Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The most amusing thing about the 1972 adaptation of Solaris – a film about which very little is amusing, to be fair – is that Andrei Tarkovsky made it, basically, as a “one for them” project. His previous feature, Andrei Rublev, had met with enormous hostility upon delivery, and was shelved for five years; his […]

Hyperbole is a dangerous thing, but even so, Redline is one of the most striking-looking animated movies I have ever seen. The film’s style feels like it should be easier to pin down than  it is; there’s a clear indebtedness to ’60s pop art and  ’90s and ’00s digitally-colored comics in the bold swatches of […]

Animation and surrealism – and I am here referring to surrealism in a narrower sense (though not the strictest sense), as the attempt to visually reconcile dream-reality and waking-reality into a single state, not as an intensified word for “weird” – have a difficult relationship. On the one hand, since surrealism is, in its way, […]

One thing that nobody can take away from Bacurau, the third feature directed by Brazilian art house favorite Kleber Mendonça Filho (co-directing here alongside his former production designer Juliano Dornelles): it’s unpredictable. The film wear so many hats over the course of its 131 minutes, sometimes wearing them on top of each other, that it’s […]

I think it is worth being fair to screenwriters David Desola and Pedro Rivero: I’m sure the genesis of The Platform was at least a little bit more sophisticated than, “what if Snowpiercer was, like, vertical?” But wherever the idea ultimately came from, the comparison is there to be made, and reductive as it is, […]

Thankfully, you can’t tell from the onscreen evidence, but Bloodshot was conceived as the first film in  a Valiant Comics shared cinematic universe. Ah, Valiant Comics! Just the name brings me back to the ’90s, when Bloodshot was introduced the world, and the idea of a nanite-infused supersoldier seemed like a cool sci-fi concept and […]

The new version of The Invisible Man – produced by Blumhouse for Universal Pictures, which isn’t really re-adapting H.G. Wells’s 1897 novel nor re-making its own 1933 picture, but relying on brand recognition for a brand-new thing, and would that all brand recognition was handled with this much care and thoughtfulness – is rather damn […]

The vexing problem of movies adapted from the work of the iconic pulp horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is by no means news. The man’s go-to writing tic was “and then I saw something that defied both physics and optics, and just thinking about describing its appearance would surely cost me the final thread of my […]

Sonic the Hedgehog is so deeply adequate that it’s almost hostile. The film comes fully predigested, with every single bit of its plot, every character beat, every gag telegraphing itself and its intended response; it is the kind movie for which the existence of an independent, thinking audience seems almost like an unnecessary complication to […]

First and most importantly: the title of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon can be parsed as a meaning-carrying phrase in English, and is thus a substantial improvement on its 2015 predecessor, Shaun the Sheep Movie, whose title is a syntactically incoherent mash-up of nouns. This is, I’m a little sad the say, one of […]

The setting for Fast Color is a world a short way into our own future where for unknown reasons it has stopped raining. Two years into this crisis, enough water remains (somehow) that all of civilization hasn’t collapsed, but it has become a precious resource as desirable as gasoline in Mad Max, and culture has […]

The stink of having been shot almost three years before it finally saw the light of a commercial release hangs over Underwater like a fart in church. It’s not exactly the film’s fault – part of the delay is because the 20th Century Fox release got tangled up in that company’s acquisition by the Walt […]