Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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: we have two sequels coming out in one weekend to films that had no right to be as great […]

We’ve officially hit the point where it’s just silly: we have arrived at the existence of Brother Bear 2. What explains the justification for this project, if anything, beyond the power-drunk realisation that the DisneyToon Studios DTV films cost very little to make and brought in at least some amount of profit no matter what, […]

And now we go right over the edge. Initially, the Disney direct-to-video sequels were horrible, mercenary, awful things that despite being horrible and mercenary, made sense: they were all based on recent hit films (no accident that the first two of the things were follow-ups to Aladdin, the first animated feature to ever crack $200 […]

Even after almost 70 years of people telling other people not to pay attention to the goddamn title, it’s impossible not to suppose that The Curse of the Cat People of 1944 would have a better reputation if it was called, literally, anything else. That the film is a sequel to the 1942 masterpiece Cat […]

I had many expectations, and no expectations for The Dark Knight Rises, but I can say with absolute certainty that I was never even remotely prepared for this: that it would remind me, of all things, of a 1921 D.W. Griffith picture. Orphans of the Storm, to be precise, a story of the French Revolution […]

The best part about Men in Black 3 – I doubt anybody would be violently driven to disagree, and I also doubt anybody would be terribly surprised – is Josh Brolin giving a performance that is at once a parody of Tommy Lee Jones, and an homage to Tommy Lee Jones, and a sincere attempt […]

Two things brought about the existence of Phantasm IV: Oblivion, released in 1998 (before I get into either of them, I need to get something off of my chest: the posters and the onscreen title treatment make me want to type it out as Phantasm: OblIVion, which is at once cooler and much stupider. Recall […]

The decision to cut the seventh and final Harry Potter novel into two parts for its film adaptation was a damn bad choice, made for obvious financial reasons despite the filmmaker’s urgent, repetitive insistence that it was because of that book’s “density”. A transparently stupid claim: the book was already sick with padding, relative to […]

While Jeepers Creepers managed to find some level of acclaim among the monster-movie faithful and even a tiny slice of mainstream critics, who were perhaps seduced by the name of executive producer Francis Ford Coppola, even as it was largely dismissed by society at large, Jeepers Creepers 2 managed to lose some of the people […]

The very idea of Predators confuses me a little bit. It has been 23 years since the original Predator, a film that most everybody likes, and 20 since Predator 2, a film that very few people like, and in that gargantuan two-decade span, the only thing keeping the franchise alive, cinematically, have been Alien vs. […]

Studio Ghibli, as a rule, doesn’t do sequels; this is a core value stated outright by company leader Miyazaki Hayao, who has categorically refused to follow-up on any of his own stories, and the rest of the company’s artists has seemed content to follow suit (one must wonder what Miyazaki’s buddy John Lasseter thinks about […]

By the mid-1980s, the zombie films of George A. Romero had been ripped-off from virtually every imaginable angle, and attached to any number of bastardised “sequels”; this was mostly thanks to the efforts of the Italian horror movie industry, which had produced a truly inspiring number of awful hangers-on to Dawn of the Dead, known […]