Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Most weeks 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: Men in Black: International is the latest attempt to exhume an old franchise whose days of being beloved by […]

The “what went wrong?” behind the scenes exposés of Dark Phoenix, tenth and final film in the X-Men series, appeared with absolutely shocking speed after the film’s franchise-worst opening weekend. In these testimonials, we find the nugget of information that the film exists in its current form largely because, after the drowsy respone critical and […]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a peculiar thing: it’s a sequel for people who didn’t like the original movie. Myself, I still think the 2014 Godzilla is a hell of a picture, capturing a sense of genuine non-humanity in its scale and scope: it’s a movie about things so big that there’s simply no […]

Look deep inside your heart, consider the matter as bloodlessly as possible, and confront the question of whether a movie can be “objectively good” in the first place, and we must ask ourselves, is Pokémon Detective Pikachu (the lack of a colon in that title makes me sad in my heart) actually a good movie? […]

As far as I was concerned, Avengers: Endgame only needed to overcome two bars, both of them fairly low: it had to be less of an atonal episodic hodgepodge than Avengers: Infinity War, and it had to be less unbearably fucking dreary than Captain Marvel. Missions both accomplished, and honestly by a pretty handy margin […]

I’m sure someone, somewhere, was devoting all their time and energy to hoping that the x-treme, edgy, snottily nihilistic strand of ’90s pop culture was going to come roaring back lo these twenty years later, and for that person, I am happy to say that the new Hellboy feature is waiting for them. How x-treme, […]

There’s a movie hiding not very deep at all into Shazam! that is exactly what the superhero genre needs right about now: something stripped down and intimate, a bright little character comedy about how kids love superheroes and fantasise about being them and then one gets a chance to be one in actuality. But using […]

One need not enjoy watching the films produced by Marvel Studios over the past eleven years (as I do not) to acknowledge that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, if nothing else, unfailingly consistent. Producer Kevin Feige rules with a heavy hand, and if that means that it’s almost impossibly rare for one of his movies […]

It is well to avoid making absolute statements, especially absolute statements about weirdly idiosyncratic and fundamentally unquantifiable things, but I’m feeling feisty. So here goes: I think it’s entirely likely that the most interesting and important thing happening to cinema anywhere in the world right now is the Chinese film industry’s attempts – largely successful […]

Producer-writer James Cameron has been nurturing a screen adaptation of Kishiro Yukito’s manga series Battle Angel Alita almost since it was first translated into English in the 1990s. And this is perhaps why Alita: Battle Angel – the every-so-slightly-worse-named feature that has finally emerged from that years-long dream – feels so much like a film […]

Aquaman is the dorkiest fucking movie. I think I slightly loved it. This is a film that luxuriates in all of the absolute dumbest bullshit of superhero comics: the overwrought dialogue in which words like Cylinder and Trench are repeatedly declaimed with unmistakable Capital Letters; unbelievably squirrelly concept like sharks with laser cannons on their […]

After five films ranging from sub-adequate to freakishly bad, the idea that all it would take to make a satisfactory Transformers film would be to have 1) a prequel, 2) centered around one of the dullest characters in the franchise is ludicrous on its face. And yet here we are with Bumblebee, which manages not […]