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 […]

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: Disney revives the evergreen “Arabian Nights adventure” genre with their new remake of Aladdin. The studio’s original 1992 version […]

With John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski and his team at 87Eleven Productions have achieved one of the rarest and most impressive feats in Hollywood filmmaking: they’ve made a trilogy (for now) in which every film has improved upon the one preceding. And 2014’s John Wick wasn’t any kind of low bar […]

Take out the end credits, and UglyDolls is about 80 minutes long. I spent every single one of them trying to figure out what hell was wrong with their mouths. Let’s do an exercise, you and I. Lightly put your hand on your face, right around your cheekbones. I’m serious, please do it. So much […]

If we must get these Disney remakes of their animated features done in unattractive, narratively slack live-action/CGI hybrids – and 2019 is making a particularly loud case that we must – I would say that you could honestly do a lot worse than picking up 1941’s Dumbo as a target. The original film is pure […]

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 […]

It’s certainly more common knowledge 25 years later than it was at the time of the film’s premiere in October 1993 (when Disney did everything in its power to hide the information), but it still bears mentioning that the film which has been marketed since Day 1 as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is […]

Previously reviewed at the Film Experience Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a joyful, celebratory movie. I cannot name another superhero movie in the 40 years since Superman invented the modern version of the genre that has so perfectly captured the free-floating, whiz-bang, everything-is-possible delight of comic books. This is the movie version of a child […]

Much of the pre-release promotion for the 2000 version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas focused on the extraordinary (and, eventually, Oscar-winning) make-up work it took to get Jim Carrey entombed in the flexible latex mask that allowed him to play Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s beloved Christmas-hating misanthrope. And, in particular, on how it was […]

It’s not really accurate to suggest that The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the latest example of Disney’s irritatingly robust program of remaking its animated features in shrieking, shiny CGI and “live-action”. But it’s not really inaccurate, either: the feature makes more than its share of glancing nods back towards 1940’s Fantasia, mostly (though […]

Hell Fest isn’t much as a movie, but there’s one thing I like about it: it’s a good excuse to do some theorising about horror cinema. You know, that thing we all like to do in our spare time. I’ll get to the specifics of what I have in mind in a little bit, but […]