Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Black Widow is, on balance, a largely blank experience: devoid of anything particularly obnoxious other than a 133-minute running time that it seems to view as an obligation rather than an opportunity for expansive storytelling, pretty formulaic in every single element of its storytelling, packed with hollow action scenes that don’t hurt to watch, nor […]

I genuinely cannot think of any way in which humanity is advanced by taking an all-time magnificent psychopathic comic villain like Cruella De Vil, raving madwoman of the 1961 Walt Disney animated feature One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and giving her a sympathetic origin story. But then, I cannot think of any reason to have […]

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, […]

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: in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Dwayne Johnson plays a character who was introduced as a villain in […]

It is genuinely difficult to understand how Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald could have turned out so badly. This is, after all, the tenth movie in what I guess is officially being called the Wizarding World franchise, after eight Harry Potters and 2016’s Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and one […]

The 2008 film Mamma Mia!, based on the 1999 stage musical of the same name is fucking dreadful: a bunch of famous people mugging stupidly while belting out songs in what we might charitably say is almost always nearly the right key, as the camera is plonked down in stunning indifference to the preceding 95 […]

I have to give The First Purge this much credit: it patches one of the biggest holes in the Purge universe. Namely, the titular Purge itself, an annual event held across the United Stated by the neo-fascist governing party New Founding Fathers of America in which all crime is made legal for 12 consecutive hours, […]

The Strangers! Now that was a real corker of a horror-thriller, a film that I would have happily predicted at the time – the time was 2008 – was going to establish itself as a small classic of the genre. This does not seem to have happened, and yet ten years later, the film did […]

EDITED 27 May 2018 to change star rating down from 3. I’ve slept on it a couple nights, and it just didn’t feel right The big challenge in watching Solo: A Star Wars Story is, of course, watching Alden Ehrenrich play the young version of Harrison Ford’s iconic charming asshole smuggler Han Solo, introduced 41 […]

The crowd with whom I saw Insidious: The Last Key included at least three disconnected groups of apparently high-school aged viewers (5 or 6 per group) who spent too much of the movie talking in stage whispers. This is going somewhere, I promise. It matters that they were all stage whispering because I could hear […]

Return to the complete Twin Peaks index Within the last ten years or so, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me has undergone a substantial re-evaluation, and what was once greeted as one of David Lynch’s worst features has since been reclaimed by many fans as one of his best. I am a little sorry to […]

Amityville II: The Possession is coated in sleaze, filled with hokey bargain basement haunting effects, and it telegraphs its lack of inspiration on any level other than cashing in on a fad or two for a quick buck so intently, it feels almost like it must be proud of itself. It therefore should come as […]