Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Sebastián Lelio makes exactly one type of movie, and I like it less every time I see it. Take, on this hand, a terrific performance by an actress playing the kind of character who doesn’t generally show up as the protagonist of a movie. Take, on the other hand, nothing fucking whatsoever. Not dramatic urgency, […]

The Upside premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, and didn’t receive commercial release in the United States until January 2019 (the demise of The Weinstein Company factored into this). That’s not “commercial release following an Oscar-qualifying run in one Los Angeles theater.” That’s commercial release. There’s such a thing as a distributor knowing […]

Ultimately, there is a grand total of one test that Welcome to Marwen has to pass, and it does not. To wit, does this film do anything to justify its existence in face of the 2010 documentary Marwencol, which treats on exactly the same subject as this highly fantasised biopic, and does so with great […]

The film itself isn’t nearly important enough to earn this, but you could do a lot worse than holding up 1970’s The Horror of Frankenstein as a summary of all the things going terribly wrong with Hammer Film Productions at the dawn of the ’70s. The studio’s reign across the anglosphere as the premiere home […]

As the late 1950s faded into the early 1960s, perhaps the two most interesting things happening anywhere in horror cinema (change “perhaps” to “absolutely” if we limit the conversation to the English-speaking world) were the heavy shift over to Gothic horror pictures made by Britain’s Hammer Film Productions, and the brief but intense and unbelievably […]

As dodgy, doomed to fail remakes go, Superfly actually does a pretty good job justifying its own existence. Obviously, the biggest and perhaps only way it ever had to justify its existence was by providing, after 46 years, a new chance to hear Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” and “Pusherman” on the big screen. And in light […]

It is, I think, close to being an outright objective truth that insofar as the 1987 cult object Overboard works, it works entirely because Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have off-the-charts adorable chemistry together, owing in large part to their being a real-life couple. It certainly does not work because of the scenario, which is […]

It’s not like it’s a surprise that Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is dumbfoundingly bad. Hell, it’s actually gratifying: it’s always pleasant when a movie is exactly as good as you hope it will be, and that’s just as true when said hope is for something truly repulsive that you can […]

The multi-media franchise known under the broad name of Power Rangers in the United States (a substantially revised localisation of the even bigger franchise called Super Sentai in Japan) has been through so many iterations and revisions along the way, why not a franchise-starting action movie remake? Albeit one that seems to have pretty securely […]

The list of movies that owe a huge debt to Blade Runner is damn near inexhaustible, but even so, it’s been a real long time since the last film that drew upon that film’s iconic production design so blatantly and desperately as the 2017 version of Ghost in the Shell. More, indeed, than the film […]

Once upon a time, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form co-founded a production company called Platinum Dunes, whose purpose was to remake old horror films, but shinier and worse. I mean, presumably the “worse” part wasn’t in the corporate statement of principles, and it just worked out that way. I think it’s entirely fair […]

I don’t know if I’m confident that The Mummy would be a good film if it lacked any and all references to the “Dark Universe” that Universal badly wants to kick-start, in which all of the studio’s classic monsters (Dracula, the Frankenstein creations, the wolf man, the creature from the Black Lagoon, and yes, the […]