Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Ted

I would like to think that I’m pretty close to the exact polar opposite of the ideal viewer of Ted: writer-director Seth MacFarlane’s trademark non-sequitur humor is like nails on a chalkboard to me (unlike many people, I don’t even like the allegedly good early seasons of Family Guy); I find that the current trend […]

Allow me to begin with a surprising revelation, followed by a qualification. The surprise is that American Reunion, despite the seemingly insurmountable difficulty of being the first theatrical American Pie picture in nine long years (discounting a canonically dubious franchise of spin-offs released direct-to-video and featuring none of the main cast), is not just the […]

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas doesn’t take very long to let us know its intentions: within the first five minutes, we have encountered a scene in which a heavily bearded and altogether worn-out Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) and a mall Santa Claus (Patton Oswalt, the first of many immaculately-placed cameos in the movie) […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/14 & 10/15World premiere: 11 March, 2011, Poland 2011 is really much too late for anybody to still be amazed that there are cartoons – not “animated features”, which sounds like something stately and artistically ambitious by Miyazaki, but crude, brightly colored cartoons – made expressly for an adult audience; even so, […]

“Samantha Baker is turning sixteen and she’s fallen in love for the first time. It should be the best time of her life. “But… her family is so preoccupied with her sister’s wedding they totally forget her birthday, the boy she loves doesn’t know she exists and the class clown is putting the make on […]

To later generations, John Hughes is all but indistinguishable from the genre of teen angst comedies that he helped to create in the 1980s, but it was not ever thus. Hughes began his career as a joke writer for stand-up comedians, and an advertising copywriter, and eventually a staffer on the National Lampoon magazine during […]

There is a little game I often play with myself, in which I try to determine which classic director of film comedy would have been able to redeem or even make a masterpiece out of whatever unexceptional or bad or completely fucking unwatchable new “comic” film I’ve just stumbled out of.* Sometimes it’s hard and […]

It is surely my fault that I held out the hope, however slight, that Bad Teacher would end up being an okay movie. Certainly, nobody that I ever discussed it with – and some of these are people that I would politely describe as having aggressively indiscriminate tastes when it comes to R-rated comedies – […]

When The Hangover opened in 2009, a lot of people – including myself – were a great deal gentler with it than it deserved. I cannot speak for anyone else, but in my particular case, it was a matter of sheer, untrammeled joy that there was a comedy that was actually funny, and moreover a […]

There’s a lot of interesting chatter out there about the sociological status of Bridesmaids, a film that looks to have finally cracked the seemingly insurmountable wall of “Guys won’t see movies about girls”, and that represents a massive sea-change in the output of the Judd Apatow Filmmakers Circle, which has for the first time released […]

A few years ago, a friend and I got in a bit of an argument: was David Gordon Green’s third feature, Undertow, up to the standards set by his first two films? Neither of us being a moron, we both agreed that George Washington was a consummate achievement, the kind of once-in-a-generation first feature, but […]

I would not want to be responsible for writing the screen story for the title Hot Tub Time Machine. There are certain ideas which are so awesomely stupid-amazing that no matter what, the execution cannot possibly match the film that the viewer will dream up just upon learning of the project. Recall Snakes on a […]