewer. This is true simply at the level of how we encounter it: taken purely on its […]

There’s no real reason that a film adapted from the 2016 stage musical The Prom needs to be as extraordinarily bad as the one that we have now been given by the professional mediocrity vendors at Netflix and gay terrorist Ryan Murphy. I have not seen it nor heard a scrap of the cast recording […]

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 […]

“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 […]

Is 1929’s The Broadway Melody, as its reputation has it, the very worst film to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture? Does it actually matter? The film is a great big piece of poo, and whether or not it is slightly smellier or wetter than other pieces of poo, it will empty out […]

No reviewer of the 1958 MGM musical Gigi will ever come up with a better lede paragraph than the one Bosley Crowther wrote for his review in The New York Times, in which he affects modest shock at the astonishing list of coincidences between the film and a recent Broadway, before drily ending with the […]

The films of Don Bluth have been a much more reliable source of franchise than I would have ever imagined. The Secret of NIMH got a sequel, though it took 16 years; An American Tail got three sequels, one of which played theaters; All Dogs Go to Heaven, despite being wildly perceived as a failure, […]

The dream of Sullivan Bluth Studios, later Don Bluth Entertainment, came to a miserable end late in 1994. Over the previous nine years, the company (the second one co-founded by Bluth) had ascended as high as An American Tail in 1986 and The Land Before Time in 1988, the first two animated features ever to […]

In 1936, when the film was new, MGM sold The Great Ziegfeld as the longest talkie ever made, and at 176 minutes (185 in the roadshow version), I certainly can’t dispute that. This of course makes the film my nemesis. Further cementing that antagonism: this was the first biopic to win the Best Picture Oscar,* […]