Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Every mainstream movie is commercial product, of course, and plenty of the less-mainstream ones as well. But it’s been a good long bit since I’ve been left as incapable of ignoring that fact as I am with PAW Patrol: The Movie, a throwback to a simpler time in children’s animation when cartoons were not merely […]

For what would prove to be the final film of his self-imposed exile in West Germany, Ingmar Bergman wanted to finally honor the cinema of his host country, rather than keep making quasi-Swedish chamber dramas as if nothing had changed but the address of his studio. And indeed, that is very much what he ended […]

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 […]

I think it’s telling that The Curse of La Llorona takes place in the Conjuring Universe, which is right now the second-strongest brand-name in cinematic horror after Jordan Peele, and the advertising campaign put not one molecule of energy into promoting that fact. It’s not, like, a secret. There’s no astonishing duhn-duhn-duhhnnn! twist where we […]

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: to hear the marketing tell it, you’d think that Wonder Woman was the very first major comic book movie […]

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: Ridley Scott takes us to the prehistory of his 1979 masterpiece Alien with a certain Alien: Covenant. Not the […]

So, Kong: Skull Island isn’t “bad”, exactly. I don’t know, is it bad? It’s kind of bad. But the thing is, it wants to do one thing, and it does it, the thing promised right there in the title. Not “Kong” – this is closer to the dullest screen depiction of the giant ape Kong […]

“The Empire Strikes Back is the darkest Star Wars film”, they say; “the Rebellion loses everything, Luke has an existential crisis, Han is gone”. Or, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is the darkest Star Wars“, the say; “the whole galaxy is overrun by evil, the very flesh is burned off of […]

What we all know – and like most things we all know, it’s a simplification, but in this case not such an extreme nor indefensible one – is that George Lucas stuck the Ewoks into Return of the Jedi to sell toys. “Warrior teddy bears” isn’t the most all-time slam-dunk moneymaking idea, to be sure, […]

This review is based on the most commonly-available copy recorded from the broadcast by the CBS affiliate in Baltimore, MD, with all commercial breaks intact. When we began our little retrospective of the Star Wars franchise, I asked you to do something unfathomably difficult, and pretend that it was 1977, and you just saw Star […]

That there are two animated films in the summer of 2013 which both feature a creature that just wants to race, doggone it, no matter what institutional bias he faces from the powers-that-be because he belongs to the wrong species, and when he eventually manages to make it into the big show, he ends up […]

It is a matter of debate amongst people whose priorities are severely misplaced whether 1964’s Pajama Party is, properly speaking, a part of American International Pictures’ beach party franchise or not. It ports over nearly the entire core cast of those films, but nearly all of them are playing different characters. It incorporates Southern California […]