Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

To begin with, the title of the 2015 made-for-Syfy epic Lake Placid vs. Anaconda gets the hierarchy exactly right: this is very much a Lake Placid sequel in which an Anaconda sequel makes a substantial guest appearance, not the other way around. Given the uniform superiority of the first three Lake Placid sequels to the […]

1999’s Lake Placid does have its fans, and I’m certainly not going to try to take it away from them. Lord knows I don’t want it. That film was directed by slasher expert Steve Miner, but much more importantly, it was written by television auteur David E. Kelley, then at the absolute height of his […]

The powerful thirst of the Italian children’s movie marketplace for animated Titanic features was not slaked at one, nor even two. That is why, five years after the batshit crazy The Legend of the Titanic and four years after that film’s gruesome rip-off Titanic: The Legend Goes On…, the world finally received a proper sequel […]

1999’s Baby Geniuses is complete garbage, shockingly misconceived as a concept, with horribly executed technique that plunges it into the darkest, mildewiest hollow of the Uncanny Valley. So imagine the horrors I have in store for us when I declare – and I mean it with the most utterly tranquil sincerity – that it didn’t […]

I will say this for 2009’s Anacondas: Trail of Blood – it’s not much, but I’ll say it – it’s surprising that a film made directly back-to-back with Anaconda 3: Offspring isn’t much worse. Comparing the two films, there’s absolutely no contest: the fourth movie in the Anaconda franchise (and the last one, barring a […]

There is  point in the lifecycle of many franchises where they are truly lost, beyond the hope of salvation. In the ’80s, it was going direct to VHS; in the ’90s and ’00s, it was going to direct to cable; in the ’10s, it was going direct to streaming. Same thing in different clothes: the […]

2004’s Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is pretty fucking dumb. So what? 1997’s Anaconda is also pretty fucking dumb, and is nevertheless one of the most entertaining creature features of its decade. But there is one extremely important difference between the two films: Anaconda had Jon Voight giving one of the most unapologetically […]

The 2016 film Trolls isn’t flawless by any means, but it is, nonetheless, one of crucial films in the late development of DreamWorks Animation. It was the first film the studio released after a major restructuring took place that fundamentally changed its financial strategy, and while Trolls was itself largely a product of the previous […]

A quarter of a century has passed since commercial & music video director Michael Bay made his first feature, and rapper and sitcom actor Will “The Fresh Prince” Smith made his big push into movie stardom, with 1995’s Bad Boys, a big, bombastic action-comedy extravaganza that is, by Bay standards, unusually tidy and legible. Those […]

You’ve got to hand it to the Walt Disney Company: in only four years and two days, they managed to completely slaughter the golden goose of Star Wars. Like, the strongest brand name in the history of popcorn cinema. That Star Wars. I say this on the occasion of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, […]

Once upon a time, when the Walt Disney Company released a massively successful animated feature and wanted to wring some sequel dollars out of it, they would have the decency to farm them out to the B- and C-team animators at Disneytoon Studios and bury them on home video. In 80 years covering 56 feature […]

The Shining, the motion picture from 1980, is better than The Shining, the novel from 1977, but I will concede the point that the latter is an awfully good read even so, one of the best books ever written by Stephen King. Meanwhile, Doctor Sleep, the 2013 sequel to the 1977 novel (and pointedly not […]