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: with Yesterday, an Oscar-winning director looks at what might happen if the medium-changing popularity of the Beatles happened here […]

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 […]

An unyielding commitment to honesty in the face of the supremely obvious demands that I concede that Forrest Gump, a gargantuan box-office hit that was the highest-grossing film at the U.S. box office in 1994 and the fourth-highest-grossing film in U.S. history at the time of its release, the winner of six Oscars including Best […]

There’s old-fashioned, and then there’s old-fashioned, and then there’s Flight, a movie that looked around at the state of contemporary cinema and concluded, “You know what we don’t have enough of? Really earnest dipsomania melodramas”. Which is a statement that, I suspect, not a single one of us would actually have agreed with in advance. […]

When the Walt Disney Company fell under the control of Michael Eisner and company in the 1980s, one of the biggest changes they made to corporate culture – and this is, in hindsight, so utterly self-evident that it hardly bears me saying it – was a new emphasis on movies that would make lots of […]

A recap: never expecting to put together a sequel to Back to the Future, Robert Zemeckis found himself making two, right in a row, each of them telling a discrete standalone story linked by a cliffhanger ending that takes place seconds after the climax of the first movie. In such ways do time-travel narratives offer […]

Back to the Future ends with a giant smiley face of Hollywood froth; a playful, open-ended but nonetheless satisfying conclusion that promises our characters will still be around, having their adventures. The endless possibilities inherent in the story of a time-traveling car – which can fly now, thanks so much – created an infinity of […]

Reader Rachael Horcher found a way to get more bang for her buck when she donated to the Carry On Campaign – by using that weasel word “trilogy”, she got three movie reviews for the price of one! Here is the story, the way I heard it: Steven Spielberg, having proven himself one of the […]

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: the notion of trying to appeal to both the menfolk and the wimminfolk by combining romantic comedy and action-adventure […]

The biggest surprise by far to be found in Robert Zemeckis’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is that it isn’t absolutely dreadful. Perfectly pointless, maybe, but not dreadful. At this point, there have been so many film adaptations of the 1843 novella that it’s nearly impossible to imagine what conceivable purpose another […]

OH MY GOD, THE FACES. Or, I think this is as good a time as any to ask a question that clearly hasn’t been asked recently: just because we have all of these wonderful toys in modern filmmaking, that doesn’t mean we have to use all of them. Take for instance motion capture CGI. Is […]